Artisans and Filmmakers

Our time together at TEDWomen is highlighted by two extraordinary initiatives from creators around the world. On opening night, the Alliance for Artisan has curated a global showcase of designs and products produced by women to benefit their communities. And throughout our MainStage program, we'll be featuring a curated selection of short films directed by women, curated by Chicken & Egg Pictures, a collective supporting women filmmakers, and funded by Lifetime.


Sarah Mutesi Ban

North American Marketing Manager, Gahaya Links
Inspired by visits to Rwanda where she would see first-hand how handicrafts were helping women lift themselves out of poverty, Sarah Mutesi Ban joined Gahaya Links, a Rwandan handicraft company dedicated to women's economic empowerment through enterprise design. She represents the family collective in the USA, focusing on marketing and sales.

Alisa Roadcup

Executive Director, Heshima Kenya
Alisa Roadcup believes when you empower a girl, you empower an entire community and generations to come. She runs Heshima Kenya, which works to protect and empower refugee children and youth, especially girls, young women, and their children living in Nairobi, Kenya. That empowerment comes in part through the Maisha Collective, an artisan collective of refugee women that makes striking scarves.

Emily Snider

Sales & Strategic Partnerships Coordinator, Heshima Kenya
Emily Snider started as an intern for Heshima Kenya in 2015 and fell in love with its mission to create a community of empowerment and understanding. She found her passion for refugees during her time at Heartland Alliance Refugee & Immigrant Care Services and Sarah's Circle women's shelter.

Anyieth D'Awol

Founder, ROOTS of South Sudan
Anyieth founded the ROOTS Project in 2009 as a model to empower women through a supportive community while preserving cultural diversity through the arts, producing beautiful beadwork that supports women and their families. D'Awol has worked as a consultant researching the cultural, economic and post-conflict drivers of HIV / AIDS in South Sudan

Sherry Runk

ROOTS of South Sudan
Sherry Runk is a retired adult educator who worked for the NY State Center for School Safety, developing strategies to create a positive social and emotional school climate and promoting the rights and dignity of all students. Since 2009, Runk has been a tireless advocate and supporter of the work and women of the ROOTS Project in Juba, South Sudan.

Monica Garry

Founder & Creative Director, Fibre Tibet
Monica is the founder and creative director of Noble Fibre International/Fibre Tibet collection, a social benefit corporation that provides income-generation opportunities for Tibetan nomads and Tibetan, Nepali and Newari weavers and Indian artisans. Fibre Tibet is sold in galleries and boutiques in Europe and the US and through collaborations with DOSA, J. Crew, One King's Lane and ABC Carpet and Home

Rangina Hamidi

Founder & President, Kandahar Treasure
As founder and president of Kandahar Treasure, the first women's private enterprise in Kandahar, Afghanistan, Rangina Hamidi provides life-changing economic opportunity for 300 Afghan women, giving them a for-profit platform for Kandahar's unique embroidery work. She believes women are the critical ingredient to creating permanent and lasting change to Kandahar's long history of violence.

Sughra Husseini

Master Artisan, Turquoise Mountain
Sughra Husseini specializes in miniature painting and illumination work, a laborious process of painting elaborate borders and margins for calligraphic works. Her work is showcased in the exhibit "Turquoise Mountain: Artists Transforming Afghanistan" at the Freer and Sackler Galleries of the Smithsonian. She says: "Making art is a link for me with my past—with my family and with those who went before me. I know that while the body needs food to live, the soul needs art."

Savannah Turley

US Administrator, Turquoise Mountain
Savannah Turley is an administrator supporting Turquoise Mountain's work in the United States. Turley first began working with Turquoise Mountain in 2008 as a high school student; she will complete her undergraduate degree in spring 2017.

Nilda Callanaupa Alvarez

Founder, Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco
Nilda Callanaupa Alvarez is a Quechua weaver and scholar, and the founder of the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco, with a mission to explore and preserve traditional weaving techniques. CTTC supports weavers from highland villages who have revived the ancient weaving traditions that were in danger of dying out. For Andean peoples, losing the ability to weave could mean losing a vital link with their history and culture.

