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The late Dr. (Mrs.) Esther Ocloo

In 1987, Aid To Artisans Inc. (ATA) in US expressed interest to work in Ghana. Holland Millis, the then organization’s primary consultant, had visited the country a decade earlier and found that artisans were abandoning their traditional village-based pottery, basket-making, bead-making, lost-wax casting and weaving, to look for employment in the cities.

ATA staff believed that “Ghanaian crafts used to be both wonderful and available, but have disappeared from the US

market over the past ten years. With a small grant from the Pew Charitable Trusts in 1988, Holland and ATA President Clare Brett Smith conducted a feasibility study that showed “… a craft development program was needed, wanted and likely to be successful.” Inspired by interaction with ATA and based on their advice,  the late Dr. (Mrs.) Esther Ocloo and several other Ghanaians founded Aid to Artisans Ghana (ATAG) in 1989.