Letter from the President

Dear Members and Friends,

As we move through the fall season, I recall the energy present at our recent Symposium and the strong sense of fellowship and community. This opportunity to share knowledge and the creative process brings a renewed sense of purpose to our mission; to continue to advance the field of textile studies, in all its many facets, nationally and internationally.

I particularly enjoyed meeting so many new members of TSA who brought a fresh perspective to the conference. Past President Elena Phipps brilliantly took on the enormous task of organizing this Symposium together with many individuals who have contributed greatly to make this such a successful event. Program Chair Roy Hamilton, Co-host Sharon Takeda, TSA Executive Director Tali Weinberg, Membership Associate Lauren Hartman and Symposium Coordinator Cecilia Anderson worked tirelessly on many aspects of the implementation of this conference, and Board members devoted many volunteer hours towards its success. I thank you all for your extraordinary efforts.

There were over 400 participants at the Symposium from 31 countries; one third of these came from outside of the U.S and Canada. This year for the first time, some of the sessions were videotaped and we are working to make this conference library available on the website soon, so stay tuned!

Retiring Board Members

I thank everyone who has served on the Board this last term for their hard work and commitment. I would like to specially acknowledge those who are stepping down this fall: Gerry Craig, Sarah Fee, Michele Hardy and Ann Svenson, who have each focused their efforts to strengthen Programs, Membership, External Relations and Publications. Pat Hickman’s extended term as Past President has ended and she has stepped down from the Board. We are grateful to her for all she has contributed to TSA. Through her many roles she has given her time generously, working passionately over several years to further the goals of the organization. We are pleased that Pat has agreed to remain involved as Chair of the 2014 R.L. Shep Ethnic Textile Award Committee, along with committee members Cecilia Anderson and Michele Hardy.

Welcome New Board

I welcome the newly elected Board, Vita Plume, Vice President/President-Elect, Wendy Weiss, External Relations Director, and Directors-at-large Ruth Barnes, Rowland Ricketts, Lauren Whitley, Laura Camerlango, and Catharine Ellis. Laura was appointed to replace Dominique Cardon whose position has changed to International Advisor to the Board, a two year non-voting appointment. Catharine Ellis has been appointed to complete the term of Ann Svenson. Ann has stepped down from her position as Internal Relations Director but will remain as TSA Proceedings Editor, a role she has generously fulfilled for the last three symposia, and has done an excellent job. I am pleased to continue to work with Treasurer Maleyne Syracuse, who was appointed in 2013, Secretary Susan Brown, and Directors-at-large Susan Bean, Jill D’Alessandro, and Eulanda Sanders (you can read the bios of new Board Members in this Newsletter). I thank Past President Elena Phipps, who remains on the Board for anoth- er two years, for her inspiring leadership. The organization has undergone major positive and needed transformations during her term; these new initiatives and her dedicated fundraising efforts have left the organization in a strong and vibrant posi- tion. I look forward to working with this able and energetic new Board.

Awards and Scholarships

TSA has a long record of providing awards and scholarships to its membership and we continue working to increase the number of these in the future. For the 2014 Symposium, we supported more speakers, students, new professionals and general members than ever before with partial or full regis- tration fee waivers. This year we awarded 36 scholarships for participation in the 2014 Symposium, and provided finan- cial support to 28 Symposium participants through grants from other foundations and organizations. We honored the achievement and potential of 10 recipients of TSA Awards in LA through fee waivers and monetary awards.

In 2014, TSA awarded scholarships to three people to attend Textiles Close Up programs: Up Close with Peruvian Four- Selvage Cloth at the Fowler Museum, January 13, 2014; Historic and Contemporary African Textiles at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, June 6, 2014; and Treasures of Islamic Textiles and Art in Toronto, November 10-11, 2014. The development of addition- al TSA awards is currently being explored.


Since our last Symposium in 2012, the organization has grown in relevance and, through its members, continues to repre- sent the scope and breadth of the field. We have grown to over 800 members, and have tripled our reach to nearly 3000 readers through new communications tools. We have been working with a number of publishers to provide discounts for our members, and we are pleased to be able to offer a new membership benefit; members will now have the opportunity to opt-in to discount subscriptions for three major textile journals: Hali, Textile: The Journal of Cloth and Culture , and Textile History. Please see further details in this Newsletter.

Symposium 2016

Plans are underway for our 15th biennial Symposium (October 19-23), Crosscurrents: Land, Labor and the Port, which will explore the ways in which textiles shape, and are shaped by, geographical, technological and economic aspects of global dynamics. The Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) will host the con- ference, organized by co-chairs Jessica Smith, Professor in the Fibers department and Susan Falls, Professor of Anthropology in the Liberal Arts Department. The conference will be held in part at the Hyatt Regency Savannah, located on the Savannah River adjacent to Savannah’s historic district, and in part on the beautiful SCAD campus. Mark your calendars and please plan on joining us there in 2016!


For the first time, in November we offered a two-day Textiles Close Up program Treasures of Islamic Textiles & Art in Toronto. Participants visited collections and exhibitions at the Royal Ontario Museum, Textile Museum of Canada, and newly opened Aga Khan Museum and Ismaili Centre. Workshop leaders were ROM Curators Anu Liivandi, Dr. Lisa Golombek, and Dr. Karin Ruehrdantz, TMC Curator Natalia Nekrassova, Senior Conservation Scientist Jenny Poulin (Canadian Conservation Institute) and Conservator Chris Paulocik (ROM). It was an incredible experience to learn and share with this exceptional group of experts and participants! We have an exciting slate of upcoming TCU programs planned for 2015, and you can find more details in this Newsletter.


During the last two years we have achieved significant mile- stones, and as we look ahead to the next two years, TSA is committed to strengthening our infrastructure and financial stability to maintain current activities and enable new initiatives. At our recent Board meeting, I appointed a Fundraising and Development Committee who are working to find ways to increase contributed revenue, by solidifying existing relationships and targeting new funding sources. We are initiating a direct giving campaign at the beginning of December and will communicate to you about TSA organizational goals and financial needs. TSA exists because of the loyalty and enthusiasm of its members, and we appreciate your support to help us achieve our goals.


Roxane Shaughnessy

President, 2014-16