This exhibit ran from January 25, 2014, through August 17, 2014, but is now closed.

Women are a powerful force in our global society. They are often the lynchpin in their communities, able to create major change that lifts up themselves and their neighbors. In particular, women artisans have worked together in cooperatives creating folk art that provides income for their families, preserves their cultural heritage, heals the wounds of war and domestic abuse, improves education, and protects their environments.

This striking exhibit, Empowering Women: Artisan Cooperatives that Transform Communities, tells the stories of these women. Created by the Museum of International Folk Art, the exhibit highlights ten grassroots cooperatives from ten different countries: Bolivia, India, Kenya, Lao PDR, Morocco, Nepal, Peru, Rwanda, Swaziland, and South Africa. Each cooperative has a different style of art, a different story, and a different but unforgettable impact on the lives of the women involved in it.

Also, mark your calendar for all the exciting Empowering Women events we are hosting. To receive invitations and information to these events, sign up for our mailing list.


This exhibition has been organized by the Museum of
International Folk Art, Santa Fe, NM and circulated through GuestCurator
Traveling Exhibitions.

A Past Event:

Empowering Women Folk Art Market

July 19-20, 2014, 10 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily

Bring a friend and shop at this two-day artisan market!
You’ll find a world of beautiful goods for sale – jewelry, woven baskets, paintings,
silk scarves, purses, and more. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to meet
amazing artists from across the globe, and to learn the incredible stories
behind the Empowering Women exhibit. 


The women-run cooperatives that will be joining us are:

  • Organizacion Cheque Oitedie Cooperative from Bolivia

  • Ock Pop Tok from Lao PDR

  • Centro de Textiles Tradicionales del Cusco of Peru

  • Gahaya Links from Rwanda

  • La Mega Cooperativa from Ecuador

  • Self Help Enterprises of India

  • 7 Sisters from Kyrgyzstan

  • El Principe de Montealban of Mexico

  • Omba Arts Trust from Namibia

  • Tintsaba Crafts from Swaziland


Empowering Women is generously sponsored by:


                      The Loughridge Family     Judy Wenker

    Walter & Elizabeth Smoyer   Constance Carroll    Abe Ordover & Eleanor Musick    Edie Munk    


Michelle Ciccarelli Lerach   Gary Welch & Rebecca Dickinson Welch


Thank you to members of the Empowering Women Host Committee:

Marla Black

Senior Vice President, Region Manager

Union Bank

Merle Brodie

Co-Chair/Gift Planning Officer

Women Give San Diego/Girl Scouts San Diego

Marjorie Burchett
McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP

Dr. Constance M. Carroll


San Diego Community College District

Marnie Cheney


San Diego Museum of Man

Michelle Ciccarelli Lerach

Carol Clause


Women’s Empowerment International

Linda Corey

Women’s Empowerment Int’l

Julie Corpora

Executive Director, Corporate Communications & Public Relations

Sanford Rose Associates-Toft Group

Mary Dawe


San Diego Museum of Man

Sarah Dawe

Katie Dessent

Rebecca Dickinson Welch


The Donald C. and Elizabeth M. Dickinson Foundation

Stephanie Friedrich


San Diego Museum of Man

Ashley Gardner

Museum Director

Women’s Museum of California

Joyce Gattas

Dean of the College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts

San Diego State University

Kimberly Godwin

Cindy Goodman

Past President

Patrons of the Prado

Jody Greene

Chic CEO and Project X Branding

Leslie Harrington

Director, Donor Experience & Engagement

The San Diego Foundation

Carlee Harmonson

Senior Vice President & Regional Director

The Private Bank, Union Bank

Dr. Christy Hendrickson


Learning Connections

Margaret Iwanaga-Penrose
President & CEO
Union of Pan Asian Communities

Jo Dee C. Jacob
Girl Scouts San Diego

Diana Kutlow
Senior Program Officer
Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice

Deborah Lindholm
Foundation for Women

Judy McDonald
The Parker Foundation

Edie Munk
San Diego Museum of Man

Eleanor Musick

Mary Beth Oblon

Cindy Olmstead
Founder and President
Olmstead Consulting

Kathy Patoff
VP, Community Outreach/Foundation Officer
Corporate Social Resposnibility
Union Bank

Jan Phillips
Livingkindness Foundation

Jenni Prisk
Voices of Women

Johanna S. Schiavoni
Law Office of Johanna S. Schiavoni

Danielle Soto
Flavor Integrations

Andrea Sparrey
Sparrey Consulting Group

Deborah Szekely
Wellness Warrior

Gayle Tauber
Kashi / Women Give San Diego

Robin Toft
President and CEO
Sanford Rose Associates-Toft Group

Mary Walshok
Associate Vice Chancellor for Public Programs and Dean of Extension
University of California San Diego

Stefanie Warren
McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP

Karin Winner