Santa Fe’s Summer Markets are a Go!
Santa Fe’s three biggest cultural markets announced they will be held in person this summer, bringing a much-needed influx of tourist dollars and inspiring hope that things might just be getting back to normal. KUNM’s Zélie Pollon has more.
KUNM: The International Folk Art Market, Native American Art Market and the Spanish Traditional markets together bring t10s of 1000s of people to Santa Fe each year and millions of dollars in revenue for individual artists and for the city of Santa Fe. So not having a market last year had economic repercussions both near and far, particularly for craftspeople. Stuart Ashman is CEO of the International Folk Art Market,
STUART ASHMAN: We did have a very difficult year, the artists really were struggling because not only did not have the market, but they also didn't have any tourism or customers in their home countries.
KUNM: Ashman said most years the artists for the folk art market take home an average of $14,000. That's well over a year salary in many developing countries. So to help offset the loss during this pandemic year, the market raised funds to purchase pieces at retail value for more than 100 artists then auction those items off.
STUART ASHMAN: So the donations went twice as far because first they money went directly to the artist. And second, when we sold them, they helped support the organization.
KUNM: The Santa Fe Indian market also had some adaptive successes even while COVID hit native populations disproportionately.
KIM PEONE: We definitely have seen the devastation of what COVID has done right. That's why as Executive Director kampioen whether that's people who have lost everything in reference to not even being able to be at markets. There was a large number of artists who pivoted with us last year and created websites and really got involved with social media.
KUNM: Peone said when they started promoting the artists virtually there were only 77 surveyed who had websites. But by the end of August last year, that number had grown to more than 450 artists.
KIM PEONE: So it was it was a positive encounter with most of the artists who went went online.
KUNM: Not all organizations were able to transition as well to a virtual platform, the traditional Hispanic market was not able to leverage virtual sales due to a small staff and budget. But the market did have the benefit of their ongoing physical presence on museum Hill. Yvonne Gillespie is finance and logistics director for the Spanish colonial art society, which runs the traditional market. She says that maintaining some kind of presence for these markets is essential not only for the financial Lifeline it represents. But to preserve and promote self Western cultures.
YVONNE GILLESPIE: This is a heritage event and collectors come because it showcases our living artists whose art represent their expressions of faith. They're drawing from cultural influences that are very unique to our region. These traditions go back as far as 400 years.
KUNM: Another key to all of these markets has Gillespie is to inspire young people to carry on the artistic traditions and a level of craftsmanship often in danger of extinction.
YVONNE GILLESPIE: The youth are mentored by market artists to preserve and promote the traditional art forms. We want them to be able to see that they could actually be able to sell these pieces and have it continue to spread throughout our community and beyond.
KUNM: The markets will each be a bit different this year with some details still to be worked out depending on required COVID protocols at the time of the event. For example, some events will require tickets and timed entry can be on says the Indian market like the other markets is working directly with the city.
KIM PEONE: We will just adhere to where the state is in reference to COVID safe practices and incorporate those accordingly. So that people feel safe in that environment and are able to participate.
KUNM: The main thing, said Peone, is that they will be able to hold an in person market once again. And for that she and the other market organizers are extremely happy.
KIM PEONE: We are excited to be able to come back to community we miss our family and our friends. And we look forward to seeing those who are willing to come and join us and we're excited about this time
KUNM: For KUNM I’m Zélie Pollon.
-International Folk Art Market, IFAM, https://folkartmarket.org/
July 7 – July 18, 2021, Museum Hill
-Southwest Association for Indian Arts, SWAIA, https://swaia.org/
August 21-22, 2021, Santa Fe Plaza
-Traditional Spanish Market and Contemporary Hispanic Market, https://www.spanishcolonial.org/
July 24, 2021 –July 25, 2021, Santa Fe Plaza