World Micro Market has made a name for itself on campus recently for its bi-weekly displays of jewelry, scarves and other goods handmade by artisans from around the world put on display in the Pit.
Tonight, the organization will step even further into the public eye by hosting “Fair Trade Rocks: A Music Benefit Night.”
The free event will feature free food, performances, speakers from Fair Trade Chapel Hill and a wide array of pieces produced by artisans from countries like Mexico, Nicaragua, and Bolivia.
Junior Marie Clements, World Micro Market’s co-president, said that the organization has been wildly successful in the three years since she joined and she hopes to share it with even more UNC students.
“Essentially what we do is buy goods from artisans in developing countries, then bring those goods back here to sell at UNC in the Pit and reinvest 100 percent of that money we make in the artisans,” Clements said.
“Where they are, (the artisans) usually can’t sell their goods for very high prices, so we can bring those goods here and we can charge more for them. Then give the artisans more money for them.”
The benefit concert, Clements said, will hopefully get even more students and artisans involved.
“Our main goal for this event is to raise awareness for World Micro Market,” she said.
“We’re always looking for new artisans. The more UNC students who know about it, and who may already be paying to go abroad and will probably be encountering artisans, the better.”
Junior Erica Villis, an international student from Glasgow of World Micro Market’s fundraising committee, got involved with the group just last semester.
Villis said she worked closely with Patrick Carney and Jeff Hymes of Carolina Creates Music to help select and book the event’s performers. Villis said she is excited to see what people take away from the event.
“This event is like nothing we’re ever done before,” Villis said. “We wanted this to be something where people can come and have a good time but they come away with knowledge about how to get involved in fair trade. We really want to get the word out.”
Villis said that the selected musical set promises to appeal to everyone. The benefit night will feature performers like the UNC Achordants, Tyler Bryant, Aline Martins and Charlotte Parrott.
“We were looking for a wide variety of artists … we were really interested in this being a collaboration,” Villis said.
Sophomore Connor Belson, the organization’s head of social outreach, said he expects the concert to be a fun and entertaining Friday evening for everyone who comes.
“It’s going to have more of a relaxed feel with lights and blankets, and there will be people speaking in between performances,” Belson said.
“People can get as much information out of it as they want, or they can just come and eat free food and listen to music. I think it’ll be a lot of fun.”
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