TSA President’s Letter May/June 2021
Dear TSA Members,
This is my first letter as President of TSA, and I must begin by thanking the colleagues who have supported me in the transition to this role. In particular, Past President Lisa Kriner, and Executive Director Caroline Charuk have played an essential role in keeping me on task and up to date. I am also thankful for the partnership of Vice President/President-Elect Karen Hampton. As the size and cultural diversity of the Board increases, my most important task is to facilitate the positive work of TSA. TSA’s future is not driven by my vision, it is dependent on the vision and needs of you, the members.
So many superlatives have been used to describe the past year since the pandemic began here in the US in March of 2020: extraordinary, devastating, unprecedented, to name a few. The pandemic and the murder of George Floyd have sharpened our focus on equity and inclusion in our work. TSA has committed to work toward a better understanding of systemic racism, and we are dedicated to becoming a more equitable organization.
Lisa Kriner has reported some of our initiatives to meet these challenges in her reports over the past year, and I will reiterate them here: The Board intends to continue working with artEquity and explore further training for the full Board. ArtEquity is an organization that specializes in training and consulting services to art organizations that want to create and sustain a culture of equity and inclusion (https://www.artequity.org/).
The programming committee, led by Director of Programs Lee Talbot, formerly assisted by Robin Muller and currently by Caroline Kipp, has risen to the challenge of our lives online. They quickly and gracefully transitioned to online programming, creating both exclusive TSA content as well as partnering with museums such as the George Washington University Museum/The Textile Museum for the ongoing series, Contemporary Voices, which will resume this fall.
Several Board members have also initiated creatives solutions for maintaining and nourishing our community virtually, and we now have five Affinity Groups (https://textilesocietyofamerica.org/programs/affinity-groups). From “The Craft Economy” to “Textiles x Science,” collegial conversations and ideas are shared as these groups meet periodically and are open to anyone interested.
The communications team, led by Director of Communications Wendy Roberts, is a model of organization and efficiency. They maximize the capabilities of the website, and under social media coordinator, Ayaka Sano, effectively doubled our social media audience. Last month we bid a fond farewell to Ayaka, and look forward to welcoming a new director of social media soon.
I have named just a few of the dedicated volunteer Board members who give so much of their time and effort to TSA.
With my thanks and best wishes,
TSA President, 2020-2022