Previous WARP Events

Meet a Member: Fireside Chat with Mari Gray
(WARP Members Only)
Watch Video Recording Here

Our January 2023 Meet a Member Fireside Chat was with WARP Member Mari Gray. Mari was born in Guatemala to a textile artist mother and a photojournalist father. She grew up in Guatemala, Japan, and the US, surrounded by textile beauties from around the world. As a young adult, she moved back to her birth-country and somewhat serendipitously decided to apply her studies and experience in international development alongside her passion for supporting traditional textile arts. Since 2013, Mari has been the primary designer for her small business Kakaw Designs, which began as a direct online sale website. With now so many branches of the “cacao tree,” she multi-tasks from facilitating and guiding textile travel itineraries in Guatemala to organizing custom production for other businesses. She now holds an MSc in Sustainable Development from the University of Graz (Austria) and the University of Utrecht (Netherlands).

Please note: If you would like to watch the video recordings for this program and attend upcoming Meet A Member Fireside Chats, please join WARP here

WARP Member Mari Gray

Los Desconocidos: The Migrant Quilt Project
January 21, 2023
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For centuries, quilting has been used as a way to bring attention to social issues of great significance, such as women’s suffrage. “Los Desconocidos: The Migrant Quilt Project” exhibition, currently on display at the Arizona History Museum, features a collection of handmade quilts that memorialize migrants who have died seeking refuge in the United States. Each quilt carries the names of those who have been identified or simply states “desconocido” or “unknown” for those who have not.

Between October, 1999 and December 2021 Humane Borders collected data on almost 4000 migrant deaths in the Tucson Sector, which emompases 262 linear miles of the Mexico-U.S. border. Human remains that cannot be identified are labeled “unknown” or desconocido/a in Spanish. The Migrant Quilt Project calls attention to the humanity of those who die trying to cross the Mexico-U.S. border—the would-be immigrants whose names and personhood are often missing from abstract conversations about illegal immigration.

This panel was presented by the Arizona Historical Society, who hold the Migrant Quilt Project in their collection. The Arizona Historical Society is proud to serve as the steward of Arizona’s history. The stories of the people, places, and events that have shaped Arizona are told through museum exhibits, programs, events, and outreach. 

Image Courtesy of the Migrant Quilt Project

Continuing Textile Traditions: Indigo Around the World
November 19, 2022
Watch Video Recording Here

Indigo has been used  to dye textiles for thousands of years, spanning cultures and continents. The blue produced by indigo is recognized and beloved worldwide, while the plant processing methods and textile designs produced in various cultures are quite diverse. WARP’s November panel discussion featured contemporary textile artists who work within various indigo traditions.

Gasali Adeyemo was born in the village of Ofatedo, Nigeria. His mother was his first teacher in learning the traditional arts of the Yoruba Tribe, and in 1990 he attended the Nike Center for Arts and Culture, where for 6 years he studied traditional Yoruba batik, adire eleko, tie-dye and indigo. Gasali now travels worldwide teaching and exhibiting his work, sharing the arts and culture of the Yoruba people of Nigeria. Hanga Yoshihara-Horvath is an embroidery artist living in Tokushima Prefecture. She combines age-old Japanese indigo dyeing techniques with the embroidery techniques of her home country, Hungary, to create new fabric designs drawing on tradition. Ignacio Netzahualcoyotl Nava is a Mexican artist and textile craftsman whose work reflects regional iconography and pre-Hispanic symbolism typical of his Contla municipality of Juan Cuamatzi, a Nahua indigenous community in the state of Tlaxcala. Through traditional weaving & dyeing methods, Ignacio demonstrates respectful use of  natural resources, as well as cultural protection of the techniques that have existed in woven serape and other Mexican garments for generations. 

Gasali Adeyemo

Meet a Member: Fireside Chat with Cael Chappell
(WARP Members Only)
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Our November 2022 Meet a Member Fireside Chat was with WARP Board Member Cael Chappell. Cael’s basket making grows from his love of basketry. Seventeen years before weaving his first basket, Cael founded Baskets of Africa, a fair trade verified company committed to economic empowerment for basket weavers from over 20 countries. Traveling across Africa to meet weavers, Cael discovered that basketry is as diverse as it is universal. After years of commitment to the art of basketry and the weavers in Africa, Cael wove his first basket in 2017. He is inspired by global weaving traditions to create his own unique baskets. You can view Cael’s handwoven baskets online here. Cael enjoys working full time on his Baskets of Africa project both to support weavers, and to be able to offer an amazing array of African baskets to collectors around the world.

