The Textile Museum is proud to announce its partnership with the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities for The American Quilt: Weaving the District’s Future, an American Masterpieces project sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts. The program aims to draw attention to the importance of quilting as a treasured American masterpiece and educate participants on how quilting tradition serves as a way of documenting history and examining social circumstance.
The American Quilt: Weaving the District’s Future consists of free adult and youth workshops led by Pat Autenrieth, a local quilter, mixed media artist and associate professor at the Corcoran College of Art & Design in Washington D.C. in addition to a special guest lecture by world renowned artist Faith Ringgold titled Story Quilts: an American History. The hands-on workshops, open to all District residents, will be held at citywide, Metro-accessible venues from September 9-19, 2009. During the workshops, participants will create quilt squares that represent their individual visions. The project will culminate in the unveiling of a dynamic community quilt, comprised of these individual quilt squares, on September 28, 2009 at The Textile Museum. The quilt will remain on view at the museum for one week. During this time, workshop participants, as well as visitors to The Textile Museum, will have the opportunity to rearrange the quilt squares, creating an ever-changing design that embraces individual diversity, cooperation and flexibility. After it is exhibited at The Textile Museum, the community quilt will be added to the D.C. Commission’s Art Bank Collection.
In addition to the adult and youth workshops, The American Quilt: Weaving the District’s Future features a dynamic, crowd-sourcing website, www.theamericanquilt2009.com, where
people of all ages and artistic backgrounds are invited to participate in a special online contest. To enter the contest, website visitors should upload their ideas for quilt squares between now and September 11, 2009, then rank their favorite designs from those submitted. The top five quilt square ideas will become part of the community quilt exhibited at The Textile Museum, and the winning designers will be invited to attend a special VIP quilt-making workshop led by Pat Autenrieth. They will also receive complimentary memberships to The Textile Museum and a copy of the book Contemporary Quilt Art: An Introduction and Guide by quilter and author Kate Lenkowsky. Additionally, the top winner will be awarded a gift certificate to The Textile Museum Shop.
“We are so pleased to work with the D.C. Commission on this extraordinary project,” said Maryclaire Ramsey, The Textile Museum’s chief executive officer. “By encouraging participants to learn about quilting firsthand, the project speaks directly to our mission—to expand awareness of the artistry and the cultural importance of textiles.”
Those who wish to participate in the workshops must apply through the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities. Applications from quilting professionals, artists, and youth ages 12 to 17 are being accepted. All events are free and open to the public pending application approval and space availability. Applications can also be obtained by contacting the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities by phone at (202) 724-5613 or through the Commission’s website,