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Minneapolis, MN – The Minnesota African American Heritage Museum and Gallery (MAAHMG) presents the Community Quilt Project this summer and invites the public to participate at various community events in the Twin Cities where MAAHMG will have a table with quilting materials for community members to design their own quilt squares. Participants can use embroidery, embellishes, appliques, fabric paint, fabric markers and other materials to create personalized quilt squares to amplify their messages reflecting the themes of Black History, Black Joy, Love, Family, Racial Equality, Voting Rights, Health Care Equity, Black Liberation, Gun Violence & Healing, and Juneteenth – Freedom. There will also be a special Prince-inspired quilt created during the painting of the Prince mural. The individual squares from each event will be collected and later sewn together to create quilts (5 feet x 5 feet each) that will be displayed in an exhibit at the museum. Participation is free and open to the public. All supplies will be provided by MAAHMG and the project will be led by artists, creatives, quilters and seamstresses who will assist the public with designing individual quilt squares.

“Quilts are important historical and artistic pieces in the Black community that encompass the tradition of storytelling, and are expressions of culture, community and freedom,” said Tina Burnside, MAAHMG Cofounder and Curator. “This project will teach people about

the history of the African American tradition of quilt making and bring people together after being isolated by COVID and traumatized by police killings of Black people in the Twin Cities.”

The project will take place from late May through September 2022 and include community quilting at these events:

  • Prince Mural Painting – May 21; 12 – 4 pm 
  • George Floyd Global Memorial Celebration – May 28; 10 am – 7 pm
  • Open Streets Lyndale – June 5; 11 am – 4:30 pm
  • Juneteenth – June 18; 12 – 6 pm
  • FLOW Northside Arts Crawl – July 28 and 29 from 1 – 5 pm; July 30 from 10 am – 1 pm
  • V-Fest Northside – August 13; 1 – 5 pm
  • Open Streets East Lake Street – August 13; 11 am – 4:30 pm
  • Urban League Family Day – August 27; 12 – 7 pm
  • Open Streets Broadway – September 10; 11 am – 4:30 pm
  • Southside Back in the Day – (TBD)
  • Selby Jazz Fest – (TBD)
  • Rondo Days – (TBD)

There will also be special quilting sessions for community elders. Historically, quilts were functional, made for warmth and bedding; and artistic, made for household décor. During slavery, enslaved Black women had to spin, weave and sew quilts for White people. However, enslaved women would also make quilts for their own families by turning scraps or throw away garments into beautiful designs and patterns. Quilting also created bonds between Black women as they gathered together to create their own culture and connections away from the oppression of slavery. Quilting also gave people a safe place to gather. Quilts made by African Americans were distinguished by their storytelling, bright colors, abstract designs, and strip-piecing. This project is funded by a Creative Support for Organizations Grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. For more information, check out our website at:

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