Rug Money | How a Group of Maya Women Changed Their Lives through Art & Innovation

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At the heart of Rug Money is the work of artist Mary Anne Wise and her committed team at Multicolores, the nonprofit rug-hooking cooperative they formed in Guatemala. Their story is a guide for how to start a nonprofit business while working hand in hand with traditional artisans in developing nations. Through a moving narrative, the authors describe how they built a business framework from within the local culture and created successful teaching strategies that encouraged both artistic advancement as well as personal growth—all while establishing and maintaining their enterprise as a force in the global marketplace. Poignant individual profiles of several of the Maya artists and what participation in the project has meant to them bring the story from economics to heart. Joe Coca’s award-winning photography captures the spirit of the Maya women, their art, and their commitment to one another.


Mary Anne Wise is a nationally recognized weaver, rug hooker, design teacher, and curator. She currently serves as Vice President. She is also President and cofounder of Cultural Cloth, a socially responsible business that sells and promotes the work of women textile artisans from around the world. 

Cheryl Conway-Daly spent nearly twenty years as an academic researcher at universities in Northern Ireland and England, focusing on economic development and gender and equality when she joined the rug-hooking project in 2013. She helped found Multicolores where she currently serves as Director of Development 

Joe Coca has maintained a studio in Fort Collins, Colorado, for the past 35 years, but his work has taken him to cities and rural areas of five continents. He has photographed people from all walks of life, handcrafted textiles, and other artisan goods. His photography has been featured in over fifty books, earning multiple awards.