Iconic photo by Joe Rosenthal showing the raising of the United States flag over Iwo Jima.

Join The Children’s Hour Kids Crew in a field trip to the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market, the largest in the world! Learn what makes something “Folk Art” in conversations with artists from dozens of countries. This episode comes with a Learn-Along guide for use in classrooms.

This episode comes with a hands-on Learn-Along guide which meets and cites US educational content standards for use in the classroom.

The Children’s Hour wanted to learn more about Folk Art, so we took the train, and headed to the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market, an annual summer market and festival held every year in July in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The Folk Art Market is the largest in the world, generating millions of dollars in sales each year for the artisans from around the world.

Before we got to the market, to learn the basics of what Folk Art is, we first chatted with Leslie Fagre, Director of Education at the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe.

Then, we went to the market itself, where we talked with a lot of artists on this show, each willing to share their passion and story behind their art. Thorfin talked with Gasali Adeyemo from Nigeria about his beautiful indigo dyed clothes.

At the same time, we met SIDR Craft from India. They also use a tie-dye method to make their textiles, but in a very different way than Mr. Adeyemo from Nigeria. These Indian fabrics were rich in colors and designs. 

Jo from our Kids Crew met Jabulile Nala, a potter from South Africa. She was eager to share how she makes her exquisite pots with their intricate patterns. Her work is not made in a formal kiln, but on an open fire outside.  

While Jo was learning about Zulu pottery with Ms. Nala, Addie was at another booth meeting artists from Nepal Knotworks, women’s weaving collective, sharing their ancient and intricate weavings from the birthplace of Buddha. Some of these baskets take more than a year to weave. 

The Santa Fe International Folk Art Market had over a 100 vendors from around the world, including Marzena Dłużniewska from Poland. Her nativity scenes are a traditional art of Poland, which she learned from her grandfather. She was at her booth with her daughter, who is also learning the art. 

Addie was drawn to the colorful retablos made by Claudio Jimenez Quispe from Peru. A retablo looks like a little cabinet, and Mr. Quispe explains how the upper level is inspired by the post-colonial theology of Peru, while the lower level reflects the nature based spirituality of the traditional Peruvian people. 

Finally, we were stopped in our tracks when we saw the amazing shoes created by George Kwame Baah from Ghana. Mr. Baah first weaves the kente – or traditional Ghanaian cloth – then he uses shoe forms to create some of the most colorful shoes in the world. 

Folk artisans are everywhere, in every community, including ours. Regionally here in New Mexico, we learned about a family who has been weaving for years in Chimayo, New Mexico. An 8th generation weaver, Armando Ortega met with our producer Katie Stone to help us understand how the weaving tradition in his family connects him with his ancestors.

This episode was recorded by Kids Crew members at the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market in July 2023, along with their families, including Jo, Thorfin, Addie & Andrew. This episode was produced by Katie Stone, our executive producer. We had production help from Eli Henley, Gus Tafoya, and our senior producer, Christina Stella. Lorraine Archibald wrote our curriculum and provided educational oversight.

The Children’s Hour received special support to produce this show from New Mexico Arts, a division of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs, the National Endowment for the Arts. Our thanks to the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market for making this show possible. 

©2023 The Children’s Hour Inc.

Playlist: Folk Art

If I Knew You Were Comin' I'd've Baked a CakeLisa Loeb & The Hollow TreesIf I Knew You Were Comin' I'd've Baked a Cake - Single
Simple ValeBlue Dot SessionsCauldron
Everyone's an ArtistTom KnightThe Classroom Boogie
BazaarFaluFalu's Bazaar
By GracePodington BearInspiring
The Quilt (feat. Red Yarn)SaulPaulBe the Change
Zulu ChantVictor MasandoPlace of Hope
Create Your Own WayGreen Chili Jam BandStarfishing
Paint a Picture, TooHope HarrisPicasso, That's Who! (And So Can You!)
Joy in the RestaurantCrowanderSweet and Joyful
From ScratchCathy Fink & Marcy MarxerDancin' in the Kitchen (feat. The Savoy Family Cajun Band, Cherish the Ladies, Riders In the Sky, Andy Offutt Irwin, Kim Harris, Reggie Harris, Greg Canote & Jere Canote)
Closet InterludeBlue Dot SessionsUnion Hall
Take a Tiny TrainBlue Dot SessionsRay Catcher
Lullaby Sweet Dreams (Piano)Alena SmirnovaMusical Menu
Steady ShipsKetsaSingle: Steady Ships
Pichincha, Familia y AmorWagogoFamilia y Amor
Beauty In EverythingJessica HarperHey, Picasso

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