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2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit

International Folk Art Alliance

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Cultural & Ethnic Awareness, Economic Development, Folk Arts, International, International Cultural Exchange, International Economic Development, International Exchange, Microfinance

Mission: To celebrate and preserve living folk art traditions and create economic opportunities for and with folk artists worldwide.

Results: In 2014, the Market attracted 19,000 visitors and generated $3.02 million in sales in over two and a half days with 90% going home with the participants. 173 folk artists including representatives from artists’ cooperatives, represented 59 nations and earned an average of $19,440 from the weekend-long Market, close to ten times what many would typically earn in an entire year in their home countries. We determined that 25,690 cooperative members, 92% come from developing nations, were represented at the Market last year. Earnings from the Market help empower these cooperatives, impacting and sustaining the lives of an estimated 200,000 community members. The Market also provided improved business skill and entrepreneurial training and more market access for participating artists that helps lead them to self-sustainable livelihoods. The organization enlisted the services of 230 local vendors, has an estimated $12 million economic impact on the city of Santa Fe and the surrounding region.

Target demographics: International folk artists as participants, national and international visitors of all ages

Direct beneficiaries per year: 173 artists from 59 countries; 19,000 attendees; 230 vendors/ contractors

Geographic areas served: Africa, Asia, Central Asia, Europe, Latin America, Middle East

Programs: Mentor to Market: Artists’ Training Program for business skill-building Educational outreach for children and youth New market access for artists International Folk Art Market | Online, online store and training program for folk artists

Community Stories

65 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

What a wonderful experience to hear the stories of how the $ has them and there villages. heart warming. The market is extremely colorful, well organized and very friendly.. it fosters understanding between people and makes a huge impact on all

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Market is the highlight of the year in Santa Fe. Volunteering is extremely rewarding not to mention a lot of fun. It feels good to be a part of an organization that does so much good in the world for so many people.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Santa Fe International Folk Art Market is changing lives across the Globe by increasing awareness and appreciation of traditional arts. Since the market began in 2004, Artists have used market profits to dig wells, build schools, and other community improvements; things that were not possible before are now possible. Since the market began in 2004, it has grown to largest of it's kind in the world, and has continued to attract more visitors and increase sales every year. Artists keep 90% of all sales, and artist payout is complete within 24 hours of market closing. The Santa Fe International Folk Art Market and it's partner, The Museum of International Folk Art, provide unparalleled economic opportunities for artists, and a fantastic experience for visitors.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have attended the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market every year since its inception. It gets better every year. It is so interesting to be able to meet artists from all over the world. Being able to bring people here supports the work of artists and allows for intercultural exchange.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I attended IFAM in Santa Fe almost every year with feel of joy and was looking forward for the incredibly colorful event every time to be amazed and amused by the endless creativity and skills of Folk Artists from many countries. In 2010 I decided to offer myself to be a volunteer as a translator (I speak Russian and Hungarian languages). It was simple to register online and close to the event I was invited for an orientation. i did not mind to drive from Albuquerque (altogether 6 times ) to join the crowd of volunteers to make the visit of participating artisans (many of them for the first time in the US) more comfortable. I was assigned to 2 young ladies from Kyrgyzstan along with 4 other Russian-speaking volunteers - i am sure we did our best in helping the Artists to communicate with the buyers during the 3 days of busy market. The Artists were very happy with the sales and expressed their hopes to be able to participate next year as well.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I've been involved since the inception of the Market and have continued to feel enchanted, emotionally moved to action, and privileged to be involved with such a special group of artists, staff and volunteers. Every year there are stories from the artists about how the Market has changed their own lives and those in their communities. And the more we learn about the artists and their communities, the more we all want to help them preserve their folk art and folk ways. We have thousands of volunteers who feel as though this is "their" market, as well as artists who depend on the income from the Market to care for their families, send their children to school, and build basic infrastructure in their communities.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had one of the best and most educating experience of my life. The staff was competent, creative, knowledgable and flexabile. You could not ask for much more. It is a truly eye opening experience to Americans with little idea of life or conditions

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am a folklorist and for the last four years I have been the head of the artist selection committee for the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market. It is the single most well-run, inspiring, influential and meaningful non-profit I know that provides opportunity for traditional artists throughout the world that they would not normally have. It makes all of the difference in hundreds of folk artists' lives--healing whole communities, providing housing, hospitals, roads and more, helping communities provide resources for orphans with AIDS, and improving the health of the artists and the arts throughout the world.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved with the Folk Art Market (IFAM) since the beginning, and just love it. At first, when it was starting out, it was exhilarating--all hands on deck, let's make this happen. It's still exciting as it's matured and our respective roles have solidified. I love the mission of creating sustainability one artist at a time; I love the experience of the market--so many people from so many countries--very vibrant. The event is very well organized and continues to improve year after year

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love this market for many reasons the most important being that many of these artists from impoverished villages and cities earn enough money to support themselves and their community. I have heard stories of market participants building fresh water systems for their village, or starting schools. The market is an invaluable resource for many many people. I also love that the market brings artisans from around the world and that market goers are able to learn about different cultures. This market has a wonderful 'passport' game for visiting children who have their 'passport' stamped by an artisan from each country - just one of many educational programs. I also love that the market provides an impetus for the artisans to continue producing their local crafts - so that ancient handcrafts will not be lost. This SF International Folk Art Market is truly a great nonprofit!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Santa Fe International Folk Art Market is one of the most exciting events I've ever participated in or attended. I've been an active volunteer ever since attending the first Market (6 out of 7) because I wanted to be a part of something that literally helps people all over the world in the most direct way possible. The artists from many countries bring their beautiful art work, sell it to people from all over the US and go home with money they can use to put their children through school and buy supplies to create more art. The organization is extemely well-organized with minimal paid staff. Over 1600 people volunteer over the course of one week. It is the most "win-win" event that could exist for everyone involved.

amyc

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Folk Art Museum is a research facility as well as an exhibition space. It is notorious for introducing people not just to fields they didn't know but also to fields they never dreamed existed.....Unlike traditional academic art, Folk Art does not need to pass through a filter into the viewer's aesthetic nerve center....

