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Inconspicuous Foundations

 

As Coordinator of Volunteer and Visitor Services, I’m always interested in getting another person’s viewpoint on the experience at the American Textile History Museum. Intern Anthony Carter describes what it’s like to lead a tour for the very first time:

“Wow. Today was my day of days. My worst fear at the American Textile History Museum came true. Not only was I coming back from a needed week off, but as I walked through the door the first person I met was Sandra Price. Not that she isn’t an excellent person, but I was expecting the receptionist followed by a call upstairs and even a five to ten minute wait.

But, Sandra was a having conversation with Kathy, one of the women who works with the children’s groups that come to the Museum for visits and programs, and, in not so many words, I was lured into giving my first tour.

For so many weeks my fear was that I wouldn’t be able to answer any question on the walk through, but, to my surprise, I wasn’t asked any questions. It was more along the lines of me being the one who was guided, and by such an eager group. The group that I volunteered to lead did such a great job in assisting me. The group of special needs students consisted of maybe twenty children and four group leaders. The miraculous thing was there were three gentlemen in the group who just had all the answers to everything on the scavenger hunt list. All I needed to do was make the pathway clear, and work on my fear of answering those questions that actually never came about.

As we walked through the Museum, to my surprise, I remembered just about everything that I had gone over. Research actually paid off in conquering the great fear of being a leader in a Museum tour at the American Textile History Museum. Well, that, and the fact that I walked through umpteen times before behind other groups as well as on my own. I hope they had as much fun as I did on hosting my first tour at the American Textile History Museum.”

Sandra Price
Coordinator of Volunteer and Visitor Services

Textile Arts Classes at ATHM: a Natural Fit!

 

Every organization that offers programming intends to play to its strengths and do what they do best as a primary focus. That’s only natural. For ATHM, the entire museum is a celebration of the art, science, and history of textile creativity, and it would seem natural for us to teach textile arts techniques as a supplement to this.

Offering techniques classes is a mixed blessing. Coordinating the classes is a tricky undertaking with the range of skill levels and busy lives of interested would-be (or variously experienced) weavers, knitters, sewers, felters, and quilters out there, but we keep at it. Part of the fun of this venture comes with connecting with the local artists who are our teachers. There are tremendously talented individuals right in our midst who have honed their skills with love of the art, and are ready to pass it on to the next generation of textile techies.

Below is our list of summertime samplers, each offering an opportunity to jump in and get creative. Don’t be afraid to get your feet wet – the water is warm and welcoming!

Sue Bunker
Director of Education