“The most wonderful shopping experience of my life.”

-Deborah Needleman, The New York Times

Photo: Marc Romanelli

The World’s Largest Folk Art Festival, the World’s Most Unique Art Experience

Featuring Over 150 Master Artists from 50 Countries

July 10, 11 and 12, 2020—Museum Hill in Santa Fe, New Mexico


Santa Fe, New Mexico— The world-renowned International Folk Art Market (IFAM) enters its 17th year celebrating extraordinary artists, cultural diversity, environmental sustainability, women’s empowerment, and entrepreneurship across the globe. An abundance of color, form, texture, and design will once again fill the market with handmade textiles, beadwork, ceramics, jewelry, sculpture, rugs, paintings, metalwork, and more.

The annual International Folk Art Market – the largest of its kind in the world – features more than 150 master artisans from 50 countries. Recognized as the world’s most extensive, celebrated, and vibrant folk art shopping experience, more than 20,000 attendees assisted by 2,000 volunteers will descend onto Santa Fe’s Museum Hill the weekend of July 10-12, 2020.

Juried by two panels of experts, the artists present the highest quality folk art made in the world today. This year’s fair features 35 new artists, including the inclusion of six artists from the United States, including four Native Americans.

Among this year’s initiatives that highlight Innovation Inspiration, Sustainability, Artist Mentorship, and Cultural Heritage, is Women’s Empowerment.

Female artists and co-op groups represent an average of 80% of those who participate in the Market. IFAM 2020 will introduce a Women’s Empowerment initiative that will include a tent featuring artists and artist groups like Mamta Varma from Bhairvis Chikan that work to improve the lives of women and tell their life stories, through the folk art they create. Most often, the work of these women embodies deep cultural roots while employing both traditional and innovative methods and materials.

To be a part of IFAM has really made me feel like a woman of the world,” says Mamta Varma. The education of both my children as well as a lot of children of the women I work with is due to our handwork. The fact that women all over the world are now wearing good quality craft and I am able to directly interact with them gives me the strength to work harder and create more opportunities for my community back home.”

While the world meets in Santa Fe for one fabulous weekend, the Market’s mission extends beyond basic commerce to provide an immersive entrepreneurial education for the visiting artists. The Market’s influence continues to reach remote villages, towns, artisan cooperatives, and communities worldwide.

In the words of Market artist, Bandhani textile master Abduljabbar Khatri of India’s Sidr Craft, “This is the world’s biggest and best Market. It transforms lives, protects traditional craft, and moves us all forward with innovative ideas and sharing of cultures.”

For the attending artists, showcasing their artwork in Santa Fe, a place rich in culture and artistic traditions, affirms the value of their craft. It provides vital economic resources for education, infrastructure, housing, and healthcare for their families and communities. The Market offers the opportunity to generate income to help counter political dislocation, gender inequity, and other forms of social and economic hardship.

The Market sustains and preserves cultural and social traditions while improving the livelihoods of participating artists and communities. Since the first Market in 2004, IFAM has hosted over 1000 artisans from more than 100 countries to generate more than $34 million in art sales. The majority of the revenue goes home with the artists, many from developing countries where the daily income averages less than $3.10 a day. The Market’s global impact ripples through communities with Market activities, having touched an estimated 1.3 million lives worldwide.

The 2020 event will again feature its Mentor to Market program offering multi-tiered training and education for participating artists, including essential business and marketing skills, partnerships with seasoned business mentors, and hands-on experience in the wholesale marketplace. The Market will also recognize successful examples of leadership and entrepreneurship with the 2020 Living Tradition and Community Impact awards.

The Market’s role in supporting folk art traditions, artists, and their communities is more critical than ever. “Although the Market is open for three incredible days, its impact and reach are felt year-round around the globe,” said IFAM CEO Stuart Ashman.

As an artist-centric organization, the Market’s belief in the power of folk artists as cultural ambassadors maintains support from partners worldwide, including such respected global cultural leaders as UNESCO and the World Craft Council.

“The world needs more love, art, and more love of art; in that spirit, the Market fosters cultural acceptance through handcrafted beauty,” Ashman added. “When the world joins together in Santa Fe in July, it’s an unforgettable experience to celebrate the amazing folk artists, traditions, cultures, and their crafts.”


The International Folk Art Market Santa Fe opens with a party on the evening of Friday, July 10, and runs through Sunday, July 12, 2020, at the beautiful Milner Plaza on Santa Fe’s Museum Hill. Ticket sales begin May 1, 2020. For detailed information and schedule of events, visit www.folkartmarket.org.

The International Folk Art Market Santa Fe is a non-profit operating in partnership with the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs, Museum of International Folk Art, Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, Museum of New Mexico Foundation and the City of Santa Fe.

Contact: Joanie Griffin, 505-261-4444, jgriffin@sunny505.com