Board Member

Rating: 5

The international Folk Art Market is a soulful, spirit-filled endeavor that I've been blessed to be a part of the past few years. Attending the market itself is an incredible experience. And to realize the impact this event and organization has on our city, state, national and international community is something to be proud of wholeheartedly.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

For 5 years I have worked with indigenous artist cooperatives from Saraguro Ecuador. The women make and sell wonderful seed bead necklaces. It has been a joy to see the growth in sales each year and to hear stories about how the money earned has helped families and villages. The Santa Fe Folk Art Market is the first place these artists have had an opportunity to sell on a large scale. The artists who attended learned how to sell, export, price goods and much more from the market staff.

This year for the first time we will see the Mega Cooperative from Saraguro. It is an organization of 5 coops and the profits will be split between all of them. They hope to be able to come to the market every year. There is nothing to compare with the Santa Fe Folk Art Market anywhere.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I became involved in the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market seven years ago when I was asked to sell water for a two hour shift. The United States had invaded Iraq, and I was at a low point in my feelings about the U.S. I had been wondering what the rest of the
world must think about our country. I knew that the politics of war did not represent the "best" that the U.S. could do for the world.

As I walked up the steps into the Market, I was greeted by the most glorious sights and sounds. People from all over the world were sharing the market experience. Literally, tears swelled up in my eyes....I realized that yes, we in the U.S. were capable of showing the "world" that we cared about them, and that we were not just a country of war mongers. The stories that I heard back from the artists confirmed my conviction that the Santa Fe Internatonal Folk Art Market was truly acting as a peace ambassador. Artists who had never left their own countries, and who came reluctantly with fear of Americans, had their own stories about the generosity of the Market and its 1,000 plus volunteers.

My work with the Market took on a new level when I was asked to join the Board of Directors almost five years ago. Since then I have served for two years as the Chair of the Board. Now I see the on a day to day basis the year round dedication and commitment of the staff and volunteers to the mission of the Market. The Market truly is devoted to helping preserve cultures all over the world by providing an opportunity for folk artists to sell their art.

For the past two years I have also been involved in the community outreach of the Market. We are bringing children from improvished areas of New Mexico, many of whom have never left their own towns or pueblos let alone has the opportunity to visit a foreign country. The Market in conjunction with the Museum of International Folk Art is providing these children with the opportunity to experience hands on arts projects with our international artists.

I believe the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market truly is bringing the world together in a meaningful way.

Charlotte L.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

In Santa Fe we are fortunate to be surrounded by art -- cultural, historical, and contemporary -- which we can sometimes take for granted. The Santa Fe International Folk Art Market is a wonderful reminder that for some, art is more than a way of life, it is a means of living. The work of SFIFA is so important to those who rely on their work to support themselves, their families, and their communities. It is important to those of us who enjoy art and want to contribute to the arts and know we are doing something more.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have attended the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market (SFIFAM) every year since 2006 serving as translator for the bead artists who come from Saraguro Ecuador. SFIFAM has been an incredible experience for me and especially for these indigenous women. Not only do they sell more beadwork there in one weekend than they do in an entire year in Ecuador, but the market has provided courses to the artists which give excellent training in sales techniques, pricing, and marketing. To date five different bead artists have come from Saraguro to the SFIFAM, and they take their knowledge home with them. In addition, the monies earned have improved the quality of life for ca. 100 families, the members of the cooperatives. This money has been used for microloans administered by the cooperatives as well as many other family expenses.

DeSilva Imports

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Santa Fe International Folk Art Market is an incredible organization that spreads cultural understanding here at home, and around the globe. They unite artists from around the world, and help them to sell their traditional arts at a massive festival held annually in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Run by an incredibly talented and organized staff, and amazing volunteers, the market is a well oiled machine that never ceases to amaze. Three incredible action packed days, and everything runs smoothly, even with over 22,000 people in attendance. The 2010 market brought 132 artists from 50 different countries, with over $2 million in sales. At the event artists take home 90% of the profits from the sales.. something no other organization can claim. Artists return to their home country, and many times reinvest these profits in community development. This elevates the standard of living for countless individuals, and makes a positive contribution towards social justice around the globe. The goodwill developed around the world is just incredible, and the cultural exposure for both the artists themselves and the attendees is enormous. The market honors endangered folk traditions, and increases their longevity by educating consumers, ensuring that the beauty of hand made works of art remain in our modern world. The market provides important contacts for artists that enable them to assure a fair wage and living conditions, as well as a boost to the human spirit. The impact is just enormous, and I am thankful that such a wonderful organization exists. We have attended the International Folk Art Market twice now, and look forward to many more years of participation. I have made numerous contacts for my own business, and appreciate the exposure to cultures that I do not encounter in my folk art business in Latin America. It is a true win win experience for all!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Santa Fe International Folk Arts Museum/Market is one of my favorite places in the world! To me it is the world. A trip around the globe meeting the people, geography, culture and colors that make it spin. More than a just a static monument, SFIFAM is alive. An organisation that celebrates and perpetuates the creativity that bursts, pulses and expresses what lives in the soul of humankind.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The santa Fe International Folk Art Market: Like a trip around the world featuring the best folk art - worth a trip to Santa Fe in itself!