Support Our canvas™ Small Grants Program

Last year, Aid to Artisans re-launch of its successful Small Grants Program in partnership with canvas™, a retailer of artisan furniture, ceramics, and textiles. Andrew Corrie, founder and owner of canvas™ and a member of the Creative Learning Board of Directors has re-launched the program with a generous donation. In recognition, the program has been renamed the canvas™ Small Grants Program.

In mid-June, the ATA canvas™ Small Grants Committee met to review the numerous applications received. After careful deliberation, the committee awarded grants to six artisan groups/craft producers from Egypt, Kyrgyzstan, Uganda, Zambia, and Macedonia.

Designed to address the economic plight of small or remote groups of qualified artisans, the canvas™ Small Grants program serves a purpose close to ATA’s heart: directly helping artisans around the world. Small grants provide artisans with direct and immediate financial assistance that can lay the groundwork for sustainable incomes for artisans.

Past grants helped build a workshop for a cooperative of eight women and six girls in Mali, West Africa, where they dye locally-made cotton cloth by a traditional method using leaves of the galaman plant. Grants also allowed Bhutanese refugee women in Nepal to buy ten sewing machines and yarn for their fledgling weaving and tailoring program.

Helping artisans like these, in Mali and in Bhutan, is the reason why ATA is reviving the grant program. While named the canvas™ Small Grants Program, the difference it can make is huge, and the need for grants consistently exceeds resources available. ATA is looking to raise more funds for this program, and ATA knows that it can contribute to a bright future for artisans all around the world. ATA hopes that all those wishing to promote artisans in less developed countries will donate to this cause.

Those wishing to be considered for funding should be established artisan groups or cooperatives whose crafts have artistic and cultural significance. Photographs of the craft products are required along with a letter of recommendation from an organization known to ATA. Examples include IFAT, OXFAM, United Nations agencies, Fair Trade Federation, U.S. Peace Corps Volunteers and other international aid organizations.