Thanks to Doug Pike at the Hometown Weekly paper in Lafayette, CO for this article...
Lafayette artist creating jobs in Africa through textiles trade
By Doug PikeColorado Hometown Weekly
In recent years, Lafayette's Old Town district has undergone an economic Renaissance of sorts, thanks largely to an emphasis on the arts and aesthetics. Since the city established its arts-friendly atmosphere, empty storefronts filled, new restaurants cropped up and jobs have been created.
As a founding member of pARTiculars Art Gallery and Teaching Studio, Old Town Lafayette artist Marissa Perry Saints is one of several local artists at the heart of Lafayette's newly official "creative, diverse, eclectic" identity.
But Perry Saints -- who also serves as a lead artist in Lafayette's Alley Art Amazin' program -- has seen the dramatic affect art can not only have on a local economy, but individual lives.
Perry Saints is the founder of Dsenyo -- a business she considers more of a "social enterprise" with a core mission of using art and textiles to help women and artisians work their way out of poverty. For the past seven years, she has been traveling twice a year to the east African nation of Malawi, working with producers of wax-print fabrics and local tailors to generate several lines of textile products to be sold at more than 80 locations throughout the U.S., Canada and Australia.