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Smithsonian Folklife Festival 2011

Peace Corps Volunteer Spotlight: Andrew Kuschner

Country of Service: Kyrgyzstan
Sector: Business Development
Time in Country: March 2010-Present

Andrew Kuschner, 23, of Montclair, New Jersey, has been working with local artist Eylina Urakayeva for eight months to develop a cooperative in Kyrgyzstan. He also helps 11 local women and two men in the cooperative Shai-Kesh Kyrgyzstan produce, design, and sell their silk, wool, and felt products. Andrew is a NYU Stern School of Business graduate,

Smithsonian FolkLife Festival: Using a local layering process, Andrew will be creating scarves and bags out of silk and wool with Urakayeva, his counterpart from Kyrgyzstan. They add a liquid mixture to their layered raw materials, which then binds the silk and wool fibers to each other. They press the silk and wool to create their final products.

"It will be very interesting for people to see at the Festival," says Kuschner. "It's fascinating to watch the binding of the silk and the wool for the first time; how the wool fibers stick together. Seeing the final product, it is difficult to believe that all of the work is handmade."

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Last updated Nov 20 2013