Please note: If you would like to watch the video recordings for this program and attend upcoming Meet A Member Fireside Chats, please join WARP here

WARP Board Member Cael Chappell

Continuing Textile Traditions: Around the World in 80 Fabrics
October 15, 2022
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Around the World in 80 Fabrics (ATW80F) is a non-profit that weaves people and fibers together for the planet. Through the documentation of sustainable textile practices, ATW80F raises awareness of the environmental, climate, human rights and overall human health impacts of our petroleum-based fast-fashion wardrobes.

Around the World in 80 Fabrics poses the question, ”Can our clothing choices help repair and restore instead of destroy our dwindling natural and cultural resources?” To answer that question, the ATW80F team invites us to join in exploring common and uncommon fiber possibilities and the makers behind them. They are creating an amazing traveling educational quilt of 80 fabrics showcasing the ecology of textiles from throughout the world. From the wisdom of diverse indigenous cultures to cutting edge innovations in recycling and biofabrication, they celebrate the quest for nature-friendly alternatives to fast fashion pollution.

Click the video recording link above to watch this conversation with the ATW80F team: Co-Creators, Tierney Thys and Carroll Dunham, and Outreach Director, Leslie Robertson.

Image Courtesy of ATW80F

Meet a Member: Fireside Chat with Elena Laswick
(WARP Members Only)
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Our October Meet a Member Fireside Chat was with WARP Board Member Elena Laswick. Elena Laswick grew up in Tucson, AZ, on a steady diet of mariachi, beans, folklórico, and Navajo rugs, which developed her sense of belonging somewhere between Latin America and the US and is why she is passionate about textiles, indigenous rights, and cultural preservation. She resides full time in Nebaj, Guatemala where she works with Maya Ixil weavers on small-scale private label design projects in her free time (as Ixil Collective). She also liaises with artisans in different parts of Guatemala and Peru (through a business partner in Cusco), as Amano Marketplace, all while working remotely for Capital Access as a Quality Control Manager, giving out COVID Emergency Rental funding in Pennsylvania.

Please note: If you would like to watch the video recordings for this program and attend upcoming Meet A Member Fireside Chats, please join WARP here

WARP Board Member Elena Laswick

Continuing Textile Traditions: Sustainable Fiber Systems
September 10, 2022
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Over a decade ago, weaver and natural dyer Rebecca Burgess founded Fibershed, a system of regional and regenerative fiber systems that build soil & protect the health of our biosphere. Fibershed has grown into an international movement, and influences every aspect of sustainable textile production, from growing fiber, natural dyeing, local processing and production, and more. Dozens of regional Fibershed groups have sprung up around the US and in several other countries, all sharing this vision of helping independent local producers and artisans connect with manufacturers and consumers who want more sustainable clothing. 

Join WARP for a conversation with leaders in the field of Sustainable Fiber Systems. Jess Boeke and Sarah Pottle are co-founders of Rustbelt Fibershed, creating a collaborative network of regenerative fiber farmers, processors, and designers from the Rust Belt Region. Erin Miller is a board member for the Mountains & Plains Fibershed in Colorado, and co-founder of Nerdy Sheep Fiber Works, which works in partnership with Colorado-based makers, promoting yarn without added chemicals or unfriendly practices in processing. Judi Jetson is a fiberactivist who founded the nonprofit Local Cloth 10 years ago to help grow the fiber economy in the Blue Ridge Mountains Fibershed, headquartered in Asheville, NC. 

Image courtesy of Fibershed

Meet a Member: Fireside Chat with Adrienne Sloane
(WARP Members Only)
Watch Video Recording Here

Our September Meet a Member Fireside Chat was with longtime WARP Member Adrienne Sloane. Adrienne is a mixed media artist with a focus in fiber techniques.  Using iconic imagery, her work is frequently a visceral response to the moral and political landscape of the day. By visually addressing the frayed and unraveled places around her, Adrienne seeks to promote thoughtful dialogue about critical questions as we navigate the difficult times we live in. Her work has won many awards, has been widely published, and is included in permanent collections at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Fuller Craft Museum, the Goldstein Museum of Design, and The Kamm Collection. Click here to read a Boston Globe review of Adrienne’s recent exhibit, Peacework. Besides having exhibited and taught internationally, Adrienne has also worked on economic development projects with indigenous knitters in Bolivia and Peru.