Adela Callanaupa

Weaver, Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco
Adlea is a Quecha weaver and a member of the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco cooperative.

Cecilia Lalanne

Designer, Manos del Uruguay
Cecelia Lalanne is the designer for Manos del Uruguay, designing handknit garments for Manos stores as well as for clients such as Ralph Lauren, Marc Jacobs, Stella McCartney and DKNY. She's had a longtime love affair with wool, and enjoys working with spinners to develop new yarns, and with color technicians to create new dyeing techniques. She is proud to belong to an organization like Manos del Uruguay that enhances and preserves Uruguay's traditional techniques and identity.

Ruth DeGolia

Co-Founder & Executive Director, Mercado Global
Ruth DeGolia has overseen Mercado Global's growth from a small nonprofit working with a dozen artisans in Guatemala's highlands to its recognition as a pioneer in ethical fashion and social enterprise. Mercado Global has connected indigenous Guatemalan artisans to over 300 international retailers and vendors including Anthropologie, Calypso St. Barth, Garnet Hill, goop, J.Crew, and Levi Strauss.

Olga Morales

Cooperative Promoter & Community-Based Training Programs Coordinator, Mercado Global
Based in Guatemala, Olga Morales leads educational programming for Mercado Global's partner cooperatives across the rural highlands, on topics such as women's health, nutrition, leadership and small business management. An indigenous Mayan woman, Olga was a first-generation high school and college student; now she's a community leader and role model for indigenous entrepreneurs.

Paula Mendoza

Founder & Designer, Paula Mendoza
Early in her career, Colombian jewelry designer Paula Mendoza traveled across South America; it was in Peru that she learned the ancient tradition of metal filigree. Now, Mendoza works closely with a workshop in Bogota whose jewelers have mastered their skills through inherited techniques learned from family. Here, she is able to give back to her beloved home country by hiring mainly single mothers and other women in need. (You may have seen their work on Beyoncé, who wore Paula’s jewelry in her video for "XO.")

HRH Princess Tatiana Blatnik

Co-Founder, TRIA ETC
HRH Princess Tatiana pursues her passion for natural and healthy living through her philanthropic and entrepreneurial work. She is co-founder of TRIA ETC, which collaborates with local artisans and artistic minds to create products of unique high-quality craftsmanship that are as much part of the past as they are of the future, celebrating Greece's heritage and new talent.

Showcase Organizers

Peggy Clark

Director, Alliance for Artisan Enterprise
A vice president at the Aspen Institute, and executive director of Aspen Global Health and Development, Peggy Clark has built a career working on poverty alleviation, global health, social enterprise and development finance, identifying and building industries, movements and creative advocacy around key issues of our times. Peggy believes the Alliance can unlock the power and potential of artisan businesses to support millions of families in the developing world in way that respects the uniqueness of people and place.

Katie Drasser

Managing Director, Aspen Global Health and Development
Katie Drasser is the managing director of Aspen Global Health and Development, and director of Aspen in the Bay Area. She led global efforts to address poverty alleviation, human rights, and social justice, including HIV/AIDS treatment strategies in Romania, private health services delivery in Myanmar, and the scale-up of Kenya's national emergency medical system.

Gina Rogari

Program Associate, Alliance for Artisan Enterprise
Gina Rogari leads the day-to-day activities of the Alliance, managing the organization's membership community and communications, and running the Artisan Loan Program and Digital Learning Series. Before joining the Alliance for Artisan Enterprise, Gina helped develop a small artisan business in Peru.

The Alliance for Artisan Enterprise gratefully acknowledges the support of members of the Artisan Partners' Circle including the Weissberg Foundation, Suzanne LaFetra, and Lindblad Expeditions. We also extend thanks to Artisan Partner Circle Members who provided artisan scholarships including Abigail Disney, The Aspen Institute, Ricardo Salinas Scholarship Foundation and Lynda Weinman.

