Images generously shared by 2020 Symposium presenters:
Kibibi Ajanku, Artist in Residence, teaching a workshop on adire to community members at Neighborhood Fiber Co., photo credit Colby Ware; Slide from Kelli Coles’ presentation Schoolgirl Embroideries and Black Girlhood in Antebellum Philadelphia; Ann Peters, Luis Alberto Peña, Lucia Valenzuela and Erika Quispe examine two Andean funerary bundles from about AD900 and AD1450, Museo Regional de Ica, Peru; Artist in Resident Rosa Chang and natural dye farm intern Sienna Kwami at Hidden Harvest Farm, photo credit Colby Ware.
Dear Friends of TSA,
This has been, and continues to be, a challenging year! At the same time, it has been an opportunity for The Textile Society of America to re-think how to best connect with our current members, meet their specific needs, and reach out to new participants. Despite the hardships experienced by so many of us, this year has also given us this moment we might not have had before the pandemic to connect to so many of you.
Your continued financial support is vital to TSA’s continued growth, as we navigate new programs and ways of working. Please consider making a donation during our year-end fundraising campaign, renewing your membership, and inviting others in your professional networks to take part.
Here is a synopsis of 2020’s accomplishments:
- Early on, TSA made the difficult, yet necessary, decision to move all programming online. The Symposium, Hidden Stories, Human Lives was held via Zoom October 15-17, 2020 with 792 participants and it was a huge success. Not only did the excellent research translate to a thoughtful virtual program, the new format also enabled so many more textile enthusiasts around the world to easily participate.
- In response to our members’ need to connect during this time of isolation, TSA has initiated three different Affinity Groups that have met several times with both domestic and international participation. These are focused conversations and resources for participants and include:
- Textiles and Science
- The Craft Economy
- Historic and Ancient Textiles
We plan to introduce new groups and topics in the coming year based on the success of these pilot groups.
- In response to a desire to have a more representative membership, TSA Board of Directors has approved a new membership fee structure. This new structure, a sliding scale, is based on our strong belief in access for all and trust in our members to choose a membership fee based on their circumstances. Please see our membership page for more details.
- Our first virtual Textiles Close Up Program, The Cloth that Changed the World: India’s Painted and Printed Cottons, led by curator Sarah Fee, was held remotely from the Royal Ontario Museum with over 100 participants.
- The TSA Newsletter is now published in an updated, easily shareable format on our website under its new name, TSA News.
- TSA’s board of directors and committees have met regularly using online links, and have updated our policy to allow for virtual attendance by board members in an effort to reduce barriers to participation in TSA’s leadership
We are learning that the digital format is more inclusive. It makes it both easier and more affordable for broader participation. This has caused us to restructure our fee structure for the symposium and membership, making programming and full participation more affordable and accessible to students, young professionals, international members, and members of marginalized identities.
We are so very proud of our accomplishments this year and know that our future is very bright as it rests on a strong foundation of international textile research, art, craft and innovation. We look forward to continuing our work with each and every one of you as we expand our reach through new, forward thinking programming, an expansion in member scope and strong connections between textile disciplines. We all look forward to seeing each other someday soon and sharing textiles in person once again.
Please support your Textile Society of America!
With your generous gift, TSA is able to carry out its mission of providing an international forum for the exchange and dissemination of textile knowledge from artistic, cultural, economic, historical, political, social, and technical perspectives.