Textile Society of America


Date of this Version



In Approaching Textiles, Varying Viewpoints: Proceedings of the Seventh Biennial Symposium of the Textile Society of America, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 2000


Copyright © 2000 by the author(s).


This presentation shows how the University Textiles, Clothing and Design department and the Indian Center of Lincoln, Inc., are collaborating to provide creative textile design programs for a group of 12 at-risk Native American youth, 12-18 years old. Family therapist, Dr. Gloria Gonzalez-Kruger, is conducting a research component which assesses the project's impact on youth development, cultural identity development, and intercultural relationships. The data will provide information on how to develop and implement culturally competent programs for youth.

Fall 1998, the youth began a series of short programs working at the university design studios. They worked with graduate students in a seminar on community based art to design and construct their own embellished tote bags, followed by a printed installation project with visiting artist Maria Tyniec of Poland. The images spoke about the ethnic traditions of the cultures of the youth and graduate students. Spring 1999, the youth designed a project for a daytime facility for homeless and near homeless adults. Modeled on the work with the Polish artist, the youth designed printed pillows hooked together to create a sound absorbing wall hanging for a high traffic space. The young people learned how to interview vulnerable adults to find out what subject matter was important to clients of diverse backgrounds. Fall 2000 the youth will work with visiting Native American designer, Madonna Thunderhawk, to design dance outfits for the girls in the youth group. They will create their own outfits that are both reflective of tradition and contemporary design.