Rug Money - Mary Anne Wise & Cherl Conway-Daly
How a Group of Maya Women Changed Their Lives through Art and Innovation
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.