“This is the world’s best market. It’s a life changer for people back home and it is so important to preserving traditional craft forms. It’s also leading us forward with innovative ideas. We collaborated with a Market colleague from Ghana on using his recycled glass beads at the corners of our bandhani scarves, and people are loving the cross-cultural feeling!”Abduljabbar Khatri, Sidr Craft, Recipient of the 2017 Living Traditions Award.

That about sums it up and captures why 2017 is possibly the most remarkable in the 14-year history of the International Folk Art Alliance. From securing our new world headquarters in Santa Fe (opening this fall), to successfully organizing and executing our first sister Market in Arlington, Texas, to the astounding success of the 2017 International Folk Art Market | Santa Fe, we have never been better poised to realize the full potential of our mission: to celebrate and preserve living folk art traditions, and create economic opportunities for and with folk artists worldwide. Thank you!

The 2017 IFAM | Santa Fe by the numbers:

  • 154 artists from 53 countries generated sales of more than $3.1 million in just 2.5 days.
  • 90 percent of the sales will return home with the artists, equipped and empowered to serve as catalysts for positive social change in their villages and communities.
  • Average artist sales per booth were more than $20,000!
  • 48 first-time Market artists traveled to Santa Fe and were welcomed into their artist family of 106 returning artists at the 2017 IFAM | Santa Fe—they now are connected to our network of more than 900 artists across 90 countries since the Market’s inception.
  • Four countries were represented for the first time: Argentina, Jordan, Tajikistan, and Tanzania.
  • More than 21,000 in projected attendance at the Market and the Community Celebration, generating a projected local economic impact of $12 million.
  • The Market’s collection of gross receipts tax (even though as a non-profit organization we are not obligated to collect) will result in more than $255,000 to the State of New Mexico and, consequently to the City of Santa Fe.
  • More than 1,600 volunteers covered 4,200 work shifts, increasing the number of volunteer names by more than 600.

This year, IFAA introduced at the Market a special section: Innovation Inspiration. We celebrated and encouraged the innovation of global folk artists, who are infusing their communities’ cultural assets with personal expression, fresh perspectives, and bold experimentation. Innovation Inspiration featured works by 30 artists, and was made possible by a generous gift from founding sponsors JoAnn and Bob Balzer, tireless arts advocates and folk art enthusiasts. Participating artists’ sales generated more than $550,000. As Porfirio Gutierrez from Mexico shared with me, “It is so good that [IFAA] is welcoming our new work as artists. We are inspired by each other and want to do more creative work.”

Of course, the Market and so much of IFAA’s mission are realized by the dedication of amazing volunteers. The artists understand this well:

“As a first time artist, I am amazed by the dedication of the volunteers helping us. They’ve instantly become friends and expert spokespeople. Our innovative use of wilted temple flowers to make beautiful natural patterns is what customers are loving. They are drawn to the idea of the prayers and the good intentions the offerings represent, and by the beauty they imprint upon our silk scarves and garments.” Rupa Trivedi, Adiv Pure Nature, India, first-time Market artist.

There’s a final number to share with you that is a true point of joy and celebration: one . . . as in one ginormous global ripple effect with more than 124,000 lives positively impacted! We calculate this based on the number of lives the artists report as involved in their enterprises, which, given the significant number of large women’s cooperatives, for example, really adds up.

Now we turn our attention to finishing our fiscal year (ending October 31) in solid financial shape, sustaining our own future as a non-profit organization so that we, in turn, can continue to pursue our mission. Our fundraising goal stands at $2 million. And as IFAA’s Board members and I will attest, we still have a lot of ground to cover.

Thank you in advance for your gracious support so that, together, as partners—the artist family, IFAA and you—can share in the privilege of changing the world through folk art!

With a world of thanks,
Jeff Snell, CEO

P.S. Mark your calendars: our 15th Anniversary—the 2018 IFAM | Santa Fe—is July 13-15!


Press and Media Highlights

Click here to enjoy some of the coverage of the 2017 International Folk Art Market | Santa Fe.  


Creating Global Impact: Social Innovation and Cross-Sector Solutions
Folk Art Market week began with Creating Global Impact: Social Innovation and Cross-Sector Solutions, a discussion among thought-leaders and international figures who embrace IFAA’s mission. The event was generously sponsored by the Thornburg Foundation, IFAA Director Jane Reid, and the Lensic Performing Arts Center, with a special thanks to the Santa Fe Community Foundation. Speakers included Honorary Chair for 2017 International Folk Art Market | Santa Fe and world renowned trend forecaster, and one of TIME Magazine’s 25 Most Influential People in Fashion, Lidewij Edelkoort; Kim Meredith, publisher, Stanford Social Innovation Review, and founding director, Stanford Center for Philanthropy & Civil Society; Nat Sloane, England Chair, Big Lottery Fund, venture capitalist recently honored as a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for service to venture philanthropy and social investment; Dr. Diana Wells, President, Ashoka: Innovators for the Public, the largest global network of social entrepreneurs; Somporn Intaraprayong 2017 IFAM | Santa Fe textile artist from Thailand.

