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Rug Money: How a Group of Maya Women Changed Their Lives through Art and Innovation

Cheryl Conway-Daly & Mary Anne Wise

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Recognizing the dire need for more income-generating opportunities for Maya women in Guatemala, an accomplished American textile artist volunteered to teach one rug-hooking class. What follows is a surprising and heartening story about artistry, creative economies, and how access to opportunity truly does change lives. At the heart of Rug Money is the work of artist Mary Anne Wise and her committed team at Multicolores, the rug-hooking nonprofit they formed in Guatemala. In a moving narrative, Mary Anne describes how she created a curriculum for teaching art and design based on her Maya students' needs and abilities, while honoring their culture, and how they later brought their rugs to the famed International Folk Art Market in Santa Fe to much acclaim and successful sales. Rug Money celebrates the extraordinary achievement of Multicolores in creating community, education, and empowerment. While there was no business plan at the outset, the success of Multicolores serves as a model for how to organize and advance a nonprofit while effecting powerful social change.

Size: 8 1/2" x 11 | 200 color photos & 1 map | 160 pp
ISBN13: 9780999051788

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Mary Anne Wise is a nationally known rug artist and the Vice President of Multicolores. She is also President and cofounder of Cultural Cloth, which represents artisans from developing countries and highlights the value of indigenous textile traditions. Cheryl Conway-Daly spent nearly 20 years as an academic researcher. Her interest in working with grassroots women's empowerment organizations lead her to Guatemala in 2009, where she helped found Multicolores.