Please note: If you would like to watch the video recordings for this program and attend upcoming Meet A Member Fireside Chats, please join WARP here

WARP Member Adrienne Sloane

Continuing Textile Traditions: Acadian Brown Cotton, 250 Years of Louisiana History
August 20, 2022
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Our August panel discussion featured the very successful Acadian Brown Cotton Project, which strives to document, preserve and promote Louisiana’s unique natural brown heirloom cotton. The project will be presented by the Acadian Brown Cotton team, talking about the project from many angles, all contributing to enriched lives and a boost in the local economy. 

Jennie Lallande, Acadiana Grower Alliance, farmer, ginner, and educator, highlighted the agricultural aspects of the project, including the importance of regenerative agriculture in the climate change struggle. Randon Dufrene, ABC grower and business manager of Acadian Brown Cotton, presented the need for a local fiber mill and why Belfast Mini mill suits the project. Sharon Donnan, WARP member, documentary film maker, retired from a life in costumes and textiles, and founder of the Acadian Brown Cotton Project, introduced these members of the team and others, giving us an overview of how it all began and what they have accomplished so far.

Acadian Brown Cotton

Meet a Member: Fireside Chat with Maren Beck
(WARP Members Only)
Watch Video Recording Here

Our August Meet a Member Fireside Chat was with WARP Board Member Maren Beck. Maren, traveling with her husband and two young sons in 2005, fell in love with rural SE Asian textiles and cultures, and transitioned from being a project manager in the health care field to being a businessperson importing personally selected handcrafted traditional textiles from Laos and Vietnam. She and her husband, Josh Hirschstein, founded Above the Fray: Traditional Hill Tribe Art in 2007 in order to document, support, and introduce to the world the incredible traditional textiles arts and cultures of this region.  Maren and Josh are authors of Silk Weavers of Hill Tribe Laos, published by Thrums Books.  They live in Eugene, Oregon, and Maren leads village textile workshop tours to Laos and Vietnam. Maren is a member of the WARP board of directors, and leads the Artisan Grants Program and the WARP Business Networking Group.

Please note: If you would like to watch the video recordings for this program and attend upcoming Meet A Member Fireside Chats, please join WARP here

WARP Board Member Maren Beck

Continuing Textile Traditions: International Folk Art Market
July 23, 2022
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The 18th International Folk Art Market (IFAM) was held in Santa Fe, New Mexico, the weekend of July 8 – 10, with 164 artisans from 48 countries and thousands of visitors and buyers from far and wide. IFAM is a big deal, a tremendous opportunity for artisans to come and sell their work, in many cases providing the single biggest source of sales all year. Many members of WARP participate in IFAM as volunteers at all levels, and our July panel presented information that would-be IFAM participants would benefit from knowing. 

Marilyn Murphy ( has served on the IFAM selection and standards committee for the past two years and will do so in 2023 as well. She knows intimately what the committee considers in selecting artisans as well as what has to be submitted, and by when. Mary Anne Wise ( is a retailer of artisan work from many countries, and has helped artisan groups apply to IFAM. Maren Beck ( spoke about the benefits and challenges of being an IFAM represented artisan. 

International Folk Art Market

Meet a Member: Fireside Chat with Julio Cardona
(WARP Members Only)
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Our July Meet a Member Fireside Chat was with WARP Member Julio Cardona. Julio was born and raised in eastern Guatemala. As a child he worked at the same jobs as other rural children. When he finished school he moved to Guatemala City where he worked for both the government and in the corporate world until 2005. He then joined the staff of Mayan Hands/Association of Weavers United and had his first experience working with a non-profit organization, a different world. He had his first opportunity to meet WARP members when he helped support the 15th Annual Meeting in 2007, and many of the people he met are still friends today. 

Please note: If you would like to watch the video recordings for this program and attend upcoming Meet A Member Fireside Chats, please join WARP here

WARP Member Julio Cardona

WARP 2022 Online Annual Meeting:
Tradition, Innovation & Community Stewardship: Evolution of Textile Arts
June 24-26, 2022
Watch Video Recordings Here

Community stewardship includes both honoring the past and safeguarding the future. In many textile communities, age-old traditions merge with new innovations. For our 2022 conference, WARP brought together speakers from textile communities around the world to discuss questions artisans face in our ever-changing world. How do weaving communities cope with issues of commercialization and cultural appropriation? What is the role of young generations in adapting for a sustainable future? What can we all do to give voice to weavers and improve the quality of life of textile artisans worldwide?

For this international program, we welcomed 25 speakers from textile communities around the world. Our keynote presenters were Chilkat Weaver, Lily Hope, and Arushi Chowdhury Khanna, founder of LoomKatha. Please click here to view our full program of presentations and panel discussions. The full program is also available on WARP’s YouTube Channel.

