The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum will build an interactive Textile Learning Center at the museum at Foggy Bottom, thanks to a $133,614 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).
The IMLS gives federal grant money to libraries and museums that engage communities through innovation, learning, and cultural and civic engagement.
The center will foster an appreciation of the textile arts through hands-on and technology-enhanced learning experiences. Audiences will learn the basics of textile creation to support their understanding of the museum’s collections and special exhibitions. The center’s special features include tactile experiences with real textiles and raw fibers, video installations, and opportunities to create original works.
This space will allow visitors to see textiles as expressions of human creativity through the stories and experiences of the people who create them.
“A permanent exhibition on textiles will allow our visitors to learn about the creativity and skill that goes into this unique art form,” says Tom Goehner, MTA ’92, curator of education for the museum. “It will also help visitors to build appreciation for both what they see in the galleries as well as the textiles they see in their day-to-day lives.”
The development of the project is supported by an advisory group of docents and experts, including Carol Stapp, director of the Museum Education Program in GSEHD, and Nancy Evans, GW associate professor of interior architecture and design. The project is expected to be complete in late 2017.