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Textile Center in Minneapolis hires interim director

Posted by: Mary Abbe under Art, Behind the scenes, Culture, Funding and grants, Galleries, Minnesota artists Updated: April 30, 2014 - 2:01 PM

Textile Center image by Star Tribune staff photographer Bruce Bisping

The Textile Center of Minnesota has hired management consultant Nancy Lee as interim director, a post she is expected to retain for about six months while the organization seeks a permanent leader.

"She's a perfect fit for what we need right now," said Donna C. Peterson, president of the Textile Center's 12 member board. Peterson is a former associate vice president of government and community relations at  the University of Minnesota.

As a consultant, Lee specializes in non-profit management and the development of strategic business plans. She is a former CFO of Minnesota Goodwill and Easter Seals, and a former vice president of the Minnesota Children's Museum.

Lee began work at the Textile Center April 28th. Over the next few months she is expected to oversee the Center's ongoing operations and to assist the board in defining the organizational qualities and expertise needed to run the organization. The difficulty is striking a balance between management skills and knowledge of an artform that encompasses everything from historic rugs to contemporary art clothes.

"We're taking our time to really understand what are strengths and capacitiy are, and to define the profile of our members and potential funders" Peterson said.

The Textile Center is an umbrella organization whose members are professsional and amateur arists engaged in textile crafts ranging from weaving to lace making, batik, knitting, crochetting, custom tailoring, hand dying and doll making.

The non profit organization at 3000 University Av S. E., near the University of Minnesota's Minneapolis campus, has a staff of 14 full and part-time employees and an annual budget of about $800,000. It runs an exhibition gallery and a small shop selling handmade clothing, accessories and textile-related crafts. Its professional services include a library and facilities for dying and weaving textiles, classrooms and meeting spaces for school kids and adults.

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