Santa Fe International Folk Art Market

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UNESCO Award of Excellence Program

The Award of Excellence (formerly known as Seal of Excellence for Handicrafts) is the UNESCO flagship program for handicrafts, and a part of UNESCO’s Division of Cultural Expressions and Creative Industries.

Its objectives are

  • to provide market opportunities to ensure sustainability of handcraft industries
  • to establish rigorous standards of excellence for handicrafts
  • to encourage innovation
  • to offer training and support services.

“The handicraft sector plays an increasingly significant role in local economic development and poverty eradication, as new market opportunities help establish sustainable livelihoods,” says Mr. Richard Engelhardt, Regional Advisor for Culture, UNESCO Bangkok. “The Award also provides a credible quality control mechanism which assures buyers that products receiving the award are culturally authentic and have been manufactured in a socially-responsible manner with respect for the environment.”

Background to the Award

The Award of Excellence Handicrafts programme originated in Southeast Asia through a partnership between the ASEAN Handicraft Promotion and Development Association (AHPADA) and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

The successful implementation of the Award of Excellence in Brunei, Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam has prompted further expansion throughout the rest of Asia.  More information is available on the UNESCO Award of Excellence website.

Reviewing Submissions

imageThe panel of judges and experts in design, marketing and handicraft production review submissions across a variety of craft categories; from jewelry and musical instruments to household decorations, toys and games.

Each craft is reviewed according to six key criteria:

  • excellence
  • authenticity
  • innovation
  • eco-friendliness
  • marketability
  • social responsibility.

According to Surapee Rojanavongse, Honorary President of AHPADA, “the rigorous standards set by the programme assist in export promotion, while the focus on innovation ensures the crafts remain relevant, valuable and marketable in modern life.”

Award of Excellence Booths at the Folk Art Market

There will be 3 Award of Excellence of Excellence Booths at the 2010 Santa Fe International Folk Art Market.  Representing participation in the Award of Excellence program by the three organizations listed below:

South Asian Region Countries (SARC), Representative: Manjari Nirula Vice President of Craft Council of India.  Representing work from the following countries: India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal

AHPADA ASEAN Handicraft promotion and Development Association, Representative: Edric Ong.  Representing work from the following countries: Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, Philippines, Mongolia, Korea, and China

Central Asia Crafts Support Association, Representative: Roza Zhussapova, President, CACSA, Kazakhstan.  Representing work from the following countries: Uzbekistan, Kyrgystan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Kazahkstan

In addition, below are listed 13 additional artists participating in the Market who have received the AWARD in the past:

Recipients from South Asia

Bashir Ahmad Jan, Weaving and Embroidery – India

Abdullah Mohamedhussain Khatri, Tie and dye (bandhani) – India

Siju Shamji Vishram, Weaving – India

Ghulam Sarwar, Truck Art – Pakistan

Recipients from Southeast Asia

Bangie Anak Embol, Basket Weaving – Malaysia

Nancy Anak Ngali, Weaving – Malaysia

Recipients from Central Asia

Serzhan Bashirov, Jewelry – Kazakhstan

imageErkebu Djumagulova, Felt Work – Kyrgyzstan

Rustam Usmanov, Blue Rishtan Ceramic Pottery – Uzbekistan

Fatullo Kendjaev, Silk and Wool Natural Dyed Carpets – Uzbekistan

Zarina Kendjaeva, Suzani Embroidered Textiles on Silk and Cotton – Uzbekistan

Rasuljon Mirzaahmedov, Hand Woven Ikat – Uzbekistan

Recipients from Latin America

Alba Rosa Sepúlveda Tapia, Weaving (Horse Hair) – Chile

UNESCO is hoping to raise awareness among buyers about quality crafts through the involvement of the Award of Excellence Program at the Market.

Vanessa Achilles of UNESCO stated, “UNESCO wishes to thank the Santa Fe Folk Art Market for offering a unique platform to raise awareness about quality Asian crafts while providing new market opportunities and experiences for artisans.”

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.