Dear Cultural Survival Community,
As we celebrate the Spring Equinox, we want to acknowledge our hopes for new growth during the dark times of the pandemic. We give thanks for your ongoing support and interest in learning and shopping from Indigenous artists. You, our community, help sustain vital cultural heritage via arts and crafts for Indigenous artisans. Art-making as a livelihood relies on art-buying, and at this unusual time in history we are sincerely concerned for the thousands of Indigenous artists who benefit from, and rely on, selling art at the Cultural Survival Bazaars each year.
The pandemic has deeply impacted the livelihoods of our artist partners and other Indigenous artisans throughout the world. In attempts to continue to support them in a way that also puts their physical health and safety first, we created the Indigenous Boutique, and pivoted to an online market to showcase our artist partners' work and brought in over $11,000 of sales for artists, compared to the normal $500,000+ Cultural Survival generates from our in-person Bazaars. The Indigenous Boutique that was launched in December 2020 is now closed, but vendors will continue selling from their own online platforms and our year-round directory of vendors at bazaar.cs.org will remain accessible and continue to grow for your shopping pleasure.
The Bazaar Program is a longstanding tradition and program for Cultural Survival, and an essential part of our community. This year, in place of marketing Indigenous-made items for sale, we are amplifying Indigenous artists’ voices, through the regular production of artist spotlight articles (click here for the new CSQ spotlight on Eva Vasquez Clemente), and our newest venture, podcast episodes! Our pilot artist podcast series, Hecho A Mano, will be in Spanish only, but stay tuned for future podcast series that will be available in other languages. Furthermore, we will continue to provide in-house support for vendors which includes engaging vendors in conversations about the specific needs of the artists they represent, and how COVID-19 is impacting their communities. We are leading efforts to gather this information as part of Cultural Survival’s overall informed COVID-19 response and identify ways alongside our partners to respond to their needs.
As we embark on a second year of this global pandemic, we have decided to postpone all in-person Bazaars in 2021 since COVID-19 is still spiking in some areas of the world and travel restrictions into the U.S. continue to fluctuate. Our team at large has been responding to COVID-19 in a variety of ways.
Our goal is to reopen the in-person Bazaars in summer 2022, but will continue to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and will keep our community updated on these plans. Our jury application process will remain open as we welcome new artist members to the Bazaar community in anticipation of our re-opening!
We thank you for your ongoing support and efforts to uplift Indigenous artists worldwide.
The Cultural Survival Team
P.S. If you’re a fan and long-time supporter of Cultural Survival’s Bazaars and interested in offering support to Indigenous artists directly during the pandemic, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Our efforts have more impact when we are able to partner together.