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Rubia's Executive Director, Catherine Rielly, delivering lecture on “Malian Mudcloth: Cultural Heritage and Survival” at Cary Memorial Library, Lexington, MA.

Rubia's Executive Director, Catherine Rielly, delivering lecture on “Malian Mudcloth: Cultural Heritage and Survival” at Cary Memorial Library, Lexington, MA.

Dear Friends of Rubia,

As the year draws to a close, it’s time to reflect on the past year and give thanks for those who make our work worthwhile. Your support over the years has been vital to our efforts.

In 2018, Rubia increased its support for Malian bogolan artists whose livelihoods were threatened by violent extremism, as Mali’s security situation deteriorated further. This past year 22 peacekeepers were killed In Mali where the peacekeeping force is considered the most dangerous UN operation in the world.  Drought, poverty and an influx of Islamic militants from surrounding countries have contributed to escalating violence.

Terrorism has scared tourists away. Over the past four years, Rubia has commissioned bogolan (mudcloth) and indigo from artists who have lost income from tourism in the ancient city of Segou and UNESCO cultural heritage site of Djenne.

In 2018 Rubia showcased the art of our partners in a presentation and exhibit of bogolan wall hangings, furniture, and clothing in Lexington Massachusetts. The show contrasted the traditional style of Tanti Bogolan Women’s Association with the more contemporary Ndomo Workshop and Conservatory of Natural Dyeing.

Viewers appreciated the beauty of the bogolan and its story:

Stunning fabrics and colors, amazing history and story of renewal.”

Absolutely beautiful—art knows no boundaries.”

Responses to Rubia exhibition at Cary Memorial Library, “Malian Mud Cloth: Cultural Heritage and Survival”

We are grateful to the hundreds of Lexington residents who toured the exhibition, attended the lecture, purchased bogolan and reached out to us after reading our story, “From Mali with Hope.”  

We would like to thank Cary Memorial Library for the opportunity to share Rubia’s Mali connection with our local community and renew our tradition begun in Afghanistan of educating Americans about the places we work.

The support of donors like you has enabled hundreds of women and youth  in Mali and Afghanistan to empower themselves through the sale of their heritage handwork.

If you have not yet made your end of year gift, it’s not too late. There are two days left in 2018 to make a tax-deductible charitable donation to Rubia. If you’ve already donated, thank you.

Please donate to Rubia today.

With gratitude and hope for peace,

Catherine Rielly

Executive Director