Loom Market is a virtual marketplace where traditional artists can sell work, network, and preserve cultural knowledge. It is designed and maintained by the Southwest Folklife Alliance.
How does Loom Market support artists?
Loom Market offers artists a virtual space to sell their artwork, expand their professional community, and access professional development opportunities. Artists do not pay fees or overhead to sell on the site, but are invited to donate one of their art pieces to an annual auction. All funds generated at that auction go directly back into supporting the Loom Investment Fund.
What other services does Loom Market offer artists?
Loom Market offers opportunities for direct sales as well as professional development, helps artists build community with other artists and supporters; facilitates a space for peer-to-peer workshops on topics such as social media, marketing, and photo documentation; helps artists build greater capacity and economic mobility.
How does Loom Market create greater societal equity?
Loom helps us envision a world where:
- Traditional knowledge of a community is respected and supported.
- Artists have access to the tools they need to be successful.
- Support for artists creates a sustained impact in well-being and community resiliency.
- Supporters and donors make sustaining investments in artists and their communities, year-round.
Where does my money go if I support Loom Market?
Your donation enters directly into the Loom Investment Fund. Artists can apply to this fund to gain financial support, professional development, and access to technology or materials, above and beyond their marketplace sales.
When you donate to Loom, you are good company! Loom Market was launched with a one time unrestricted gift from McKenzie Scott. Additional support has been provided by the Arizona Community Foundation, Arizona Commission on the Arts, the Andrew Mellon Foundation, the Kresge Foundation, the City of Tucson, and other people like you who invest in traditional artists, their businesses, and communities. Support Loom Market here.
In 2020, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Southwest Folklife Alliance surveyed traditional artists in Arizona about their immediate and long-term needs. Since they could not meet in person, many said they needed a virtual marketplace and ways to increase their economic mobility. We launched a pilot online market with 10 artists during the Tucson Meet Yourself Folklife Festival (held largely virtually in 2020). All of the artists sold work and many shared interest in their own e-commerce platform. With a generous, one-time gift from McKenzie Scott, SFA was able to create jobs and invest in a team of web-developers, graphic designers, curators, artists, market administrations, and project managers to create Loom Market, a self-sustaining e-commerce site with a crowdsourcing platform. We are grateful for the collective vision and opportunity to support artists in our region.
About the Southwest Folklife Alliance (SFA)
The Southwest Folklife Alliance (SFA) is an affiliate non-profit organization of the University of Arizona, housed within the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. The Jim Griffith Chair in Public Folklore at the Southwest Center and UA School of Anthropology serves as lead curator for SFA programs and activities. We are the Arizona Commission for the Arts‘ designated State Partner for Folk Arts for the National Endowment for the Arts. We also work in partnership with traditional and folklife communities throughout the state.