The United States of America is the third largest country in the world. ‘The land of the free’ is also the third most populous, and the most diverse country in the world. America owes this diversity to the abundant and continuous waves of immigrants, who have brought their own cultures and traditions to a vast new country. As most of the early settlers were of European origin, the country was distinctly European in customs, arts, music, and cuisine even before becoming an independent nation. However, with the new influx of immigrants from other parts of the world, the U.S. culture is now influenced by Native American, African, Polynesian, and especially Asian and Latin American. These immigrant populations have transformed American society into a truly multicultural and multiethnic mosaic. These many layers of diversity are reflected in the vast variety of artistic styles and hand-craft work. American artisans work with traditional craft materials and processes such as woodworking, textiles, metalworking, glassblowing, ceramics, etc.
FROM THE UNITED STATES: MEET THE ARTISANS
Bright Endeavors lights the way out of poverty for young moms in Chicago, Illinois by teaching these strong women to craft premium products in a supportive, professional environment. Through their paid transitional jobs program, they provide the guidance and job skills young moms need to secure quality employment and achieve a lifetime of personal success.
Founded by the Downtown Women’s Center of Los Angeles, Made by DWC was created to break the cycle of chronic unemployment and homelessness. The products are created by DWC program participants in collaboration with local artists. The product design and development workshops provide the women with social and vocational skills in an empowering environment where women rebuild self-esteem, discover talents, and develop skills.
Prosperity Candle is a social enterprise based in the United States that invests in women entrepreneurs to help end poverty. Candles are the focus of this enterprise because candle making is a business a woman can start and expand in the safety of her own home with local materials, a critical element at times of unrest. This has been the goal of Prosperity Candle since the beginning: to enable women to escape poverty and conflict around the world through entrepreneurship. Every candle purchased helps provide a living wage for the women of Prosperity, who have recently resettled from refugee camps and are working to build a brighter future for themselves and their families in the United States.
GAIA’s mission is to empower marginalized refugee women living in Dallas, Texas through employment, encouragement, and dedication to their long-term success here in the U.S. The refugee women transform vintage and artisan-made textiles into home and and personal accessories, with a focus on sustainability and quality design. Through a living wage and continued training and development, GAIA’s goal is to help lead these resilient women to financial independence and self-sufficiency.