Outreach and Education

Andean Textile Arts Book Club

Andean Textile Arts Book Club meets every few months via Zoom to discuss a pre-selected book. Covering fiction and non-fiction, our chosen titles reflect some of the many aspects of Andean and Latin culture and history.

Our rotating Book Club facilitators will lead discussions about each book and encourage fellow book lovers to share their own insights. Join us with a cup of tea or a glass of wine for some delightful armchair travel.

A Zoom registration link will be added to each meeting at it approaches. Please contact programs@andeantextilearts.org for more information.

Upcoming Book Club meetings in 2023
  • Tuesday Feb 7, 2023 The Fat Man from La Paz: Contemporary Fiction from Bolivia edited by Rosario Santos. Facilitated by Jennifer Moore and Marilyn Murphy.

Explore the Andean imagination from the viewpoint of living in Bolivia.  Learn about Bolivian politics, culture, and society from the viewpoints of numerous Latin authors. Register here.

  • Tuesday April 11, 2023 The Wayfinders: Why Ancient Wisdom Matters in the Modern World by Wade Davis. Facilitated by Sandi Cardillo.

In The Wayfinders, anthropologist Wade Davis takes the reader on a thrilling journey to celebrate the wisdom of the world’s Indigenous cultures. In Polynesia we set sail with navigators whose ancestors settled the Pacific ten centuries before Christ. In the Amazon we meet the descendants of a true Lost Civilization, the people of the Anaconda. In the Andes we discover that the Earth is a living force, responding in a thousand ways to human spirituality. And in the far reaches of Australia we encounter Dreamtime, the all-embracing philosophy of the first humans to walk out of Africa. Readers will experience a wild and fascinating exploration of “forgotten” wisdom that remains with us and very much alive. Registration here.

  • Tuesday Aug 8, 2023 Ghost Train through the Andes by Michael Jacobs. Facilitated by Bob Miller.

A tale for all the armchair travelers amongst us. In a deeply personal journey, the author follows his grandfather’s footsteps as an engineer building a railway through the Andes at the turn of the last century. Reading letters his grandfather wrote to his grandmother, 9000 miles away, Jacobs discovers a remarkable story of hardship, deprivation and enduring love. Climbing through ghostly, lunar-like scenery towards the snow-capped summits of the Andes, he follows the route of his grandfather’s railway – across giant rocky plateaux, through terrifyingly steep gorges and valleys of tropical lushness, and past grim mining townships buffeted by winds, rain and snow – to reveal an extraordinary love story. Register here.

  • Tuesday Nov 14, 2023 Woven Stories: Andean Textiles and Rituals by Andrea Heckman. Facilitated by Ercil Howard-Wroth.

The Quechua people of southern Peru are both agriculturalists and herders who maintain large herds of alpacas and llamas. But they are also weavers, and it is through weaving that their cultural traditions are passed down over the generations. Owing to the region’s isolation, the textile symbols, forms of clothing, and technical processes remain strongly linked to the people’s environment and their ancestors. Heckman’s words and photographs convey the warmth and vitality of the Quechua people and illustrate how the land is intricately woven into their lives and their beliefs. Registration link TK.

Textile Traditions of the Peruvian Highlands

Textile Traditions of the Peruvian Highlands is an inspiring virtual visit with the Andean weavers, spinners, knitters, and dyers of the Peruvian Highlands. It is an opportunity to “travel” to this part of the world and be exposed to the area’s unique traditional textile arts and cultures.

In this one-hour live hosted program, which features members of the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco (CTTC), the focus is on the preservation and revitalization of their traditional textile arts. Video clips and images showcase textile techniques such as weaving, dyeing, spinning, and knitting. These include specialized weaving techniques such as ikat, tapestry, double weave, discontinuous, and supplementary warps.

Textile Traditions of the Peruvian Highlands is designed for fiber guilds, academic institutions, community service groups, and any groups who are interested in textiles in the context of their culture.

Contact programs@andeantextilearts.org for detailed information.

  • Pitumarca scaffold weaving. Photo courtesy of Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco.

Textile Tours and International Conferences

One of the best ways to sustain textile traditions is weaver to weaver. We help bring weavers together through textile travel and by sponsoring the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco’s Tinkuy, a series of international weaving conferences that bring together hundreds of indigenous weavers from the Americas and beyond. Through funding from ATA supporters, weavers and textile enthusiasts attend lectures, participate in workshops, and share their experiences. Topics have included textile techniques, pre-Columbian textiles, fair trade, development of cooperatives, and market development. ATA also organizes benefit tours to expose participants from North America and abroad to the rich Andean textile traditions and to raise funds for programs in the weaving communities.

Visit our tour page for more information on upcoming tours and conferences.

  • Members of the 2018 Peruvian tour on a rainy day at Machu Picchu.

  • Jamie Yoshida walks among the alpaca herd during an Andean Textile Arts tour at the CTTC weaving community in Accha Alta.

Museum and Exhibits

Andean Textile Arts has collaborated on a number of museum and university events in the U.S., with a focus on educating the public about traditional Andean textiles. It was instrumental in funding, curating, and organizing displays for the museum housed at CTTC in Cusco, which opened in 2005.

  • Exhibit “Engaging History: Continuities of Textile Traditions in the Andes” at Kennesaw State University.

    Exhibit “Engaging History: Continuities of Textile Traditions in the Andes” at Kennesaw State University.

  • “Weaving Lives: Transforming Textile Traditions in the Peruvian Highlands” at the Avenir Museum, Colorado State University.

    “Weaving Lives: Transforming Textile Traditions in the Peruvian Highlands” at the Avenir Museum, Colorado State University.

  • “Weaving Lives: Transforming Textile Traditions in the Peruvian Highlands” at the Mattie Rhodes Art Center.

    “Weaving Lives: Transforming Textile Traditions in the Peruvian Highlands” at the Mattie Rhodes Art Center.