Santa Fe International Folk Art Market

RVers from all over the U.S. flock to Santa Fe, New Mexico in the summer, and I think this would be an excellent place to take your Minnesota RV ! It’s a world-renowned art community, and it’s world famous for its summer festivals. But amid the flurry of paint and marble, wool and bronze, one market stands out. It’s the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market, and it’s the one place you can literally take a stroll around the world in a single weekend morning and meet artisans from Kenya to Kyrgyzstan. This year marks the ninth annual Market, and 170 artists from 50 or more countries will exhibit their work. Some of these artists are already recognized in Santa Fe for their extraordinary art, but for others, it will be their first time to leave their home villages. This is what makes the Market unique. After a rigorous selection process, the artists are guided through an experience that can change their lives forever.

One weekend in Santa Fe provides artists the financial ability to radically improve their home communities. Each booth earned an average of $17,300 last year, and for artists from developing countries where the average income is less than $3 per day, that’s big money. Past Market artists have gone home to build schools and houses, and dig wells to provide their villages with clean drinking water.The Market thrives because of its dedicated volunteers, so if you’re one of those people who love to make a difference while you’re on your latest Pleasureland RV road trip, the Market has a place for translators, greeters, booth staff, cashiers, and many more roles.

In Minnesota, much of the folk art has maritime twist that reflects the state’s Great Lakes heritage. And it’s much the same for Zilo Bong, of Vanuatu, whose carvings, drums and flutes capture his island’s fading culture.The Santa Fe International Folk Art Market opens on the evening of July 13 and runs through July 15, 2012 at the beautiful Milner Plaza on Santa Fe’s renowned Museum Hill. The venue offers stunning views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.

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