The support of these donors has made the TEDWomen Global Showcase possible.


In partnership with Lifetime’s ground-breaking initiative Broad Focus, dedicated to increasing the number of women directors, writers and producers, Chicken & Egg Pictures and Lifetime are proud to present the work of five documentary filmmakers as examples of today’s best and most innovative storytelling.

Chicken & Egg Pictures

Chicken & Egg Pictures is a nonprofit film organization that supports women nonfiction filmmakers whose artful and innovative storytelling catalyzes social change. Since its founding in 2005, Chicken & Egg Pictures has supported more than 240 women filmmakers with $4.5 million in grants and more than 5,300 hours of mentorship. Films supported by Chicken & Egg Pictures have won Academy, Emmy and Peabody awards, but more important, have resulted in change for the urgent social issues they address.

Elaine McMillion Sheldon

Elaine McMillion Sheldon is a Peabody-winning documentary filmmaker and media artist. She's the creative director of the Emmy-nominated interactive documentary Hollow and runs "She Does," a weekly podcast that documents creative women's journeys. In 2016, she was awarded the Breakthrough Filmmaker award from Chicken & Egg Pictures. Sheldon has been named one of 50 People Changing The South by Southern Living Magazine, a 2013 Future of Storytelling Fellow, and one of the 25 New Faces of Independent Film by Filmmaker magazine. She's a founding member of All Y'all Southern Documentary Collective.

Grace Lee

Grace Lee directed the Peabody-winning documentary American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs, which Hollywood Reporter called "an entertainingly revealing portrait of the power of a single individual to effect change." The film premiered at the 2013 Los Angeles Film Festival and was broadcast on the PBS series "POV." Her previous documentary The Grace Lee Project was broadcast on Sundance Channel and was called "ridiculously entertaining" by New York magazine. She recently produced two documentaries for PBS: the Emmy-nominated Makers: Women in Politics and Off the Menu: Asian America. As a Women at Sundance Fellow, she is developing a social issue comedy series.

Kristi Jacobson

Kristi Jacobson is an award-winning filmmaker and founder of Catalyst Films. Her latest film, Solitary, an immersive look at life inside a supermax prison, premiered at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival and will be released on HBO in 2017. She has created films for HBO, PBS, ESPN, ABC, the Sundance Channel, A&E, Lifetime and Channel 4/UK. Her films, including American Standoff, Toots and A Place at the Table, reveal her passion for capturing nuanced, intimate and provocative portrayals of individuals and communities. She's a 2016 recipient of Chicken & Egg Pictures’ Breakthrough Filmmaker Award, awarded to 5 nonfiction filmmakers whose artful and innovative storytelling catalyzes social change.

Michèle Stephenson

Filmmaker, artist and author Michèle Stephenson pulls from her Panamanian and Haitian roots and experience as a human rights attorney to tell compelling, personal stories that resonate beyond the margins. Her most recent film, American Promise, was nominated for three Emmys, won the Jury Prize at Sundance, and was selected for the New York Film Festival's Main Slate Program. Shewas recently awarded the Chicken & Egg Pictures Filmmaker Breakthrough Award and is a 2016 Guggenheim Fellow and a Sundance Skoll Storytellers for Change Fellow. Her recent book, Promises Kept, written along with co-authors Joe Brewster and Hilary Beard, won an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work.

Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy

Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy is a two-time Academy Award and Emmy-winning documentary filmmaker. In the past 15 years, she has made more than a dozen multi-award-winning films in over 10 countries around the world. Her films include A Girl in the River, Song of Lahore, Peacekeepers: A Journey of a Thousand Miles and Saving Face. In 2012, Time Magazine included Sharmeen in its annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. In 2013, the Canadian government awarded her a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for her work in the field of documentary films, and the World Economic Forum honored her with a Crystal Award at their annual summit in Davos. She is a TED Senior Fellow. Contact Help Terms of use Privacy policy
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