Stuart Ashman is CEO of Santa Fe's International Folk Art Market, the world's largest folk art festival. In 2019, the Market celebrates the 16th annual gathering of the world’s master folk artists with over 150 artists from 50 countries.
The Mission of the International Folk Art Market is to create economic opportunities for and with folk artists worldwide who celebrate and preserve folk art traditions. The International Folk Art Market envisions a world that values the dignity and humanity of the handmade, honors timeless cultural traditions, and supports the work of folk artists serving as entrepreneurs and catalysts for positive social change. Since its founding, the International Folk Art Market has generated total sales of over $30 million and impacted an estimated 1.3 million lives worldwide.
Stuart is a cultural ambassador who has worked in the arts for over 30 years. From 2003 -2010, he served as Secretary of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs. He has also held leadership positions at the Center for Contemporary Arts in Santa Fe, the New Mexico Museum of Art and the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art, both in Santa Fe, and the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach, California.
I know you’ll enjoy this conversation with Stuart and a behind-the-scenes look at the world’s biggest folk art market, the evolution of the folk art tradition, and the future of the creative economy—as well as hearing from Stuart about the influences of Cuba, photography and music in his own artistic journey.
For more on the International Folk Art market, visit https://folkartmarket.org/