With support from the Pearle Francis Finigan Foundation and the Friends of the Robert Hillestad Textiles Gallery, the Department of Textiles, Merchandising & Fashion Design (TMFD) is launching the Nebraska Fiberarts Initiative (NFI). The NFI's mission is to provide engagement and outreach in textile design and creative arts to the citizens of Nebraska and the students of the University of Nebraska. This initiative expands and enhances public education offerings in the area of textile design and responds to a resurgence of interest in the textile arts. TMFD is the home of the Robert Hillestad Textiles Gallery and is developing this initiative to complement future gallery programming and to take advantage of visiting artist opportunities linked to gallery exhibitions.

 The NFI's mission will be accomplished with professional level workshops and a series of short classes that use the facilities already in TMFD. Class size for workshops will be small, not exceeding 15 participants, so the student-teacher ratio will be optimal. Members of the Friends of the Robert Hillestad Textiles Gallery will be able to take advantage of discounted registration fees. The first set of workshops and classes will begin in September 2016 with Folds for Clamp Dye Resist led by Massachusetts-based artist Elin Noble.