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Judy Espinar, Creative Director for the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market, founded the idea of the Opening Night Ceremony of the Market. 

In 2009, Judy asked Suby Bowden and Jackie M. to assist with the performance quality of that evening. The primary additions to that evening were "Human Stanchions" and the remarkable musician Jefferson Voorhees, who singlehandedly played the unique music of each of the 52 countries, as they were announced and greeted.


For the next five years, Suby Bowden, Gayla Bechtol, Judy Espinar and Jefferson Voorhees planned, coordinated and implemented a significantly different event.


When it began in 2009, the event was offered to those who paid for Opening Night tickets up on "Museum Hill" to witness the Artists from all over the world, and to purchase their arts.  


But for the following five years, the Event was moved to the "Santa Fe Railyard", conceived as a "free event" given to the Community, as a Community Celebration, so both the Artists and the Citizens from all over the World could meet and greet each other, and share through food, music, dancing and costume, storytelling and discussion.


In the process, the Celebration changed from 2009 with about 300 people witnessing the 150 Artists... to the 2013 event with about 6000 people meeting and greeting with 311 Artists from 57 countries around the World in full costume.


In 2013, Gayla and Suby and Judy, with Laureen Peppersack, Cheryl Busch, Jeff Gonzales, Jefferson Voorhees, Danny Bittker, Neil Copperman, Roc Bowden, Leonor Ritchie, Sunil Sakhalkar, Julia Wirick, Marisol Navas Sacasa, Brian Graves, Valerie Baugh, Mig Castillo, Jorge Melendez, Bob Smith,  .... with a Team of 635 volunteers , staff and artists erected the site, put on the event, and took it down again in a two day period.  


In the late afternoon, 12 different musical events preceeded two different nightime dance bands.  Artists produced their arts on site, storytelling occurred, Japanese kites were flown with  the children, and there were 12 different international food vendors.  All of the event was coordinated with the Santa Fe trains so thousands could come to, and go from, the event by train.


The Community Celebration is   considered one of the major highlights of the Folk Market Weekend.

Copyright 2023 Suby Bowden + Associates

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