As our nation moves through a time of transition, we need art now more than ever. Textile Center’s programs and services enable and support a vibrant fiber art community. Would you consider becoming a donor to Textile Center’s Annual Fund?

A letter from Board President, Margaret Anderson Kelliher:

Fiber art and textiles have always been part of my life, and when I was 10, I joined the Kato Clippers 4-H Club to learn how to sew. I come from a long line of sewers, inspired by my grandmothers Mayme and Ella, my sister Martha, and my mother Elaine, who at age 92 still sews on the family farm near Mankato.

Once I became a mother, I made clothing for my children, Patrick and Frances, and shared with them what my elders told me: “If you know how to sew and if you know how to cook, you will be able to take care of yourself the rest of your life.” Today Frances is earning a BFA in Costume Design in Chicago. The beauty of fiber art is that it spans across all the world’s cultures, and we hand down this knowledge generation to generation.

I am writing to share my Textile Center story, and to ask you to join me in making a financial gift to help us serve generations of fiber artists and enthusiasts. We need to raise $65,000 in our fall appeal to fund the quality programming we are providing today.

Over the years my engagement in fiber arts quietly simmered in the midst of a busy public service career. In the 1990s I embraced Textile Center as a donor and member, and I always kept a project or two alive and my machine ready to sew.

In 2010, I decided to conclude my tenure as a member of the Minnesota House of Representatives and Speaker of the House to run for Minnesota Governor. After my unsuccessful bid in the primary that year, I turned to Textile Center to work through my loss. It became my place for healing and inspiration, especially as I transitioned from public life to the nonprofit sector. At Textile Center, I took classes, and was invited to join the board of directors. Today I am proud to serve as its president.

Thanks to Textile Center, I have expanded my repertoire of fiber art techniques. This summer I took the two-day Maya Rug Hooking Workshop, and our Guatemalan teachers, Yessika and Yolanda, taught us how to hook a rug the “Maya way.” This year I will submit a piece of my fiber art for exhibition in Textile Center’s A Common Thread 2017 member show – a first for me!

I advocate for Textile Center because it is a gathering place for learning and inspiration. Thanks to all of you who support this organization year after year, we are able to grow a vibrant arts center that honors textile traditions, promotes excellence and innovation, and inspires widespread participation in fiber art.

At Textile Center we serve, engage, and educate fiber artists and enthusiasts at all levels of experience. We welcome participants across the spectrum of human diversity. We celebrate quality in fiber art and craft in all forms, and we provide leadership in our field.

Our talented staff works hard to do all it can to earn revenue through classes, membership, our retail shop, and special events that support our annual operating costs of $850,000 to run Textile Center. We receive generous support from foundations and corporations, but there is an increasingly smaller pool of general operating grants. This means we must rely on the generosity of individuals like you to help us deliver quality programming and services.

As you know, Textile Center’s exhibitions, classes, summer camps, library, and related programs provide resources to art enthusiasts like you, and touch the lives of thousands of visitors each year. Our exhibitions are free and open to the public. We are dedicated to sharing local, national, and international fiber art in all of its shapes and forms.

Thank you for your support, and for making all we do possible!



Margaret Anderson Kelliher
President, Textile Center Board of Directors

P.S. We have many wonderful ways you can engage with Textile Center. On November 1 we open our annual Holiday Gallery Shop – featuring artisan goods for purchase created by more than 100 fiber artists. We are also presenting StevenBe & Friends: Rockin’ the Knit World  in November and December. And, if you have young fiber artists in your life, consider purchasing memberships for them in our new Youth Fiber Art Guild, which includes 8 fiber art projects sent to their homes monthly during the school year.

Learn more about the Leadership Circle, a special category of donation, here.