Laos is one of the most ethnically diverse countries in Southeast Asia, but most visitors, and locals themselves, are not aware of this. Additionally, uncontrolled or poorly managed tourism and a rapid influx of new wealth often weaken community ties. As a result, rural ethnic groups have turned from practicing their traditional arts and skills to seeking alternative ways to generate income, often missing opportunities to promote and transmit their culture.
In order to prevent the irretrievable loss of this knowledge among the most vulnerable populations, we provide new markets for ethnic minority handicrafts, a way to document their traditional knowledge, and diversity education programs that promote cultural pride for youth. TAEC is the only museum of its kind in Laos providing wide-ranging programs for communities as well as exhibitions for local and international visitors.
Future generations of Lao people will gain increased access, understanding, and appreciation of traditional crafts and knowledge. The heritage and textile sectors in Laos will grow and provide sustainable income alternatives. Cultural and artisanal heritage in Laos will be preserved and promoted.