News and Information

Marcia Barker Named Director of Education

of Quilt Festival and Quilt Market

Marcia BarkerQuilts, Inc., which produces the spring and fall editions of both the International Quilt Festival & International Quilt Market, has named Marcia Barker as the company’s new Director of Education.

Barker will succeed the late Vice President of Education Judy Murrah. Her duties will involve directing more than 150 faculty members and overseeing the 550+ classes and lectures that constitute the educational components of Quilt Festival and Quilt Market. She will also manage teacher and class selection, foster student relations, and analyze class evaluations.

She will be supported by a team that includes Quilts, Inc. Education Manager
Jill Benge, Education Assistant Barbara Cline, and a handpicked, experienced show team.

“Judy certainly left some very big shoes to fill with her decades of leadership, experience, and creativity,” says Quilts, Inc. President and CEO Karey Bresenhan. “But I know that Marcia – who worked closely with Judy – is the perfect choice to head and lead the educational component of our shows. And I feel that she will take them to even greater heights in the coming years.”

As for what she hopes to accomplish in her new position, Barker sums it up with three words: Make Judy proud. “It’s all about maintaining the quality Judy brought to the department and supporting and showcasing our great faculty and events,” Barker says. “I am very much a project person, so the aspect of working to plan large events like these, inviting the public to enjoy, and then executing it successfully appeals to me greatly.”

Marcia Barker has been with Quilts, Inc. since 2000, serving as a member of the Education show team, coordinator of the Bernina Fashion Show, and eventually becoming Education Show Team Leader. She grew up in California, Florida, and Arizona before moving to Texas, and earned degree in Business from the University of Houston/Victoria. She has been sewing since she was nine years old, with an emphasis on garment making.

Personally, Barker has been married to her husband, Tom, for nearly 40 years. They have a son, daughter, and two grandchildren. She has been very active with Habitat for Humanity – serving both as a board member and construction crew leader. Her other interests include traveling, and collecting regional textiles and crafts on those journeys. Barker was also a member of the popular song and dance variety group Up with People, performing on stages all over the world.

“I enjoyed traveling for a year with Up with People, and I think I bring that same sense of ‘show’ to what we do with Quilt Festival and Quilt Market,” Barker offers. “There is so much planning and preparation before those doors open…and a great sense of accomplishment when they close. And I love the folks I get to work with!”

As for the one thing she learned most from working under Judy Murrah, Barker says it’s all about…ears.

“I think what she taught me most was the importance of listening to people, appreciating what each one brings to the table, and truly enjoying the creative environment in which we are fortunate enough to work,” Barker sums up. “Judy grew this department over the years through her love of quilting, but also her genuine love of the quilters and her faculty. They could always feel her sincerity.”