AFFA conducts programs of its own all year to promote a greater understanding and appreciation of folk art. It also awards small grants to arts organizations, researchers and educators who share that goal and have creative ideas about unique ways to achieve it. In 2013, AFFA awarded grants to four non-profit organizations who cultivate enthusiasm for folk art.
$800 to Mexic-Arte Museum, Austin, in support of a creative printmaking project during the Museum’s 30th annual Viva la Vida Festival, celebrating el Día de los Muertos. To be held on October 19, 2013, this year’s festival will honor the 100th anniversary of the death of José Guadalupe Posada, whose famous calaveras (bodacious skeletons of men, women, and animals) are always much in the public eye around the Day of the Dead. The work of student printmakers will be reproduced, compiled into small “zines,” and distributed to the public free of charge.
$800 to Feria de Maestros del Arte, Chapala, Jalisco, Mexico, to be used for its 12th annual Feria, a three-day art show featuring both master and up-and-coming folk and indigenous artists who work in Mexican traditional arts. This totally volunteer effort on the shore of Lake Chapala will host a wide variety of artists from all corners of Mexico November 15–17, 2013, giving them a place to sell with no commissions or fees, and enabling them to make personal contact with folk art lovers. Grant funds will be used to spread the word to U.S. aficionados, whose purchases on the spot and orders down the road are key to keeping these traditional arts alive.
$500 to Indigenous Cultures Institute, San Marcos, to provide four statewide lectures in August and October 2013 to explain the spiritual significance of the 4,000-year-old “White Shaman” rock art paintings. In addition, at the Sacred Springs Powwow on October 5, 2013, there will be an exhibit of photos of the paintings and hourly lectures, inside a 32-foot teepee.
$500 to Puerto Rican Folkloric Dance, Austin, for a two-phase project with sought-after music director, arranger, and respected musician, Orlando Laureano. Phase one, in February and March 2013, involved a workshop on Jíbaro music, history, and folklore. Phase 2 culminated on June 18–24 with a joint performance by Laureano and PRFDance at the 3rd Annual Salsa & Heritage Festival, where Puerto Rican handicrafts and food were also available.