Words from our Founder

Words from our Founder

Imagine a little girl with brown hair, plated into two braids. She is four and half years old and very short for her age. She is looking up at a door, and the top of her head just reaches the height of the doorknob. It is the door to her first violin teacher’s house and today is the day of her first lesson. And although she does not know where this road is going to take her, there is something about the gravitas—the adultness—of the moment that stays with her over the next 42 years. Probably this is because nearly every place she travels to over the next couple of decades is with a music group, music award, or youth orchestra. She wasn’t born into the kind of family that gets to travel for pleasure.  

Arts education changes lives. It opens the world up to people who wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunities that the privileged take for granted. It levels the playing field. 

I’m a believer in creating access to the arts, because I was that little girl, and the first time I went to New York, or Nova Scotia, or Prague, I was carrying a violin.


Along the path that we can follow between that day and this, many astonishing things happened. We started Caravan Beads and were confounded by its success even while we worked extraordinarily hard to help it grow. There is no achievement of mine that isn’t the result of the generosity of teachers, mentors, family members, and friends who lifted me up at every step of my journey. That is why the keystone of my dream of creating the Museum of Beadwork is a conjunction of access and education. I hope you will join me in giving to this project so we can bring inspiring teachers together with students who would not otherwise have the opportunity to try their hands at this kind of artwork. 


The experience of being deeply moved by a piece of art, that first exhilarating moment of awakening, is universal. The world we currently live in is riven with divisiveness and discord, and I hope this new museum space can help us discover how different cultures have so much in common, how we influence and touch each other, and how our shared history of clashes and conflicts is also one of cross-cultural trade and artistic expression. 



Right now we are taking the first steps to create programs that will allow low-income students of all ages to access our museum space and educational workshops. Your gifts will help us make it possible for everyone to visit the museum and take full advantage of what it has to offer. Please help make this dream a reality by donating today.



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  • Heather Kahn
Comments 1
  •  Elizabeth Blakeman
    Elizabeth Blakeman

    Great stuff! Best wishes. frfo the gallery. I am impressed.

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