Santa Fe, an El Dorado for folk crafts

For over a decade now, each mid-July the International Folk Art Alliance (IFAA) organizes the International Folk Art Market in Santa Fe, New Mexico USA. It is a market open to the public, taking place on the weekend and bringing together nearly 150 artisans.
Santa Fe is a true paradise for these artisans who come from 80 countries to present the results of several months of work in textile, wood, glass, ceramics, metal and more. Clothes, accessories, home decor: all trades, cultures and approaches coexist, spanning from the most traditional to the most contemporary.
The quality and diversity of the selection is the result of cooperation between several international actors in the artisan market as well as NGOs such as Unesco, a privileged partner of the event. For this occasion, the internationally renowned organization confers several Excellence Awards to support artisans and those around them, thanks to the contributions of various private donors.
The weekend is also a rendezvous for the hundreds of volunteers who participate in the planning and execution of the market. It is especially thanks to this team of volunteers, who interface between artisans and the public with good humor and professionalism, that a true cultural crossroads is created that in turn allows for numerous local cultures and economies to shine in an international market.
During these three days in Santa Fe, thousands of visitors (professional buyers, collectors, and simply amateurs of folk art and craft) travel en masse from the four corners of the United States – and sometimes from much further – and rush in to come participate in the charity evening on Friday night and the two subsequent market days open to the public. It is a good idea to plan well in advance if you wish to purchase pre-sale tickets at the IFAA website, because spots are generally sold out many weeks before the market begins.
In the space of one weekend, each craftsperson typically achieves significant sales, 10% of which goes towards the organization of the market: all of the rest is a windfall that can sometimes be enough to allow people to live and prosper from one year to the next within their many international communities.