The following is a release from the Silver City Grant County Chamber of Commerce:

WNMU will debut the first Women’s Lecture Series presentation on Tuesday, October 29 at 5:30 p.m. at the Besse-Forward Global Resource Center at Western New Mexico University. The WNMU Women’s Lecture Series mission is to educate, inspire and connect women of all ages and backgrounds through meaningful conversations with remarkable women leaders.

 The first presentation in the series will feature Judith Espinar, Creative Director of the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market and Executive Producer of the award-winning documentary “Silkies of Madagascar.” Espinar will offer a screening of the film, followed by a question & answer session with the audience. WNMU President Dr. Joseph Shepard will provide opening remarks, and a representative from the American Association of University Women is expected to speak.

 The presentation is free. Following the presentation, a reception will be held in the GRC lobby for all attendees. For event information, visit

 Judy Espinar is co-founder and Creative Director of the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market, which provides a venue for master traditional artists to display, demonstrate and sell their work. Last year, the Market showcased 156 artists from 54 countries to more than 19,500 attendees. In 2014, the Market will celebrate 10 years of bringing together hundreds of folk artists from across the globe.

 In 2012, Judy executive produced the documentary film, Silkies of Madagascar, which shares the inspiring story of 90 talented women silk weavers in Madagascar who continue the ancient tradition of weaving with the help of the Peace Corps and the International Folk Market.