2016 Annual Meeting – Here’s what happened!

Visions of Change in Santa Fe, NM  July 8 – 12, 2016

By Linda Temple, from Fall 2016 WARP Newsletter

Thank you to everyone who attended the 2016 Annual Meeting! Your participation helped to make this meeting wonderful! Watch for more information later this fall for our 2017 meeting, planned for Oaxaca, Mexico!

This year’s WARP meeting was as spectacular as always and continued a long tradition of raising awareness of the importance of textile traditions to grassroots economies, exchanging information, mobilizing textile enthusiasts, and creating conversations that result in action (WARP’s purpose statements). And, as if the annual gathering wasn’t interesting enough by itself, this year’s meeting was held in conjunction with the International Folk Art Market | Santa Fe (see https://www.folkartalliance.org/10651-2/ for a summary). Held at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Retreat Center in Santa Fe, NM, the meeting attracted more than 80 registrants from 20 states and three countries (USA, Bolivia, Poland).

Board President Cindy Lair opened the meeting Friday afternoon by introducing Mary Littrell, long-time textile professor at Colorado State University and author of Artisans and Fair Trade: Crafting Development, who provided an introduction to the Market. She heads a committee that helps select artisans to be invited to the Folk Market and has been involved in it for several years. The evening continued with individual introductions, always a meeting highlight.

There was much coming and going, with Saturday and Sunday primarily designated for visiting the Folk Art Market to marvel, to buy, or to volunteer to help one of the more than 180 participating artisans from 60 countries. Evening gatherings provided opportunities to visit, to exchange information about various projects, to share videos, and to show off purchases from the Market. Upcoming issues of the newsletter will highlight some of these projects and artisan stories.

Monday was the big day, with a packed schedule. Christine Eber of Weaving for Justice, based in Las Cruces, NM, gave the keynote address about the work she is doing, particularly with women in Chiapas. Jeanne Simonelli joined her to speak about her work in Chiapas during the Zapatista revolt 20 years ago. Christine (https://anthropology.nmsu.edu/anthropology-faculty/eber/) and Jeanne (http://college.wfu.edu/anthropology/people/jeanne-simonelli) are both anthropologists and have written several books.

In the afternoon, Nilda Callañaupa presented a slide show about the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco (CTTC). She invited us all to Tinkuy 2017 from November 8-11. Marilyn Murphy talked about how ClothRoads has worked with Nilda over the years and is one of the sponsors of Tinkuy.

Linda Ligon introduced Eric Mindling, of Traditions Mexico, who presented a slide show about Oaxaca. His photos and text will be in a book coming out in October, Oaxaca Stories in Cloth: A Book about People, Belonging, Identity, and Adornment (Thrums Books).

The Annual Meeting on Monday afternoon was well attended. The minutes and the financial report from that meeting are on pages 8-10 of the newsletter (mailed week of August 22 to all current WARP members.) Because of all the shopping opportunities at the International Folk Art Market, as well as in Santa Fe itself, there was no Silent Auction held this year. Instead, each Board Member offered a piece of artwork to be raffled at the meeting, which raised $1200. The Live Auction was a raucous affair, as usual. Auctioneer Buttercup (Cindy Lair) and her able assistants, Miss Viola (Kelsey Wiskirchen) and Miss Starla (Katie Simmons), entertained the crowd.