Thanks to everyone who participated in our 2021 fundraising auction, A Bid for the Future. Thanks to all of you, we raised more than $26,000 to benefit the weavers of the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco (CTTC). Together, you donated 387 phone cards to help the children of the ten CTTC communities continue to attend school remotely, and 55 kilos of cochineal to help the weavers afford to dye yarn in all the beautiful reds and purples they and we love. (Special thanks to the Natural Dye Study Group of the Eugene Weavers Guild, who got together to purchase cochineal for their fellow artisans in Peru.)
The rest of the auction proceeds, including over $1,500 in direct donations, will fund our ongoing mission to support Andean weavers in preserving and revitalizing their textile traditions. Right now, that means helping the weavers and their families through the COVID pandemic. So with auction proceeds in hand, we asked the CTTC what is their most critical need right now. They told us that COVID vaccinations are becoming available in Peru but they are not available in the remote weaving communities. So, at their request, we have sent part of the auction funds to transport weavers to Cusco where they can be vaccinated. Not only will this save lives, it also means that the weavers can more safely meet with future customers at the CTTC center in Cusco. They will also be able to welcome visitors to their communities again, restoring their income and their ability to teach others about their traditions.
We have never been more proud and grateful for our strong, passionate ATA community. You have always been exceptional. Today, you are truly and literally lifesavers.
Anita Osterhaug is former editor of Handwoven magazine and the Vice President of Andean Textile Arts. She is a writer and journalist who has been devoted to textiles since her first embroidery project at age eight, though her writing skills have also taken her into the high-tech world. She studied history and anthropology at Reed College, and participated in the 2013 Tinkuy international weaving conference in Cusco.