Update! October 4!
We had a wonderful run with our second host MODA (Museum of Design Atlanta)! Thank you to each and every person who contributed their time and creativity to the project. We are working with MODA to figure out how to share all the images and information they gathered from Welcome Blanket at the “Making Change” exhibition.
Welcome Blanket is continuing! We are lining up new host institutions and working on ways to expand. So, keep making your gorgeous gifts for our new neighbors. We are also looking for additional partners so we can build on Welcome Blanket and grow it into an American tradition. So if you are considering making a Welcome Blanket, do!
Welcome Blankets from the Smart are being distributed to partners across the country. Here’s a pic from a new neighbor’s home in Southern California. As we receive images, I’ll continue to share.
There has been a lot happening behind the scenes, and I am thrilled to announce that we are embarking on a new stage of the project:
MODA (Museum of Design Atlanta) is Welcome Blanket’s new project host!
Welcome Blanket will be part of MODA’s “Making Change: The Art and Craft of Activism” exhibition, from June 3 to September 9, 2018. Betsy Greer is the curator.
Please send your Welcome Blanket and note by August 25, 2018 to:
1315 Peachtree Street NE
Atlanta, GA 30309
In other news: We are partnering with refugee resettlement agencies and other immigration groups to work out distribution of blankets and notes from the inaugural exhibition at the Smart Museum that has now closed (they are an incredible bunch). Each immigration group is a little different so we are figuring out numbers and packaging, etc. More info to come.
“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
– Emma Lazarus, “The New Colossus” (1883), written on
The Statue of Liberty
“I will build a great wall— and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me— and I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will make Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words.”
– Donald Trump, Candidacy Speech (June 2015)
Here’s a question:
The proposed border wall between the United States and Mexico is almost 2000 miles long. Imagine if the massive distance of this wall was re-conceptualized and re-contextualized not to divide, but to include. Instead of wall, a concrete line, to keep people out, what if lines of yarn became 3,500,640 yards of blankets to welcome people in?
A welcome blanket is traditionally created to lovingly mark the arrival of a new person into the world. In the Welcome Blanket project, each handmade blanket is a physical manifestation of this celebration of new refugees and other immigrants: “Welcome to the United States and your new life here! We are so glad you have arrived.”
We want you to join us! Make a blanket and share your story as a gift to a new immigrant to the United States.
If a 40”x 40” throw blanket averages 1200 yards, Welcome Blanket requires about 3200 blankets to reach 2000 miles of length.
The blankets you make, along with your enclosed notes, will be displayed together in an inaugural show at the Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago beginning July 18 through December 17. After the show's close, the blanket packages will be distributed to refugees and other immigrants through resettlement organizations.
Thank you for being part of the Welcome Blanket Project!
To guide you to what you may be looking for:
To print out our flyers, posters, welcome note templates, etc, click HERE.
To find a local yarn store near you already allied with the project, click HERE.
For the "Come Together" blanket pattern (you are welcome to use this pattern or any pattern of you choosing) in knit, crochet and quilting, click HERE.
When you have completed your blanket, please send with your welcome note to:
1315 Peachtree St. NE
Atlanta, GA 30309