Friends of Oaxacan Folk Art (FOFA) supports the preservation and promotion of the rich folk art traditions of Oaxaca, Mexico, which historically have been passed on from generation to generation. These traditions are threatened by economic challenges in the region that significantly impact the folk art community.
FOFA’s programs are designed to provide:
Public exposure (both in Mexico and the US) to raise awareness and appreciation of these vibrant art forms;
Encouragement and support to young Oaxacan folk artists (artesanos) to strengthen their identity as artists, innovators, and stewards of ancestral techniques and designs;
Assistance in pursuing and refining their ancestors’ crafts while generating a sustainable livelihood, thus preserving their folk art traditions for generations to come; and
Enhancement of artesanos’ market opportunities through workshops, a directory on FOFA’s website in which they are featured and their contact information provided, assistance in planning folk art-based itineraries in Oaxaca, and folk art sales and other events.
As a 501(c)(3), FOFA does not provide direct financial support to any individual or family, but works through existing organizations (such as the State Museum of Popular Art of Oaxaca) to identify and develop our projects.
Celebrating FOFA's First Decade:
10 years of accomplishments
FOFA was formed in 2007 by a group of American writers, art historians, educators, gallery owners and collectors, united by a common concern for the protection and promotion of Oaxaca’s indigenous folk art traditions. In recent decades, these traditions have faced an uncertain future, with increasing numbers of young Oaxacans seeking more stable livelihoods and migrating from their villages to urban settings. Since FOFA’s founding, our longstanding relationships with many of the area’s folk artists have enabled us to identify specific projects that have proved to be essential and effective. Our frequent visits to the area permit us to oversee project development and administration.
FOFA’s Board of Directors closely collaborates with Maestro Carlomagno Pedro Martínez, an internationally–known Oaxacan ceramicist and graphic artist, who serves as Director of the State Museum of Popular Art of Oaxaca (in Spanish, Museo Estatal de Arte Popular Oaxaca, MEAPO) since its inauguration in 2004. Carlomagno has been instrumental in promoting the artistic work of his fellow creators of popular art.