PRESERVING A HERITAGE, WEAVING A FUTURE
As Friends of the Royal Textile Academy (FRTAB), our mission is to preserve the textile arts which are deeply interwoven into the warp and weft of Bhutanese rural, religious, and secular life, and to train new generations of weavers to provide for their own economic well-being in a rapidly globalizing future.
With its brilliant interlocking patterns and colors of Bhutanese weaves, the FRTAB logo embodies this mission, while calling to mind the cherished allegory that inspired architect Doug Soe Lin’s timeless and modern design of the Royal Textile Academy.
Our logo’s four golden squares represent the Four Friends of the Buddhist fable Thuenpa puen shi, who rally to grow a bountiful tree and share in its fruits. These four friends are bolstered in their effort by the three interlocking crimson gems in our logo, representing the partners who work shoulder-to-shoulder with FRTAB in pursuit of our mission: Her Majesty Gyalyum Sangay Choden Wangchuck; the Royal Government of Bhutan; and the international private sector whose generosity is the engine behind the RTA’s construction and educational agenda.
FRTAB seized on a bold and ambitious vision conceived in 2005, and has built to near-completion a textile academy that serves as regional and global beacon of cultural preservation and sustainability.
FRTAB is known and respected for the following:
- Enhancing the museum-culture of Bhutan by building, documenting, and conserving a national textile collection representing the most important textiles of Bhutan, and introducing this collection and heritage to the world;
- Constructing all four phases of the Royal Textile Academy: a Museum which serves as sanctuary and showcase for Bhutan’s rarest textiles as well as modern textile arts; a Weaving Academy and Conservation Center to train a network of rural women and emerging artists; an active administrative headquarters; and, a Conference Center which will soon complete the vision of the RTA as a world-class destination and springboard for Bhutanese textiles into the global economy;
- Developing and funding programs for the collection, conservation, conservator training, and exhibition of the Kingdom’s greatest textile treasures; funding internships and fellowships in museum studies; and advocating for the conservation of precious textiles in Bhutan and throughout South Asia;
- Bolstering RTA’s reputation and professional capacity as a vibrant tourist destination, community cultural center, museological support center, and economic development hub spurring production and services to more effectively market the native textile industry of Bhutan.
Our mission does not end here. After the cement dries, the last windows are sealed, the final ceremonial ribbon cut, FRTAB’s commitment to RTA research and educational programming endures. We continue to develop and sustain a committed global network of friends and supporters willing to donate their time and money to the advancement of Bhutanese textiles as a critical world heritage, and a contemporary embodiment of cultural continuity, expression, and identity.
Contact us to learn more about becoming a Friend, and join us in our proud mission to preserve a heritage and weave a future.