Stuart Ashman, CEO of the International Folk Art Market, one of the largest social entrepreneurship organizations in the world, shares insights and updates in this episode.
Stuart has a long and impressive background as a cultural ambassador. He was the Executive Director & Chief Curator of CCA in Santa Fe; President and CEO of the Museum of Latin American Art; Director of the New Mexico Museum of Art; Executive Director of the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art; and was the Cabinet Secretary of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs. He's also served as Expert Consultant for the United States Peace Corps and serves as Vice-Chair of the Richardson Center for Global Engagement.
Stuart and Melanie talk about the innovative adaptations and creative solutions that had to be instituted at the Market in this pandemic era.
The truth is that, for many of the artists, the Market is their only source of income for the year. And many of the artists support their communities through their art.
As the website states, “artist earnings have exceeded $34 million and impacted more than one million lives in the communities they represent.”
Further, “each of our artists has a story to tell about craft tradition, and a family, village and culture to support.”
Stuart Ashman's response to the importance of art and beauty for a life of happiness and wellbeing may surprise you ... be sure and listen for this in the second half.
The artists of the International Folk Art Market have long held a special place in Melanie's heart. Their enduring dedication to their respective cultures' traditional arts and crafts, the pervasive sense of community support, and the sheer beauty and joy of the myriad offerings shared with the world year after year continue to be a wellspring of inspiration and hope for a better world.