SANTA FE —The International Folk Art Market (IFAM), the world’s largest folk art market, took place in Santa Fe in July with 116 artists from 30 different countries.
Adhering to stringent COVID-safe protocols, IFAM was able to hold a meaningful and safe in-person event for participating artists, the local business community and more than 9,000 attendees.
Compared to market sales in 2019, when IFAM had 21,000 attendees, 2021 brought in 72 percent of the 2019 sales for a total of $2.23 million, with an estimated $186,000 in GRT to the local community.
“We’re beyond grateful to the artists, attendees and local community for their support and cooperation as we held the first market since the onset of COVID,” IFAM CEO Stuart Ashman said. “We thank the State, the City of Santa Fe, our donors, over 800 volunteers, and staff for coming together to provide a highly successful year for the artists.
With less than half of the normal number of attendees due to COVID safety protocols, the 2021 market far exceeded expectations and was an incredible success for IFAM artists and our community. In line with our mission, the IFAM team is particularly proud that well over 80 percent of the sales are being transferred to the artists in their home countries.”
In addition to successful sales and nine artists whose booths completely sold out, IFAM debuted a new payment system this year and provided financial assistance to all first-time Market artists who had previously qualified. To help artists in this trying financial period, IFAM also reduced the costs of artist participation by reducing all booth fees and worked with its hotel partner, The Sage Hotel, to dramatically reduce hotel costs.
“While the numbers speak for themselves, we know that holding the International Folk Art Market in 2021—at a time when everyone is ready for things to return to normal and artists are in dire need of market sales—was the real victory,” added Ashman. “Prior to this year’s market, we worked closely with the New Mexico Department of Health and want to thank the department as well as Dr. Diane Friedman for their commitment to ensuring a safe environment for artists and art lovers. We appreciate the commitment to masking by artists, guests, volunteers, and staff, and look forward to another great year in 2022.”
The 2022 International Folk Art Market will take place the second weekend in July 2022. For more information on IFAM, visit https://folkartmarket.org.
The International Folk Art Market Santa Fe is a non-profit operating in partnership with the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs, Museum of International Folk Art, Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, Museum of New Mexico Foundation and the City of Santa Fe.