From the Desk of Jeff Snell, Chief Executive Officer
June 11, 2015 Update:
Some good news to share about the Nepalese folk artists! First, the beautiful double crossed and knotted handmade rugs from the Yangma Traditional Weavers Cooperative arrived in Santa Fe! IFAA was pleased to assist this endeavor. Now we just need first-time Market artist and cooperative member, Phupu Sherpa, to make it in time for the Market, as she’s waiting on her visa. If not, plans are in place for a representative to sell the rugs on behalf of the cooperative and Phupu – but we’re holding out hope that she’ll arrive safely. You’ll find the rugs in Booth #78.
Second, paper-mache mask and puppet maker, Ujjwal Shrestha, confirmed that he’ll make it to the Market! We’re assisting Ujjwal with travel plans and his artwork has been shipped, expected to arrive in time. This is a remarkable turn of events for Ujjwal, given the time and energy he’s devoted to helping his neighbors post-quake, e.g making eyelets to reinforce canvas tarps so they don’t tear as the monsoon rains set in. Greet Ujjwal in Booth #25.
And finally, before the earthquake hit, the artist group Janakpur Women’s Development Center was making plans to attend International Folk Art Market | Dallas, our wholesale market opportunity at the Dallas Market Center. Communication has been very difficult post-quake, but we know that all members are safe and they’re still working hard to attend; of course, we stand ready to provide assistance. While Janakpur will not be attending the Market in Santa Fe this year, their artwork is found at our online store, IFAM | Online—http://ifamonline.org/collections/janakpur.
Please continue to keep these world-class artists and their respective communities close to your heart. Yes, each Nepalese artist was significantly impacted by the earthquake’s widespread devastation – and, of course, we’ll continue to closely monitor each instance and assist on a case-by-case basis. But even more significant is their shared entrepreneurial spirit and perseverance!
We would do well to learn from Phupu, Ujjwal and Janakpur, and the many other remarkable folk artist-entrepreneurs making a pathway to the world economy and serving as catalysts for positive social change in their home communities.
See you at the Market!
May 14, 2015 Update:
As promised, we continue to pay close attention to the situation in Nepal. After the devastating earthquake on April 25, we heard from the Nepalese artists and groups that all are safe, though some were facing huge hurdles. But following the news on Tuesday, May 12 of another major earthquake, communication is even more challenging. We’ll remain vigilant – special thanks to key staff– regarding the artists’ needs on a case-by-case basis, such as the recent assistance provided to Yangma Carpet Weavers, offsetting shipping costs related to the group’s participation in the Market. As we learn of other needs among the artists, we’ll be as responsive as possible. Please continue to hold the people of Nepal close to your heart.
April 30, 2015
Given the earthquake devastation in Nepal and the heart-breaking circumstances confronting International Folk Art Alliance artists in Nepal, we want to update you on the information we have received to date.
As of April 30, here’s what we know:
Of the three Nepalese artists and groups we’re connected to, we’ve heard from all of them. We’re working diligently to learn further details about their well-being.
But we already know the devastation is hitting home. Ujjwal Shrestha, IFAA artist living in Nepal shared:
“We have been in trouble after the many earthquake with in few days. It is said that there were about 100 earthquake. My home was completely down by this earthquake. I’m staying at army camp. Lots of problem here no electricity, no drinking water around here. Somehow I’m helping my neighboring whose people are still in trap
Now there is scarcity of food, still need tents because there is rain too… No words to explain… If you can help more people get relief from this massive earthquake… all the heritage sites were destroyed… Again earth quake here…”
How are we responding to the current and growing need?
We’re pursuing a two-pronged approach:
- We are encouraging you and all of our supporters to donate to the relief efforts. Click here for a list of trusted relief organizations posted by the New York Times.
- We are also monitoring, on a case-by-case basis, what the needs are of Nepalese artists and how best to extend support, both financially and morally.
Thank you for thinking of artists like Ujjwal Shrestha and other IFAA friends and family as they face huge, life-changing obstacles. We’ll stay in touch with each artist, encouraging them as much as possible while respecting that communication in the weeks ahead will be a challenge.
Thanks for your commitment to IFAA. As always, it’s all about the artists—our friends, colleagues and extended family—and how we can be the positive change in their lives and communities.
With warm regards,
Chief Executive Officer