No Embassy Arts Fair This Season, But Cummings Is Doing One

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The Cummings Africa Foundation (CAF) has announced that on December 3, it will host an innovation and entrepreneurship fair aimed at supporting Liberian innovators and entrepreneurs with their Christmas season sales as well as promoting people who are creating jobs in Liberia’s economy.

The CAF fair couldn’t have come at a better time since the U.S. Embassy, which hosts a biannual art and crafts fair – one around March/April and another in December – recently announced that they “are not able to host the [December] fair this time.”

Hundreds of Liberian creative enterprises look forward to the biannual event – especially the December edition – which empowers local arts and crafts entrepreneurs by staging them before a highly qualified audience, more than any other time during the year.

While the Embassy did not disclose what prompted the decision, Paul Hinshaw, the US Embassy director for public diplomacy, told the Daily Observer’s LIB Life in a phone interview that the Embassy is also trying to transition the fair from being a biannual event to staging it just once a year. He said the Embassy is also hoping to host the fair in conjunction with the local business community.

“A lot of work goes into putting on the arts and crafts fair,” Hinshaw told LIB Life, “and this time we are hoping to partner with local businesses that are interested.”

The Embassy held an earlier edition of the fair on May 7 this year and, according to Hinshaw, there is expected to be a spring edition in 2017, with an attempt to do a December 2017 edition as well. Then, from 2018 onward, the fair would become an annual December event.

Cummings Africa Foundation issued a statement over the weekend announcing that it has stepped in to rescue the local arts and crafts entrepreneurs this December, by hosting a fair of its own through CAF’s innovation and entrepreneurship program.

Hinshaw noted that the CAF fair is in no way tied to the US Embassy’s initiative.

According to the statement from CAF, “The foundation sees this as an opportunity to support job creation in Liberia and to give entrepreneurs a platform to showcase and expose their products. It’s also a great opportunity for a family outing to support
Liberian businesses. There will also be food, African dance, music and drinks for the whole family.”

Cummings Africa Foundation is founded and chaired by Alexander Cummings to uplift Africa and Africans in the areas of Education and Development, Health and Agriculture. Fatu Gbedema is the Country Director in charge of Management and Operations.

The CAF innovation and entrepreneurship fair will be held on Saturday, December 3, 2016, beginning at 10 a.m. at the Cummings Africa Foundation Office on Old Road, by the Swiss Embassy. Anyone interested in participating should call: 0886199985 or 0886038470.

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