The second annual fundraising party for World Market Mondays at the West Tisbury Grange Hall took place Monday evening, July 9. Entrance fees, donations, and the silent auction all raised funds to pay the Grange rental for World Market Mondays, a women’s empowerment and economic development program, thus boosting the amount of money that goes back directly into the African Artists Community Development Project, Haiti PeaceQuilts, Her Future Coalition, and Maasai Partners.
The Grange Hall was filled to the brim with folks milling about exploring the enticing items for the silent auction, as well as sipping drinks and nibbling on hors d’oeuvres. Among the many alluring donated items for the silent auction were a Haitian treats basket, as well as baskets from Alley’s General Store and Olive Branch Fair Trade; a sunset lobster wine and cheese cruise, a handpainted scarf from Laughing Bear, EduComp and Bryn Walker gift certificates, and breakfast for four at the Outermost Inn. These and other auction items and donations all demonstrate the Vineyard community’s strong support for the women’s projects. Elio Silva of Vineyard Grocer, one of the event sponsors, explained that he was happy to donate because it was an immediate way to directly help the Island organizations that were helping and empowering women in need in third-world countries. Chilmark Chocolates, Cronig’s, and MacNelly Cohen Architects were additional generous sponsors.
The hit of the evening was musician and singer-songwriter Isaac Taylor. He held the audience in rapt silence, except for his rendition of “Where Have All the Flowers Gone,” during which everyone sang along.
Explaining the origins of World Market Mondays, Marsha Winsryg, director of African Artists Community Development Project, shared that for the first seven years, it was only her exhibiting at the Grange. “I got really tired of that, and lonely,” and so she decided to do something about it. Winsryg said, “I met Jeanne Staples of the PeaceQuilts organization at a Christmas party several years ago, and we both wondered about ways that we could complement and help each other promote our very similar endeavors. We each work with very economically deprived women in struggling countries, helping them to form small cooperatives that produce marketable products. In her case, quilts; in my case, dolls.” They invited two other women, Judy Lane of Massai Partners, and Dawn Moran of the Invisible World, to join them because of their powerful and impressive initiatives as well. Thus, World Market Mondays was born.
If you missed the fun at the fundraiser, you can browse the beautiful handmade crafts, folk art, quilts, jewelry, dolls, and home products for sale each Monday from 10 am to 5 pm at the Grange Hall throughout the summer, and meet the founders of the programs.
African Artists’ Community Development Project
Marsha Winsryg of the African Artists’ Community Development Project began raising money for disabled children in Livingstone, Zambia, in 2004. Among other income-development initiatives, she has established the Zambezi Doll Co., owned and operated by the mothers of children with disabilities.
Judy Lane founded Maasai Partners in 2011, an organization that funds community development projects in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area of Tanzania. The organization strives to improve access to education and maternal and child health in the communities where it works.
PeaceQuilts, founded by Jeanne Staples in 2007, is a nonprofit economic development project that provides equipment, supplies, training, educational opportunities, and other support to help Haitian women establish small independent sewing cooperatives, so they can earn a living wage to feed their families, improve housing, and educate their children.
The Invisible World
The Invisible World is a collaboration between Dawn Moran, a Woods Hole marine biologist, and Her Future Coalition, which addresses human trafficking prevention, rescue, and recovery in India. The plankton jewelry from this project provides rescued women with high-wage employment, transforming their lives and communities, along with the synergy of ocean awareness.
For more information and to browse items for sale, visit worldmarketmondays.org.