Keynote Speaker, Lily Hope

Meet a Member: Fireside Chat with Kelly Manjula Koza
(WARP Members Only)
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Our June Meet a Member Fireside Chat was with Kelly Manjula Koza, who joined WARP in 2020. Kelly’s background includes 30 years of volunteering with an NGO based in India as well as corporate work in technology, communications, and program management, and she senses an emerging connection between gizmo-based technology overload and the rising desire for handmade items, especially in fiber arts. Kelly works with the tessitrici artigianali— the women who maintain the art of traditional handweaving on the Mediterranean island of Sardinia. Seeking to preserve, protect, promote, encourage, and advance the tessitrici artigianali and the arts, culture, and heritage of Sardinia in a sustainable manner, she founded Sardinian Arts in 2013. In 2017, she produced and curated Sardinian Textiles: An Exhibit of Handwoven Art in San Francisco, which included related events such as Intrecciati, an intercultural fiber arts project. Kelly’s documentary I Want to Weave the Weft of Time features the few remaining hand weavers of Samugheo, and she has started films about weavers working in two other areas/traditions in Sardinia.

Please note: If you would like to watch the video recordings for this program and attend upcoming Meet A Member Fireside Chats, please join WARP here

WARP Member Kelly Manjula Koza

Continuing Textile Traditions: The Voice of the Heirs of Tradition
May 21, 2022
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For this program, we heard from two young weavers in Peru who are working to continue the weaving traditions. There is no end of conversation about passing on traditions from grandmother to mother to daughter for millennia, but nearly always the speakers are outsiders or the adults who are doing the passing on.  Rarely do we hear the youth speaking, those who are at the receiving end. CTTC, the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco, has a strong youth program designed to help keep traditions alive. We were thrilled to give the podium to two young women, teenagers involved in the program, to talk about what it means to them to be inheriting these traditions. Hilda Yesica Mamani Chura, 17, and Maysharon Quispe Ojeda, 18, joined WARP from Cusco, Peru, to tell us their side of the story. Both are currently students in Cusco Monday-Friday, studying accounting and teaching. They then return to their villages, Acha Alta and Patabamba, on weekends to maintain close family and community ties – and to take weaving lessons! 

Maysharon Quispe Ojeda

Meet a Member: Fireside Chat with Vanina Bujalter
(WARP Members Only)
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Our May Meet a Member Fireside Chat was with Vanina Bujalter, who has been a WARP Member since 2013. Vanina was born in Buenos Aires. She has a degree in Psychology, but she found her true calling and has been dedicated to Textile Arts and Crafts for more than 35 years. At age fifteen, she began studying with her mother, Mimi Bujalter, one of the outstanding artists within the Argentine Textile Art Movement, and Founder of the Argentine Centre of Textile Art. With Mimi, Vanina studied classic and modern textile techniques, fiber dyeing, felt techniques, and handmade papermaking. Vanina has taught and exhibited throughout Argentina and internationally. Her work has won many awards, including the UNESCO Seal of Excellence for Handicrafts, and  can be seen in museums and private collections around the world. You can follow Vanina on Facebook and Instagram, and also find her work online here

Please note: If you would like to watch the video recordings for this program and attend upcoming Meet A Member Fireside Chats, please join WARP here

WARP Member Vanina Bujalter

Continuing Textile Traditions: Ukraine
(Special Fundraiser for Ukrainian Emergency Relief)
April 30th, 2022
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Continuing Textile Traditions: Ukraine was a special program to raise relief funds for Ukraine. WARP hosted Ukrainian textile artists Halyna Shepko (New York), Daryna Alieksieienko (Kyiv), and Yaroslava Tkachuk (Lviv) for a discussion about their work within the Ukrainian weaving traditions. 

Daryna Alieksieienko (Дарина Алєксєєнко) is a respected weaver who has done much to share her knowledge and to popularize Ukrainian weaving. Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Daryna has been focusing her weaving efforts on creating camouflage nets for the protection of the Ukrainian Army. Yaroslava Tkachuk (Ярослава Ткачук), from Lviv, is a graduate of Kosiv College of Applied and Decorative Art and the Art Textile department at Lviv National Academy of Arts. Since 2013, she has been a member of the National Union of Artists. One of the few hand loom and fiber equipment tool makers in Ukraine, Andriy Pyshkar (Андрій Пушкар) teaches woodworking skills to grades 1-11 in Ternopil during the day, and creates weaving equipment in his off hours. Currently, Andriy is volunteering to help move humanitarian aid to the eastern part of Ukraine, weaving camouflage nets, and sewing for the army. Weaver and teacher Halyna Shepko (Галина Щепко) was born in the Ukrainian part of the East Village in downtown New York City, surrounded by the culture of her heritage, into a family of musical artists. In recent months, Halyna has worked diligently to organize relief efforts and raise awareness for Ukraine, including organizing a public weave-in in front of the Russian consulate in New York.

