Santa Fe International Folk Art Market

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May 3, 2012
To Be Inspired

Photo: David Evans

Market Artist Rebecca Lolosoli is Featured in Nicholas Kristof’s Documentary, Half the Sky

It’s hard to miss Rebecca Lolosoli’s wide, generous smile and the vivid jewelry that covers her like a rainbow. And once you know her story, you’ll never forget her. The beautiful beaded rings, bracelets, necklaces, belts, and headpieces that Lolosoli brings to the Market are made by the semi-nomadic, pastoral Samburu people of northern Kenya, whose women are among the most marginalized groups in the country.

Having escaped her own dangerous domestic situation, Lolosoli founded a village for abused and homeless women. Today Umoja (“unity” in Swahili) is a safe haven where women are educated on issues such as domestic violence, HIV/AIDS, and forced female genital mutilation, and given the opportunity to create sustainable livelihoods. This will be Lolosoli’s fourth year at the Market. As in past years, she will take all of the cooperative’s proceeds from the Market back to her community, where these funds are essential to Umoja’s survival. Rebecca also takes home the knowledge that the Market goers and the Market staff are behind Umoja.

Rebecca and her fellow artists in Umoja are among the remarkable women featured in two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner and New York Times columnist Kristof’s upcoming documentary, Half the Sky, based on his acclaimed book of the same title, which he co-authored with his wife, Sheryl WuDunn. The film, which will air on October 1st and 2nd as a four-hour PBS national and international broadcast event, was shot in ten countries and is full of inspiring, courageous stories about education and economic empowerment for women and girls. The film is nothing short of world-changing, and its message goes straight to the heart of the Market’s mission.

Kristof, who in 2010 was the Market’s first featured speaker at the annual Lensic event that precedes the Market, has said of the Market’s ability to help women in developing countries through support of their artistic enterprises: “This is a very, very healthy way to chip away at poverty globally… It is an asset of the International Folk Art Market that I greatly admire.”

Mark your calendars for October 1st and 2nd.  Our thanks to Nicholas and Sheryl for continuing to bring stories like Rebecca’s to light, and our congratulations to Rebecca. Your courage, leadership, and hope inspire us all.  See the powerful trailer here:

This year’s Lensic event is An Evening with Gayle T. Lemmon on July 11, 2012. For tickets go to Tickets Santa Fe or call the Lensic Box Office: 505-988-1234.

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The Santa Fe International Folk Art Market, a non-profit organization, produces the largest international folk art market in the world, and our success led to Santa Fe’s designation as a UNESCO City of Folk Art.