FAQ: General (About the Feria)
What is Mexican folk art?Traditional folk art reflects shared cultural aesthetics and traditions, however, for the purposes of the Feria, traditions are dynamic and traditional folk art can be both reactive to, and innovative for the times.
How long has the Feria been around?The Feria was started in 2002 by an expatriate, Marianne Carlson.
Why was the Feria started?Many different types of Mexican folk art have become extinct because artisans cannot afford to live on what they earn making their art. A venue was needed where artisans could exhibit and sell their work free of any charges in order that they maximize their income from the event.
What sets you apart from other art shows?
We are the only art show where artisans pay absolutely nothing to attend — no booth fees, no percentage of their sales, we pay transportation to and from and find host families where the artist sleeps and eats for the 3 days of the event.
Where is the Feria held?Club de Yates de Chapala (Chapala Yacht Club), Chapala, Jalisco, Mexico right on the shore of Lake Chapala.
Is the Feria non-profit?
Yes, we are a donataria in Mexico and a 501(c)3 corporation in the U.S.
What is the Feria’s mission?
To preserve and promote Mexican folk art. We help preserve these art forms and the culture that produces them by providing the artists a venue to sell their work to galleries, collectors, museums and the public. We promote regional and international awareness to the value of these endangered arts.
What is the Feria’s vision?We envision greater appreciation and expansion of Mexico’s colorful artisan traditions worldwide
by: 1. Fostering education, economic opportunities and cultural sustainability of Mexican folk art; 2. Facilitating greater interest in Jalisco tourism as an artistic and cultural destination; 3. Cooperatively working with the Mexican community – artists, individuals, organizations and government – to expand awareness, knowledge and sales of Mexican folk art.
What has your organization accomplished to date?
Up until 2020 when Covid-19 forced us to cancel the Feria, we had hosted 19 successive Ferias with hundreds of artists from all corners of Mexico who took home every centavo they made at the event. We have impacted the lives of artisans all over Mexico —funds have gone into individual households, funding for school, health, standard of living has been impacted, each artisan has had the experience of traveling to another part of Mexico and meeting other artisans, the cross-cultural experience of being hosted, cooperatives have benefited from a member attending and selling at the Feria, imagine a positive outcome from attending the Feria and it has, most likely, happened.
How do I become a host?Simply send an email to email@example.com and our Host Coordinator will contact you, answer all your questions so you can decide if hosting is a good fit for you.
Does the Feria have a Board of Directors?Yes, as of 2021, there are ten members, some of whom have been on the board for over 15 years.
If I volunteered, what would I do?We have something for everyone. If you want to work off and on during the year, we have projects you could assist on. If you want to only work during the Feria, we need volunteers for that as well. See “How Can I Help”
How many employees does the Feria have?None. All work is done completely by volunteers. The only paid personnel is during the Feria itself when we pay security and parking staff.
Is the Club de Yates de Chapala a working boating club?Yes, boats are garaged at the facility and you may see many sailboats on the lake during their regatta or special occasions.
How does the Feria fund itself?
The only money the Feria raises itself is the price of admission, which pays for rental of the site, table and chairs. All other funds are donated by Patrons such as Los Amigos del Arte Popular, the largest folk-art collecting group in the U.S.; Tajin/Horacio Fernández assists with the cost of the buses rented to bring artisans from Oaxaca, Chiapas and Michoacán; Megacable Guadalajara offers the Feria in-kind advertising; and members of the public who make personal donations. The Feria also sells “Supporter Banners” to local businesses and individuals that are display at the Feria.