The International Organization of Folk Art (IOV) has been in existence for 35 years in 2012. In the General Assembly which was held in Volos, ailment Greece in 2007, the presence of the young members inspired the proposal by IOV President Carmen Padilla to initiate the establishment of the IOV Youth. This resulted in the start of a series of Youth Congresses the first of which was hosted by USA in Bountiful, Utah in 2008 under the leadership of Atty. George Frandsen, currently Secretary General of IOV. This was followed by the Second IOV Youth Congress in Nanjing, China in 2010 hosted by IOV China organized by Emma Chen Hoefler, currently Vice President of IOV. Then the Third IOV Youth Congress was organized by IOV Youth in Sweden, headed by Mia Lindgren, in partnership with the National Association of Swedish Handicraft Societies.
All the Congresses were very well attended by the youth participants from different continents.
It was suggested to the IOV Youth that the 2012 congress should focus on handicrafts. This was the most opportune time to hold it in Sweden because the National Association of Swedish Handicraft Societies (NASHS) was celebrating 100 years of its founding.
In this article I will give my impressions on the Third IOV Youth Congress in Sweden.
The event started with the Craft exhibit which was creatively set up with the crafts from all over Sweden set up on wooden leaves attached to poles laid out in many rows which colorfully filled up two big halls of the Stockholm Liljevachs Art Gallery. This was the work of the National Crafts Association of Sweden.
The opening ceremonies started the formalities. Messages were delivered by Anne Ludvigsson, Chair of the NASHS, the Minister of Culture of Sweden and Carmen D. Padilla, President, IOV. Present, too, in behalf of IOV was Vice President Emma Chen Hoefler.
After the opening program of the exhibit the delegates were given time to enjoy and appreciate the exhibit after which they were brought to Tjörn in the Southwestern Coast of Sweden. It was here that the Youth Congress was held for four days.
The program was well laid out by Mia Lindgren and Andreas Sohlberg.
As planned a year before in Stockholm in a meeting between the IOV President and the Secretary General of Swedish Association of Handicrafts Societies the hands-on workshops proved to be of interest to the participants. This gave them the exposure to each other’s crafts and in the process developed an interaction among the group members. Aside from the handicrafts the workshops were devoted to folk dance and music. That, too, was a time for teaching the traditional dances of the countries
The next days were devoted to discussions regarding the need for organizing the Youth and strengthening the networking. The orientation was necessary to inform the youth of the aims of IOV World of which the IOV Youth is a section. This was necessary because the participants had questions regarding the role of the IOV Youth. This would have been useful at the beginning of the sessions but the presentation was given towards the end as planned by Andreas. I thought that situating the participants in the whole organization was important for planning. IOV Youth Commission International Head Olvin Valentin of Puerto Rico joined the Congress via skype for an open forum.
I was very pleased to hear the intelligent, well informed young professionals and saw that they came from diverse NGOs from many countries.
As IOV President, my presence was to provide answers when questions were asked regarding IOV, the history and accomplishments of 36 years of which were not known to many participants.
There was an immediate response from some members to organize on a regional basis. One of the first ones to respond were the Asian participants. The Asian Youth planned their next meeting as a regional group to be hosted in the Philippines by IOV Youth Interim Head Joseph Reyland Viray, a young faculty member of a state university in Manila.
The Congress ended with the Folklore festival, the Midsummer festival with music provided by a professional musician while the participants danced.
I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all the organizers, Mia Lindgren, IOV Youth, in particular, assisted by Andreas and all the officers and members of the National Association of Handicraft Societies headed by Chairman Anne Ludvigsson, Secretary General Kerstin Andersson Åhlin, fundraiser Elisabet Reslegård, Vastarvet, Region Vastra Gotaland, Svenska Postkod Lotteries Kulturstiftelse, the Swedish National Commission for UNESCO, IOV Secretary General George Frandsen who cooperated in behalf of IOV.
The International Organization of Folk Art (IOV) through its President Carmen D. Padilla, Secretary Atty. General George Frandsen and the members of the Executive Board, Vice President, Emma Chen Hoefler, Ali Abdullah Khalifa, Mila Santova, Treasurer Guy Dugal, Board Secretary Rina Lazar, wish to extend their hands in friendship and gratitude to the Swedish organizers for a successful Congress.
By Carmen D. Padilla