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For each of us, Textile Center has enriched our lives, our appreciation and growth in the fiber arts, and led to many new friendships. Through our own planned giving, we are helping to sustain Textile Center’s mission well into the future.

— 2018 Athena Society Co-Chairs Cyndi Kaye Meier and Karen Weiberg

For more than a quarter century, Textile Center has honored textile traditions, promoted excellence and innovation, nurtured appreciation, and inspired widespread participation in fiber art. Be a part of preserving that legacy with a planned gift today! Your planned gift will sustain Textile Center’s excellence and ensure quality fiber art programs for future generations. Donors who make planned gifts become members of The Athena Society.

Named for the Greek goddess Athena, the patron of craft and weaving and an international symbol of wisdom and the arts, The Athena Society educates, encourages, and recognizes planned gifts to Textile Center. The Society’s inaugural event was held on February 23, 2018, when we recognized the generosity of Lila Nelson, whose planned gift was a boon to Textile Center. Please consider Textile Center in your planning, and if you already have included us, let us know so we can list you as a member of The Athena Society and invite you to Society events. You may notify Textile Center via  The Athena Society Letter of Intent. For more information about The Athena Society, contact Karl Reichert, Executive Director, by calling 612-436-0464 or kreichert@textilecentermn.org.

The Athena Society Members

Marty Allen
Margaret Anderson Kelliher
Elinor Auge
Marilee DesLauriers
Lynn Fumuso
Carolyn Halliday
Tina Hughes
Peggy Hunter & Doug Wallace
Zeeda Magnuson
Cyndi Kaye & David Michael Meier
Teresa Paschke
Mimie Pollard & Alden Drew
Karl Reichert
Mariana & Craig Shulstad
Edi and Roland Thorstensson
Karen R. Weiberg

Athena Society Co-Chairs

Cyndi Kaye Meier – Former Textile Center Board Director
Karen R. Weiberg – Former Textile Center Board Director

View Leave a Legacy MN’s “Why Give” statement here.

View Leave a Legacy MN’s “How to Give” statement here.


Pictured: Lila Nelson weaving detail

Exhibition – The Tapestries of Lila Nelson: Poetry, Myth, & Protest (Studio Gallery / November 2 – December 26, 2015)

Lila Nelson Bio:
Weaver, artist, poet, scholar, teacher, mentor, voracious reader and wonderful friend, Lila was an inspiration to all who knew her. A native of Long Prairie, Minnesota, Lila began her career as a high school English teacher in Davenport, Iowa after graduating from St. Cloud State. She later completed a Master’s in English at the University of Minnesota. Lila entered the Women’s Air Force in 1949 and was stationed at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. That same year she marched with her WAF unit in Harry S. Truman’s inaugural parade. She was later stationed in Germany in the weather mapping division. Lila met her future husband when they were students at the University of Minnesota. They were married in Chicago on June 17, 1957 and honeymooned in Iceland and Norway. While Marion pursued his doctoral research, Lila attended the Oslo International Summer School. This was the beginning of a lifelong love of Norway and Norwegian culture. Her interest in weaving also began at this time. In the early 1960s Lila began training with Anna Smits at the Minnesota Weavers Guild of Minnesota. She became an active member and teacher at the Guild and lead the Scandinavian Weavers Study Group. In 1964 Marion and Lila were hired by Luther College to catalogue the collection of Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum in Decorah, Iowa. Lila became Registrar and eventually Textile Curator at the Museum. In this position she played a major role in the revival of traditional Norwegian weaving techniques in America. She also helped establish the museum’s folk art handwork school as well as its weaving program. She retired in 1991, but continued as an honorary trustee on the board. In 2001 Lila was awarded the St. Olav medal by the King of Norway in recognition of her contributions to Norwegian-American culture. In 2006 she was awarded an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts by Luther College. After her retirement she dedicated herself to tapestry weaving, creating an exceptional body of work characterized by innovative imagery and witty, often provocative, political content.

~excerpted from the Star Tribune obituary