Guest Author - April Alisa Marquette
Most of you know that I am all for keeping our diverse heritages intact for future generations. As a writer, I feel it is most important to keep ethnic art forms alive. Well wouldn't you know, when I learned of this that I am about to tell you about, I felt it was fate, kismet. I became so excited, because not only will you get to read about it, but you're also invited!
The Santa Fe International Folk Art Market, which celebrates its 8th year in Santa Fe, New Mexico, is a cooperative. Slated to take place in the US July 8 through 10, 2011, it has been touted the largest annual market, and festive weekend of its kind. What I love about it is that it is a charitable organization that allows indigenous artists from all points in the world to have a venue whereby they can showcase and profit from their beautiful, oft times hand-crafted ethnic art. But wait, that's not the biggest part. This international market provides economic empowerment! Now you see why I'm over the moon... because due to this world's fair, the villages and communities where the artists reside, are improved. I love it!
This Folk Art celebration of diverse cultures and traditions is another means of preserving heritages, as seen by thousands of visitors, national and international. This year, a lovely 21 year old woman from India will showcase her intricate embroidery. Having learned this time-honored tradition from her elders; she went on to take classes, and now teaches others. This enables her family's skills to survive for generations, but it also allows for entry into the global market. All of the above also means that these women become empowered, business people!
When you get to the Market, you will meet people and artists from everywhere on the globe. While walking in the sunshine, you may shimmy and sway to world music. While partaking of inviting international cuisine you will be able to peruse sacred art and eye-catching treasures. As you smile at an array of multi-hued diverse ethnic faces and others decked out in regalia from their homelands, you may experience a sense of wholeness, of being at one with the world. The reason for this is because you have helped! Your presence and your purchase(s), you'll remember, will aid others, some from impoverished countries, to sustain themselves. You may even remember that at a prior fair sales of brilliant beaded necklaces aided fearless women in Ecuador to start their own microloan company. The list of these accomplishments is staggering, just awesome.
There are scheduled events and there will be entertainment of all kinds. You can stay nearby if you so desire. You may even become a vendor yourself! (Not this year though.) Tickets that will allow you to experience this event will go on sale May 2nd. Read about it online. Then do plan to attend.
Ethnic Beauties the world over, I will see you there -- and we will make a difference!