by John Aldrich
ANE is losing another dedicated volunteer this summer. April Wilsey and her husband Bill are moving back to Southern California to be closer to their family. This will leave a void in our organization that will be hard to fill. April has been one of our most active volunteers over the eleven years or so that she and Bill have lived in Park City. She has worked in a variety of volunteer roles but has probably had her largest impact on the annual rug show.
April's first rug show came in the early years of the event when it was being held at the Kimball Art Center in Park City. That was before she was a full-time resident of Park City. After moving to P.C. she became very involved with the show and served as chairperson or co-chair for a number of different shows. Anyone who knows what's involved in putting on the show will realize what an enormous commitment in time and talent that this involves.
Another challenging position at the show is organizing the Friday night auction. April successfully carried out this role for a number of years. She also has played a key role in soliciting sponsorships for the rug show.
My first photo of April shows her at the 2004 show. I may have earlier pictures of her, but they would be on film and not easy to access. She's at a familiar place for her at the show, the Amasani table.
Another big position for April has been coordinator of the Amasani Program in recent years. This provides an opportunity for classrooms to adopt an Elder and learn about Navajo culture. April, along with Rodger Williams, also traveled to many classrooms to bring firsthand demonstrations to school children as well as mini-rug shows.
April and Bill have attended many food runs where they would most likely be seen at Teesto where their adopted Elders, Frankie and Anna Jackson reside. The Wilseys developed a close relationship with the Jackson family and opened their home to them each November during the rug show.
In addition to all these other activities, April has been a member of ANE's board of directors, serving as its secretary.
Here's a small collection of photos in chronological sequence starting with the rug show of 2005 where April served as a co-chair: