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International African American Museum seeks vendors to be showcased

Charleston, S.C. – The International African American Museum (IAAM) has launched its Vendor Showcase Program to identify 10 local artisans to share their wares at the IAAM gift shop. The new annual initiative will spotlight and elevate the creative talents of area vendors while fostering a vibrant network of support and collaboration designed to boost each vendor’s entrepreneurial and artistic endeavors. Applications are due May 1 and the 10 selected vendors will be announced June 5, 2024.

In addition to offering display space in the museum gift shop, the objective is to empower vendors, from budding entrepreneurs to seasoned artisans, by equipping them with essential training, resources, and skills necessary for continuous growth and advancement in their craft. Through curated networking opportunities and strategic partnerships, IAAM offers a supportive environment where vendors can connect, collaborate, and learn from one another within the dynamic IAAM community. Program participants will receive comprehensive guidance on best practices and essential requirements for participating as vendors at IAAM and beyond.

Six distinct categories have been identified that represent various facets of artistic expression and cultural heritage:

Jewelry (two finalists): Designers creating jewelry pieces inspired by historical artifacts, cultural motifs, or themes relevant to the museum’s collections.

Apparel and accessories (two finalists): Vendors offering clothing, scarves, hats, and accessories featuring designs or imagery related to the museum’s exhibitions or historical periods.

Home decor and gifts (two finalists): Suppliers providing home decor items, decorative objects, and unique gifts inspired by art, history, or cultural heritage.

Toys and games (two finalists): Vendors offering educational toys, games, and activities for children and families inspired by the museum’s exhibitions or historical topics.

Fine art (one finalist): Artisans specializing in various mediums whose work features designs or themes inspired by museum collections or cultural heritage.

Beauty and wellness (one finalist): Artisans creating handmade soaps, skincare products, fragrances, and wellness items using natural ingredients inspired by themes of beauty, health, or self-care.

Local vendors interested in participating in IAAM’s Vendor Showcase Program are encouraged to submit their applications online by May 1, 2024. Applicants should ensure that their products align with the product selection criteria outlined by IAAM. For detailed information on the program and to apply, please visit the Vendor Showcase Application Portal.

The International African American Museum (IAAM) explores the history, culture, and impact of the African American journey on Charleston, the nation, and the world, shining light and sharing stories of the diverse journeys, origin, and achievements of descendants of the African Diaspora. Across eleven galleries and a memorial garden with art, objects, artifacts, and multi-media interaction, IAAM is a champion of authentic, empathetic storytelling of American history. As a result, the museum will stand as one of the nation’s newest platforms for the disruption of institutionalized racism as it evolves today. The mission of IAAM is to honor the untold stories of the African American journey at the historically sacred site of Gadsden’s Wharf and beyond. For more information, please visit iaamuseum.org.

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