The Aspen Institute and U.S. Department of State to Launch Alliance for Artisan Enterprise

Notice to the Press
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
November 23, 2012

The U.S. Department of State will host the formal launch of the Alliance for Artisan Enterprise at the Department’s George C. Marshall Center on Tuesday, November 27th. Representatives from the 24 founding organizations as well as approximately 200 private sector executives, senior government officials, and non-profit organizations will participate in the event.

Hundreds of thousands of people around the world, largely women, participate in the artisan sector. Behind agriculture, artisan activity is the second largest employer and in the developing world, often the primary means of income. However, the value chain for artisan enterprises is fragmented and fraught with barriers that inhibit greater economic value and returns from occurring. To address these challenges, the Aspen Institute is launching the Alliance for Artisan Enterprise, a platform enabling companies, non-profits, governments, and international organizations to collaborate to support and grow artisan enterprises, provide best practice services to the organizations that support them, and to support the broader recognition of the importance of the artisan sector to development, economic growth and preservation of cultural heritage.

The event will take place on Tuesday, November 27th from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and is open to credentialed members of the press. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues, Melanne Verveer and Executive Vice President of Policy and Public Programs, Elliot Gerson for the Aspen Institute, will officially launch the alliance and deliver opening keynote remarks. Following their remarks, members of the Alliance, including west elm, The Wal-mart Inc., USAID, the International Folk Art Market-Santa Fe, and Global Goods Partners will discuss the economic value that artisans provide, critical barriers in the supply chain, areas of opportunity, and innovative collaborations that the alliance will work on to expand market access for artisans globally. The event falls on Fair Tuesday, a response to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, illustrating the power consumers can have in changing the lives of a community by purchasing one fair trade item.

Media may attend the plenary as seating capacity allows. Admittance to the State Department’s Marshall Center, 320 21st St., NW entrance, will be by means of a pre-arranged clearance list. To be placed on this list, please provide your name, title, company or other affiliation if appropriate, valid government-issued ID number (i.e., U.S. Government ID [agency], U.S. military ID [branch], passport [country], or drivers license [state]), date of birth, and citizenship to the Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues and Public Diplomacy by email to no later than 3 p.m. on Nov. 26th.

PRN: 2012/1838