Ukrainian Weaver, Halyna Shepko (Галина Щепко) 

Continuing Textile Traditions of the Arab World
April 16th, 2022
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Representing cultures spanning millennia and a significant part of the globe, the speakers on Continuing Textile Traditions of the Arab World told us of the richness of Arab culture as shown through its textiles. Wafa Ghnaim is a Palestinian-American artist, researcher, writer, educator, and businesswoman who began learning Palestinian embroidery from her mother, award-winning artist Feryal Abbasi-Ghnaim, when she was two years old. The first-ever Palestinian embroidery instructor at the Smithsonian Museum, and collections specialist at the Museum of the Palestinian People, Wafa continues her mother’s educational legacy through Tatreez & Tea. Textile archaeologist Dr. Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood is the director of the Textile Research Centre, in Leiden, the Netherlands. She is a specialist in Middle Eastern embroidery, textile and dress, and is the author of The Encyclopedia of Embroidery from the Arab WorldDr. Reem El Mutwalli, founder of The Zay Initiative, Lead Curator of the Women’s Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai, is a published author, curator and public speaker. The Zay Initiative is a non-profit, UK registered initiative advancing the preservation of cultural heritage through the collection, documentation and digital archiving of Arab historical attire and their stories. It is the first digital platform focused on regional Arab dress and adornment, with the  goal to empower and sustain global cross-cultural dialogue to inspire creative minds. 

Feryal Abbasi-Ghnaim, photo by Jen Dougherty

Meet a Member: Fireside Chat with Kelsey Wiskirchen
(WARP Members Only)
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Our April Meet a Member Fireside Chat was with Kelsey Wiskirchen, WARP’s Executive Director. Kelsey joined WARP as an Alice Brown Memorial Scholarship recipient in 2010, and has attended every annual meeting since, as well as serving on the board, then working as WARP’s Administrative Coordinator for three years before the recent switch to Executive Director. In addition to the work she does for WARP, Kelsey is also a textile artist, working primarily in embroidery, natural dyeing, and quilting. She has volunteered with projects of WARP members in Bolivia and South Africa, and has worked in a number of community outreach programs focused on textiles with art educators, underserved youth, and the refugee community.

Please note: If you would like to watch the video recordings for this program and attend upcoming Meet A Member Fireside Chats, please join WARP here

WARP Executive Director Kelsey Wiskirchen

Continuing Textile Traditions: Guatemala & Mexico
March 19, 2022
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The presenters on this panel discussion work with women-led groups, indigenous and Ladina, rural and city, small and large. Their work includes weaving, embroidering, and sewing, among other artistic endeavors, and their programs have social elements geared toward achieving a sustainable livelihood for the women and their families. Elena Laswick is the co-founder of Amano Marketplace, an online platform connecting U.S. consumers with Guatemalan and Peruvian artisans through designs, stories and experiences. Allison Havens was the Director of Yabal in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala for the past 9 years, and recently transitioned out of the leadership role in early 2022. She currently works as the Administrative Manager for the US Board of Directors of UPAVIM, another Guatemalan women’s organization. Andrea Muñiz is Digital Communications Manager for PSYDEH, a Mexican non-profit organization that empowers women. Hannah Swenson is Sustainability Coordinator for Bordamos Juntos, a social enterprise led by PSYDEH, a longstanding non-profit organization based in Hidalgo, Mexico, which supports women’s empowerment projects in rural, Indigenous communities, and connects local women’s handmade textiles to national and international markets. 

Meet a Member: Fireside Chat with Rocío Mena Gutierrez
(WARP Members Only)
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Our March Meet a Member Fireside Chat was with Rocío Mena Gutierrez. Rocío is a WARP member from Mexico City. She is the founder of ZIKURI & a natural dye passionate. This path has led her to learn in different places such as Mexico, France, the US, Japan & Guatemala. Through her brand, Rocío unites her two passions: natural dyeing education & designing bags. Her purpose is to inspire by achieving beautiful colors & by making us aware of the processes involved so that we can feel the connection with the materials and the essence of things. In 2014, Rocío worked with women in San Rafael, Guatemala on developing a kit of beautiful naturally dyed cotton yarns in all colors of the rainbow. This project, called Tintes Naturales was a collaboration between WARP member organizations Mayan HandsCotton Clouds, Rocío, and several other WARP members. You can learn more about the development of the Tintes Naturales Project by reading Rocio’s blog

