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At Burke, empowering women, one baby blanket at a time

An artisan market at the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture will showcase the handicraft of women from around the world who work with artisan cooperatives to empower their communities. Five of the cooperatives have Pacific Northwest ties.

By Hannah Leone

Seattle Times staff reporter

A member of the OckPopTok cooperative of Lao PDR embroidering.

A member of the OckPopTok cooperative of Lao PDR embroidering.

Event preview

‘Empowering Women’ Artisan Market

Demonstrations by artisans from Rwanda, Morocco, Laos, Nepal, India and Bolivia, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Burke Museum, University of Washington, Seattle (206-543-5590 or In conjunction with the “Empowering Women: Artisan Cooperatives that Transform Communities” exhibition, running through Oct. 27.

Katlin Jackson was volunteering at an orphanage in Haiti when she realized how many children were there not because they don’t have parents but because their parents could not afford to keep them.

When Kari Davidson met Jackson at a weekend-long enterprise event in Seattle last winter, the two instantly connected. Jackson’s passion for Haiti and Davidson’s desire to use her design major to improve society blended together to form Haiti Babi, an artisan cooperative with a mission: to give moms jobs so they can keep their children.

The two women decided on a handmade product that someone with relatively low vocation levels could learn to make and that there is a market for in the U.S.

“We came up with the concept of baby blankets because we liked the idea of a mom making a product she could understand,” Davidson said. Continue reading


Morocco’s Fes Festival: Music, mysticism and meaning

Get ready for flamenco guitar, social consciousness and Sufi mystics. The world’s most spiritual music fest kicks off this week.

By CNN Travel staff 3 June, 2013

Uzbekistan's Yuldusz Turdevia Ensemble

Uzbekistan’s Yuldusz Turdevia Ensemble performed at the 2012 Fes Festival in Morocco.

The official goal of Morocco’s annual Fes Festival (June 7-15) “is to harness the arts and spirituality in the service of human and social development, and the relationship between peoples and cultures.”

More than earnest academic discussions, Fes Fest is a blast of music and dance, a raucous gathering of some of the most talented and exotic musicians in the region.

Organizers say between 300,00 and 400,000 are expected to attend this year’s festival.

Titled “Love is My Religion,” the opening night concert is being directed by Spain’s Andre Marin and showcases renowned flamenco vocalists Carmen Linares and La Macanita, legendary flamenco guitarist Paco de Lucia, Morocco’s Amazigh songstress Cherifa and Sephardic singer Francoise Atlan.

American punk priestess Patti Smith is the festival’s closing act.

“Fes is the cultural, intellectual and spiritual cradle of Morocco, so it is significant that this annual festival takes place in the city,” says festival managing director Zebya Rahman.

Fes has been considered Morocco’s intellectual capital for centuries. In addition to the festival, visitors can check out the old medina and Dar Tazi gardens, or relax on Berber rugs and sip mint tea in atmospheric cafes around the city of approximately one million residents.

Fes Festival; June 7-15, 2013; tickets and information available on the festival website; most travelers arrive by rail or plane at Fes–Saïss Airport, located about 10 kilometers outside the city. Airlines that serve the aiport include Air Arabia, Air France, easyJet and Ryanair.