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news and related projects

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Threads Design and Fashion Event
Link to Threads Website

THREADS is an annual celebration showcasing student work from the Textiles and Fashion Design Program in the School of Human Ecology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The show is produced with the collaborative participation of students across the UW-Madison campus. Combining music, lights, dance, and runway, Threads is an annual event that seeks to engage the Madison community in the excitement and appreciation of contemporary design.

Professor Carolyn Kallenborn

Creative Director

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Global Artisan Initiative
Link to GAI Website

 The Global Artisans Initiative strives to empower artisans and their families through the promotion of their handicrafts, which support community well-being and strengthens cultural heritage. We engage the Madison community with artisans from around the world in collaborative projects and a horizontal learning exchange. 

Professor Carolyn Kallenborn


Lead for GAI-Mexico

Radio Chipstone: Reality? Design And Fashion
April  2021
Link to podcast 

As we inch closer to whatever our new “normal” is going to look like, you may be wondering how to re-enter public spaces. Part of that is what you choose to wear. While it may feel a bit silly, for many, the realization of having to wear actual clothing out in public after more than a year is daunting. So much has changed. We, the big WE, are not who we were.

One way to express how we’ve changed is through what we choose to wear. Threads is a yearly event hosted by UW Madison’s Textile and Design students. This year’s theme is Reality? and explores how the challenges of living through a pandemic “have permeated everything from how we work, how we design, how we think, and how we dream.”

Kallenborn says a trip to Oaxaca, Mexico, and her work with indigenous artists changed how she saw the integration between the arts and our daily lives. In this episode of Radio Chipstone, Kallenborn tells contributor gianofer fields about how she uses what she experienced in Mexico to encourage her students to find a connection between how they approach design and the relationship to community and their authentic selves. 


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“We’ve all lost somebody”: Community Altar Project invites Madisonians to celebrate their dead
October 2020
Link to full article 

By encouraging people to dedicate a specific set of days to fondly remembering their loved ones, invite them back into their lives, and then let those memories go until the following year, Kallenborn said, the holiday helps people manage their grief.

“There's all these things to remind you that you don't want to carry this with you all the time because it's too heavy of a burden to always be thinking about them being lost,” she said. Knowing that you’ll celebrate them again next year, the loss might not loom over you, she said. “It's not that it hurts any less, but I think that it's a healthy psychological way to deal with what's going on.”

A Happy Party for the Dead, Oaxaca Style
Wisconsin State Journal
October 2014
Link to full article
Artist Interview on Musa Errante
Arts program on CorTV
Oaxaca state television station

Broadcast Thursday August 2 and Monday August 6, 2012


Click Here to View Video

Posted with permission of CorTV

Magic Realism: The Work of Carolyn Kallenborn 
by Michele Fricke

As published in the Surface Design Journal, Summer 2005

You can learn a lot about a person by asking what she reads. Carolyn Kallenborn prefers the genre of literature described as magic realism—stories in which situations are real enough to be familiar, but completely extraordinary things occur.  It’s an issue of being both real and unreal at the same time—the impossible becomes possible ....

To read the full article click here

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