Santa Fe International Folk Art Market

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History & Partners

The Santa Fe International Folk Art Market was born from a small folk art exhibition, “Focus Folk Art,” at The Clay Angel pottery store in Santa Fe in 2003. Clay Angel owner Judith Espinar and Museum of New Mexico Foundation Executive Director Tom Aageson believed the exhibit’s success would translate to a larger, community-based folk art event.

A brainstorming group was convened, including Museum of International Folk Art Director Joyce Ice, community arts leaders, dedicated folk art dealers, collectors and others. The group developed concepts for a Folk Art Market to support the world’s finest folk artists and educate and entertain Santa Fe residents and visitors alike.

Charlene Cerny, Museum of International Folk Art Director Emerita, Charmay Allred, a committed Santa Fe arts supporter, and Judith Espinar agreed to co-chair the inaugural Market, which was held July 17-18, 2004.

Since then, the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market has grown into the country’s largest venue for authentic, quality international folk art and a major international force in the cultural and economic sustainability of folk artists. Now a major attraction on the city’s cultural calendar, the Market has also spawned an unprecedented corps of community volunteers without whom the Market could not exist.

Partners

The Santa Fe International Folk Art Market works in partnership with the Museum of International Folk Art, the Department of Cultural Affairs, and the Museum of New Mexico Foundation.

Sharing similar missions, the Market serves as one of the Museum of International Folk Art’s major community outreach programs.  The Department of Cultural Affairs provides the Market with the use of Milner Plaza and year-round office space. The Museum of New Mexico Foundation works in partnership with the Market by providing services through the Museum Shop and other administrative services.

Becoming an Independent 501(c)(3) Organization

In the fall of 2006, the organization formed its first Board of Directors with J. Edd Stepp, Jr. as the first Chair of the Board.  The organization received its independent 501(c)(3) status in November 2007.  The Market Board also hired its first full time Executive Director, Charlene Cerny, Director Emerita of the Museum of International Folk Art who for the past eight years served as Director of Advancement at Santa Fe Preparatory School.  New Mexico’s Former First Lady, Barbara Richardson, also served as Honorary Chair in 2010 for the 4th consecutive year.

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.