Tina Cassara received a BA in urban studies, emphasis in sociology from Barnard College, Columbia University. Following graduation, she moved to Viques, in the Juan region of Peru, and studied with Francisca Mayer from Black Mountain College, teaching natural dyes derived from indigenous plants to local weavers. Her travels continued through the Collao Altiplano region of Bolivia. While living in New York City, Cassara was co-editor of Sing Out! magazine before attending Cranbrook Academy of Art, where she received an MFA from the fiber department. Cassara has since conducted extensive research into women’s labor in the American textile industry, issues of European migration and relocation, and more recently, the assigned value of labor in historically women-dominated textile industries in the South. In the late 1990s, Cassara began exploring the history of textile production. A strong advocate for organized labor, she began conducting interviews in LaGrange, GA, and nearby mill towns, speaking with retired textile workers, factory owners, surviving union organizers, and members of textile heritage societies. In 2008–09, Cassara was awarded a sabbatical to further her research in the network of textile heritage societies, including travel to Cooleemee, NC, working with organizers of the Textile Heritage Initiative and members of the Troop County Historical Society. Cassara's research also continues in Scranton, PA, where she is examining documents and photographs related to the growth of the mining and silk textile industries
Degree MFA, Cranbrook Academy of Art; BA, Barnard College, Columbia University
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