Mentor to Market and IFAA Artist Conference
We welcomed 48 first-time Market artists at our Mentor to Market Programs (M2M), which provided business and marketing workshops, hands-on skill building, peer-to-peer learning, and long-term support for folk artists.

“What an opportunity this is for me to come to this beautiful city so full of kind and friendly people. I am loving this chance to share my story, and a window into the daily life of my town, with not just Americans, but my fellow artists from all over the world. I now know how to say “Namaste,” to the booth next door, and to wish my colleagues good luck in several languages.” Leandro Gómez Quintero, Cuba, first-time Market Artist.

Additionally, the IFAA Artist Conference, which combined the Artist Resource Fair with a host of training workshops for first-time and veteran artists alike, was an unequivocal success in providing artists crucial resources and support to succeed and participate more effectively in the global marketplace.

Community Celebration: Folk Artist Demonstrations & Walking Tour–Artist Procession and Concert
Prior to the Community Celebration Artist Procession and Concert, seven Downtown Business Partners hosted the second annual Folk Artist Demonstrations & Walking Tour. From back strap loom weaving to ceramics being thrown on a pottery wheel, artists kept rapt audiences as they demonstrated their experience and traditional techniques that exemplified the breathe of artistic representation at IFAM | Santa Fe. Participant artists and businesses included: Collected Works Bookstore & Coffeehouse with artist Manisha Mishra, India; Malouf on the Plaza with artists Tarek Abdelhay Hafez Abouelenin and Ekramy Hanafy Ahmed Mahmoud, from Tentmakers of Cairo, Egypt; Rocki Gorman Gallery with Karim Oukid Ouksel, Algeria; Seret & Sons with artists Rustam Usmanov and Damir Usmanov, Uzbekistan; Shiprock Santa Fe with artist Blaise Cayol, France; Singular Couture with artists Dahyalal Atmaram Kudecha, Somaiya Kala Vidya, India; Workshop & Santa Fe Dry Goods with artist Juana Pumayalli, Centro De Textiles Tradicionales Del Cusco, Peru.

Later that evening, the Artist Procession sponsored by Nance and Ramon Lopez y Familia that began at Cathedral Park was joined by Dragons of the World created in collaboration with Meow Wolf. Additionally, students from Mandela International Magnet School returned this year as Global Youth Ambassadors, participants of a program sponsored by Los Alamos National Bank, and played an integral role in presenting the artists by country. The Community Celebration concluded with dance party and the music of TradiSon from Havana, Cuba.

Opening Night at International Folk Art Market | Santa Fe
There was another spectacular crowd at the Opening Night Party for IFAM | Santa Fe sponsored by Thornburg Investment Management. Guests enjoyed the music of TradiSon, ate delicious food from the Cowgirl Hall of Fame, and enjoyed “Tito’s Blue Bird,” a special cocktail created for Opening Night thanks to sponsor Tito’s Handmade Vodka. And of course there was the shopping and most importantly artist sales. Last year, Friday’s opening totaled $606,000 including product sales, taxes, and donations. This year, product sales alone for Opening Night totaled $720,000! Both Saturday and Sunday Markets enjoyed brimming happy crowds with equally robust artist sales. As mentioned above, weekend sales totaled $3.1 million.

One World Awards Dinner
After a wonderful day at the Market we celebrated at the One World Awards Dinner at the beautiful La Fonda on the Plaza. The class of IFAA Award recipients included:

The Living Tradition Award: Abdullah and Abduljabbar Khatri of India were born into a family of traditional tie-dye artists, but their ancestral lineage with the art form was broken by their great-grandfather. Drawn back toward this traditional Kutchi craft, the brothers took advantage of the knowledge of uncles and cousins, who still make bandhani, to reinvigorate the family business.

Community Impact Award: Sna Jolobil, which means “the weavers house,” was founded about 30 years ago by Pedro Meza, a Tenejapa weaver from Mexico, and Walter “Chip” Morris, who wrote Living Maya. The organization currently includes 800 weavers from 20 Tzotzil and Tzeital indigenous communities in the Mexican state of Chiapas. Sna Jolobil aims to preserve traditional design and technique through the study of historical and ancient textiles. Thanks to sales of their art, members of the cooperative are able to pay for medical needs, school supplies, and more.

Friend of the MarketRecipient: Mayor Javier Gonzales

Global Enterprise and Impact, Recipient: Thornburg Investment Management & Thornburg Foundation

Heart of the Market, Recipient: Melinne Owen & Paul Giguere