The Working World of Women

18 Aug

New Mexico programs are helping women find ways to support themselves and learn skills.

Festival Helps Women Artisans Gain Self-Sufficiency

According to the New Mexico Business Weekly,

Half the women in New Mexico are struggling to live on less than $10,000 a year.

It’s statistics like those from New Mexico Voices for Children that spurred the New Mexico Women’s Foundation to launch its Women’s Cottage Industries Program in 2001. The nonprofit makes grants to other nonprofits and cooperatives around the state who help women earn money through home-based enterprises…

The Foundation also organizes outlets for the products these women make, such as the Rag Rug Festival and Design Collective, which takes place August 15-17 in Santa Fe at the Stewart Udall Center for Museum Resources on Museum Hill.

The article goes on to state:

“We don’t really care what women make,” said Frieda Arth, producer for the festival. “They can make software, start a writers’ retreat, they can make products, they can make crafts. It doesn’t matter to us. They can build furniture. Whatever they can do to make a living is what we’re interested in.”

The women keep all the proceeds from their sales and the Women’s Foundation also covers the costs of bank and credit card charges. The festival is one of three the Foundation does around the state each year and this one includes about 100 artisans.

Arth said the Foundation’s mission has always been geared toward education and economic development, so this program best exemplifies what the Foundation is all about.

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