Critical Minute- Santa Fe, Are You There?

Every year since 1922, the largest Native American Indian arts market has been open for a week in August. Organized by the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts and located in downtown Sante Fe, the market features more than 1,000 artists exhibiting and selling art. The festival has grown so popular that more than 150,000 people from across the world visit the art fair.  It is also estimated that more than $100 million in revenue is brought to the region.

The growth of Santa Fe Indian Market is a result of Native American interest and public relations efforts over the past twenty-five years. Organizers of the event have invested heavily in the entertainment and comfort of both exhibitors and guests… which has continuously brought word of mouth, print, and television and radio coverage. For instance, in 1970, all 200 artists who showed up were given a booth. By 2002, there were 625 booths and 1,200 artists. Booths now extend up and down streets connecting to Santa Fe’s central plaza.

The total income of the organization rose from $2,554 in 1970 to over one million dollars in 1996… and the arts market draws both international and local visitors, exhibitors and sponsors. These are valuable growth lessons… for any aspiring event.

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