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About Friends of the Ixchel Museum

Friends of the Ixchel Museum (FOIM) is a U.S. charitable foundation established in 1984 that promotes interest in the Mayan textile tradition of Guatemala and the work of the Museo Ixchel. In this way, it contributes to the understanding, preservation and protection of this important cultural legacy.

weavingFOIM is made up of Guatemalan and North American volunteers who share an interest in Guatemala and their commitment to increase appreciation of Mayan textile art.

Every year, the Friends sponsor publications and projects both in the U.S. and in Guatemala. Among them are educational programs, ethnographic research and photographic documentation in several communities, as well as the classification and cataloging of the museum’s collections of textiles and photographs. It has also made possible the English translation and publication of several of the museum’s works, the production of videotapes in Spanish and English, and a Spanish language activity book for children.

Its work to publicize and promote Guatemalan textiles includes putting on exhibits in the United States and publishing a biannual newsletter describing both FOIM activities and those of the museum.

 

 

President’s Letter

 

June 1, 2014

Dear Friends of the Ixchel Museum,

Thank you all once again for your interest in Guatemalan textiles - and a very special thanks to our donors, who are listed on the reverse.  Your contributions provide our sole source of support for FOIM activities on behalf of the Maya textile tradition, and are deeply appreciated.  Projects both in the US and at the Museo Ixchel are made possible by our generous funding.

 

In early March, we held our annual meeting at the Museum.  Professional staff made excellent presentations about their work, and we are impressed by their accomplishments.  One project that you funded over the past two years was development of a new logo and signage to create a vibrant, contemporary look and feel for the museum.  Museum visits are up 100% over the last two years, and this is due in large part to the lively re-branding and to community outreach programs.woman

 

The Museum also benefits from your continued support of its field research, which provides photographic and ethnographic documentation of disappearing textile traditions as well as of emerging textile trends.  An additional positive development is the Museum's increasing ability to participate in international exhibitions; this last year over 40 pieces were registered for travel outside the country and exhibited in Chile.  These complementary efforts, combined with our own exhibit activities in the US and Canada, have broadened knowledge of the extraordinary Maya textile tradition significantly.

 

As we looked forward to 2014, we evaluated and made commitments to an exciting portfolio of activities.  To augment Museo Ixchel holdings, we 'repatriated' six stellar pieces from the FOIM Collection through a long-term loan (see lead article). To insure continued research and documentation, we pledged support for another year of fieldwork.  To enrich the museum visitor experience, we funded a new technology pilot specifically to provide an interactive experience with museum exhibits.

 

In the US, our work is expanding beyond our traditional Bulletin, website, and exhibitions.  At our meeting, board member Yolanda Alcorta gained support to found a weaving cooperative in Washington, DC for the women of the Guatemalan community.  We hope to secure outside funding to bolster the investment that we, through you, can provide for this effort.

 

In closing, I continue to ask for your direct financial support - as well as for donations of textiles and old photographs.  There are many ways in which you can participate directly in the challenge of preserving the Maya textile tradition.

 

Sincerely,

Raymond E. Senuk
President, Friends of the Ixchel Museum