Please note: If you would like to watch the video recordings for this program and attend upcoming Meet A Member Fireside Chats, please join WARP here

WARP Member Rocío Mena Gutierrez

A Sheep’s Tale: Preserving the Churro
February 18, 2022
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A Sheep’s Tale: Preserving the Churro featured speakers who have devoted their work to conservation of the Navajo-Churro sheep. You are invited to watch the program recording to learn about the importance of this heritage sheep breed to communities in the American Southwest. Molly Manzanares and her husband Antonio have raised and marketed a wide variety of Churro and Rambouillet sheep products through their companies, Tierra Wools and Shepherd’s Lamb, for many years. They run one of the last remaining herded bands of sheep in the state of New Mexico. Dr. Alta Piechowski-Begay is the President of the Hoz’ho’ Center Board of Directors. One of the initiatives of the Hoz’ho’ Center is to be the permanent home for the Navajo-Churro sheep. With their special relationship with the Diné, these sheep will offer vital land restoration and help resurrect their traditional pastoral economy. Dr. Lyle “Doc” McNeal is an emeritus professor of Animal, Dairy, and Veterinary Sciences at Utah State University and is the founder of the Navajo Sheep Project. He recently wrote a textbook titled “Small Ruminant Production Management and Medicine” for Animal Health Publications. 

Meet a Member: Fireside Chat with Judy Newland
(WARP Members Only)
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Our February Meet a Member Fireside Chat was with Judy Newland, a longtime WARP member. Judy is a retired faculty in museum anthropology at Arizona State University and served as the Director for the ASU Museum of Anthropology. She has worked in the museum field for over 20 years at a variety of university museums, creating more than 100 exhibitions with the help of her students. She is a practicing natural dyer and weaver and her research includes archaeological textile fieldwork in Peru and indigo dye processes and cultural practices around the world. Judy was born in Lake City, Iowa in the north central part of the state, where she peered out from the cornfields on the family farm into a wider world. During her chat, Judy told stories about the lives of textiles, shared how the landscape influences her life and artwork, and described how material culture is entwined with how we relate to the world around us.

Please note: If you would like to watch the video recordings for this program and attend upcoming Meet A Member Fireside Chats, please join WARP here

WARP Member Judy Newland

Exhibiting Indigenous: Honoring Native Textiles
January 15, 2022
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This panel showcased museums whose focus is on indigenous textiles and the communities who produce them. The presenters, including weavers, writers, and curators, represent a diverse range of backgrounds. Velma Kee Craig (Diné) is Naasht’eezhi Tabaha (Zuni Edgewater) and born for Todich’ii’nii (Bitter Water). Velma is Assistant Curator at the Heard Museum in Phoenix, Arizona. Lily Hope was born and raised in Juneau, Alaska to full-time artists. She is Tlingit Indian, of the Raven moiety. Lily co-curated the Portland Art Museum’s exhibition Interwoven Radiance, and served as local weaver consultant for Alaska State Museum’s exhibition Spirit Wraps Around You.  Porfirio Gutierrez is a California-based textile artist, born and raised in the richly historic Zapotec textile community of Teotitlán del Valle in Oaxaca, Mexico. Porfirio co-curated the exhibit Wrapped in Color: Legacies of the Mexican Sarape. Diane Dittemore has been an ethnological collections curator at the Arizona State Museum for over 40 years, and was a contributing curator for the exhibit, Wrapped in Color

Lily Hope, Chilkat Weaver

Meet a Member: Fireside Chat with Deborah Chandler
(WARP Members Only)
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Our first Meet a Member Fireside Chat was with Deborah Chandler, one of the founding members of WARP and its current board president. At the time WARP was founded, in 1992, she was transitioning from her life as a weaving teacher and author in the US to work with fair trade and other international involvement with textile communities worldwide. Her trail included Colorado, Peace Corps in Honduras, Houston, back to Colorado, and finally she landed in Guatemala, where for nine years she was the in-country director of Mayan Hands. Deborah is still weaving and writing, and has now lived and worked in Guatemala for more than 20 years. We had three chat sessions with Deborah – 2 in English and 1 in Spanish.

