Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal
The COVID-19 pandemic has shut Santa Fe’s International Folk Art Market, the largest of its kind in the world.
The market’s board of directors canceled the market Tuesday, as it joins the Santa Fe Indian Market, the Traditional Spanish Market and the Native Treasures Market in closing due to the pandemic.
“It became quite evident in the last 10 days it would be impossible,” said Stuart Ashman, IFAM CEO. “Borders were closing; quarantines were required.
“We’re all disappointed, but underlying it all is there’s this disease around the world.”
The July festival would have marked its 17th year on Santa Fe’s Museum Hill.
The market exerts a $13 million impact on the Santa Fe community, including restaurants, hotels, car rentals and shopping. It draws tens of thousands of visitors in a worldwide revenue source for artists. Since its inception, it has generated more than $34 million in revenue, with the majority of the money returning home with the artists.
This year 160 artists from 57 countries were scheduled to attend, with anywhere from 22,000 to 24,000 visitors, Ashman said. Forty percent of the shoppers are from out of state. This year, new artists were expected to come from Iraq and China.
Market organizers are looking at other ways to support the artists, Ashman said.
“One of the ways is to create an online market,” he said. “We’re also asking the artists to make a one-minute video on their phone working in their shops and talking about what (the market) means to them.”
For some artists, the money produced accounts for 80% to 90% of their income, Ashman said. For cooperatives, the estimated figure is from 30% to 40%.
“For all of them, it’s the most significant event of the year,” he said.
All artists accepted into the 2020 market will be automatically accepted into the 2021 event.
The market generates $240,000 in gross receipts taxes.