updated 5/20/2011 10:16:44 AM ET 2011-05-20T14:16:44

BALTIMORE, May 20, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- When the concession-run stores in America's national parks are sending thousands of visitors home with mostly Made in China souvenirs, who loses?

"All of us," says Wendy Rosen, a gift industry leader who will travel to the Grand Canyon this Memorial Day Weekend for the first in a series of protests calling on National Park Service concession stores to carry more authentic American-made products.

The event is the kick-off of a national campaign to create jobs for American and tribal small businesses and studios that make gift, art and souvenir products. Artisans and advocates will leaflet from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Friday through Sunday, May 27-29, outside the Bright Angel Gift Shop, at the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park.

"National Park Service concessioners have won the privilege to do business on federal land," Rosen says, "but they have turned their backs on hundreds of American and Native American enterprises that desperately need manufacturing work to sustain families and communities. At a time when unemployment for these entrepreneurs is at a record high, and some tribal unemployment has reached 50 percent, National Park concessions could be creating jobs by putting authentic American-made merchandise on their store shelves."

The demonstration is sponsored by the American Made Alliance and endorsed by the Council for Indigenous Arts and Culture and the Craft Emergency Relief Fund (CERF+). The American Made Alliance is a 501(c)(6) nonprofit trade association. Founded in 2005, the American Made Alliance engages in advocacy efforts supporting the start-up and growth of micro-enterprises in the professional craft sector. Through its campaigns, projects and partnerships, the American Made Alliance strives to open new market opportunities for American-made products; preserve the authenticity of American-made goods; prevent fraud regarding country of origin; and inform legislators and consumers about the importance of and economic impact of supporting American-made products and their producers.

For rally and campaign details: See www.americanmadealliance.org or send e-mail to AmericanMade@rosengrp.com.

MEDIA CONTACTS:  Wendy Rosen, founder, American Made Alliance, americanmade@rosengrp.com or call 800.432.7238.  Jean Thompson, communications director, at jeant@rosengrp.com, or call 800.432.7238, ext. 218, or cell 443.845.6130.

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http://www.cisionwire.com/the-rosen-group/r/demand-american-made--campaign-to-launch-at-the-grand-canyon,g9125388

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