Please note: If you would like to watch the video recordings for this program and attend upcoming Meet A Member Fireside Chats, please join WARP here

WARP Board President, Deborah Chandler

Textile Tales: The Value of Stories
December 11, 2021
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This panel featured three WARP members bringing us tales of their work and writing coming from both the east and west hemispheres. The three are authors of books about textile processes, culture, and communities in comfortable North American homes, towns and villages across Nigeria and Guatemala, and refugee camps in Mexico. Their writing includes stories from centuries ago and on up to the present. Penelope Drooker‘s diverse books include such titles as Mississipian Village Textiles at Wickliffe, Hammock Making Techniques, and Embroidering with the Loom. She is Curator of Anthropology Emerita, New York State Museum. Elisha P. Renne is Professor Emerita, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, and conducts research in central and northern Nigeria. She is also the co-founder, along with Hassana Yusuf, of the non-profit women’s embroidery group, Queen Amina Embroidery. She will be speaking about two of her books: Cloth that Does Not Die, and Textile Ascendancies: Aesthetics, Production, and Trade in Northern Nigeria. Marilyn Anderson is an artist, photographer and author who has always worked in solidarity with the Maya of Guatemala. Producing five books between 1975 and 2016, most have focused on the arts and crafts of the Maya.

Follow the Thread: Textile Tours and Traditional Craft
November 20, 2021
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This panel featured three WARP Members who give textile-focused tours. Each has designed adventures to broaden the perspectives of textile lovers while simultaneously helping to promote and sustain traditional craftspeople and their skills. Shila Desai is founder and owner of Canadian-based E.Y.H.O. Tours which specializes in textile travels to the world’s traditional societies, in particular to her ancestral Gujarat-Kutch in India. Through her tours, Shila connects creators from traditional societies to appreciators from the industrialized world. Marilyn Murphy serves as board president of the nonprofit Andean Textile Arts whose mission is to support the peoples of the Andes in their efforts to preserve and revitalize their textile traditions. ATA hosts ongoing online Andean textile talks, book club, and a new educational program for guilds; plus tours to Peru and Bolivia. Wendy Garrity of Textile Trails has pursued her interest in women’s empowerment, grassroots development, microfinance and traditional textiles, spending time volunteering in India, Nepal & Laos, and travelling extensively through Asia and South America to document their textiles.

Continuing Textile Traditions: India
October 16, 2021
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This panel featured the founders of three organizations who promote textile artisans in India. Each of these organizations works to preserve traditional textile techniques of India while creating contemporary apparel designs. Arushi Chowdhury Khanna founded LoomKatha, which is a play on the Hindi word “Lok Katha” meaning “Folk Tale” – a story of the people, by the people and for the people of India. They presently work with close to 100 weavers in W. Bengal, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. Smita Paul, a former journalist, created Indigo Handloom to form a bridge from the rural weaving villages of West Bengal to the fashion world of the U.S.  Mannat and Preeti Sidhu founded Fusion Phulkari, which aims to promote Phulkari (the folk embroidery of Punjab) among the youth and a non-Punjabi audience while empowering the women who work behind-the-scenes in making of the Phulkari.

Continuing Textile Traditions: The Peace Corps Experience in Africa
September 18, 2021
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In celebration of the Peace Corp’s 60th Anniversary, this Zoom panel presented three WARP members who served in the Peace Corps in Africa in the 1960s and 70s. Susan Schaefer Davis is an anthropologist who has been inspired by Moroccan women since her Peace Corps service there in the 1960s. In addition to a lifetime of teaching and development work she has written three books about the women she knows so well and has helped sell their textiles online at www.marrakeshexpress.orgDebbie Durham’s passion for handcrafts developed during Peace Corps service in Senegal in the 1970s, which led to a craft cooperative in Kinshasa, DR Congo, a fair trade business in Durham, NC, a graduate degree in Textiles & Clothing, and organizing one of the earliest WARP Annual Meetings in Berea, Kentucky in 1996. Molly Martin taught elementary school in Monrovia, Liberia from 1968-1970 as a Peace Corps Volunteer, during which time she developed a profound interest in their textiles. That led her to a career that has included teaching and lecturing on African art, especially textiles.

WARP 2021 Online Annual Meeting:
Unraveling Borders, Weaving Networks
June 18-20, 2021
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WARP’s Annual Meeting brings our community together for education, fellowship, and networking. We held WARP’s 2021 annual meeting online via Zoom, enabling us to welcome attendees from all over the world. The presenters explored various topics relating to the significance of textiles in strengthening communities through the theme of Unraveling Borders, Weaving Networks. We were honored to host Yasmine Dabbous, a visual culture artist and researcher from Beirut, Lebanon, as our Keynote Speaker. Panel discussions included conversation around Cultural Appropriation, Fibersheds, Sustainability relating to textiles, and much more.

Please click here to view our full program of speakers, with links to watch recordings of the presentations and panel discussions.

Continuing Textile Traditions: Living Textiles
May 15, 2021

This panel discussion, Continuing Textile Traditions: Living Textiles, featured three WARP members who create textiles with a focus on community engagement. These artists all make a living through their textile work, and also live a textile-focused life, using textiles as a vehicle to for inclusivity, education, and a sustainable future. Lola Faturoti creates colorful sustainable made on demand fashion that celebrates tradition and joy with the mission to reduce the landfill waste and produced in an earth friendly manner. Through her brands Lola Loves Cargo and Lola Faturoti Loves, she celebrates tradition with innovative designs intended to impart joy. In addition to being WARP’s Administrative Coordinator (now Executive Director), Kelsey Viola Wiskirchen is a studio artist who has worked with art educators, underserved youth, and the refugee community in St. Louis, Missouri. In this panel discussion, she shares her community education practice with attendees. Artist and designer, Cynthia Alberto founded Brooklyn-based Weaving Hand studio and healing arts center which incorporates unconventional materials and a zero-waste philosophy in teaching and collaborates with international weavers.

Continuing Textile Traditions: USA
April 17, 2021

Elroy Natachu Jr. represents Ancestral Rich Treasures of Zuni ARTZ that is a juried artist owned and run cooperative featuring a variety of Native American art forms. Sara Borchert has worked for years with different Camphill communities — a worldwide network where people with and without intellectual disabilities grow, learn, and achieve together. Sharon Gordon Donnan is with Acadiana Fibershed of southwestern Louisiana, which encourages the growing of heirloom brown cotton to support a local sustainable fashion industry.

Continuing Textile Traditions: Mexico
March 20, 2021
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Living and working in Oaxaca and California, Porfirio Gutierrez revives and preserves the natural dyeing techniques of his Zapotec traditional culture while he reinventes ancient symbols to stylistically incorporate them in large-scale natural fiber creations that appeal to minimalist aesthetics.  Having grown up and traveled extensively Mexico, Stephanie Schneiderman offered culture, craft, and textile tours throughout Mexico and Colombia until the pandemic hit when she began supporting artisans, by hosting expo-sales events via her Facebook Page: “Mexico & Beyond: Textile & Fiber Traditions Travel Group.”  Valarie James will present the work of Artisans Beyond Borders, a bi-national initiative in Tucson, AZ and Nogales, Sonora, MX., that addresses trauma, restores grace and agency, and provides income for asylum-seekers and their families stranded at the U.S.-MX port of entry.

Continuing Textile Traditions: Asia
Feburary 20, 2021
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Gunjan Jain made a conscious switch from working for fast fashion industries to slow, sustainable fashion and set up Vriksh, a design studio that collaborates with handloom weavers in Odisha and other states in India.  Uddipana Goswami is a feminist peace researcher turned peace entrepreneur who promotes eco-conscious traditional/indigenous crafts from India’s conflict-ravaged Northeast periphery.  Maren Beck and her husband founded Above the Fray: Traditional Hill Tribe Art in 2007 in order to document, support, and introduce to the world the incredible traditional textiles arts and cultures of Laos and Vietnam, and are authors of Silk Weavers of Hill Tribe Laos.

Continuing Textile Traditions: Guatemala
January 16, 2021
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Mari Gray started Kakaw Designs in 2013, connecting a variety of local artisan groups and techniques to international creatives through custom production, travel itineraries, and now online classes such as backstrap weaving. Anne Kelly represents Mayan Hands, a fair trade nonprofit partnering with 200 Mayan women weavers and artisans in 14 highland communities. Alisa Woofter will speak about UPAVIM, a sewing cooperative that fashions a variety of products with handwoven material and supports several community programs.

Continuing Textile Traditions: Africa
December 19, 2020
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Cael Chappell will be presenting his experiences in developing “Baskets of Africa,” which features many different types of baskets from all over sub-Saharan Africa.  Elisha Renne conducts research in Nigeria and encountered the embroidery of the Hausa embroidery done by the women of “Queen Amina.”  Susan Davis has a long history with Morocco from her Peace Corp days to establishing an Internet site, “Marrakesh Express,” to link rug weavers directly with buyers.

Continuing Textile Traditions: Peru
November 21, 2020
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Hedy Hollyfield of Anyi will be presenting her experiences of marketing tapestries from the Ayacucho region.  Catherine Joslyn traveled to Peru as an academic and developed a continuing relationship with Nilda Callañaupa Alvarez and the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco. Gloria Miller has represented her order the Sisters of Mercy in their work with knitters of finger puppets from the Lake Titicaca region.

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