Interwoven: Craft, Story, Immigration will take place September 19-22, 2019. Generously hosted by The Makery in Coolidge Corner (2 Sewall Ave 02446), this pop-up event highlights three creative immigration projects with ties to Brookline: Welcome Blanket, Brookline Interactive Group's Arrival VR, and the International Institute of New England's Suitcase Stories Unpacked, as well as an interactive discussion with a Brookline immigration lawyer and an immigration historian, and live international musicians (including CCS students). Each day, Interwoven offers hands-on programming so people can come together and learn about immigration, craftivism, and each other. Over 200 Brookline residents have contributed to make more than 70 welcome blankets, which will be displayed throughout the weekend.
Welcome Blanket is a crowd-sourced action. We ask makers of all kinds to share their stories and create symbolic and practical gifts of welcome for new refugees and other immigrants coming to the US. We then display these creations as a collective exhibit to amplify this message of welcome. After the exhibit closes, these works are distributed through refugee resettlement agencies to gift to our newest neighbors.
My dream for Welcome Blanket is to make it an American tradition. It’s intended to outlive any administration. It’s designed to bring communities together to create thoughtful, powerful symbols— and to connect people to one another.
To do that, we are testing different ideas to make sustainable impact. One way is to go hyper-local. Welcome Blanket Brookline, spearheaded by Hadassah Margolis (both my childhood best friend and COO of Welcome Blanket) is the first test case. Interwoven: Craft, Story, Immigration grew from conversations Hadassah had with the local cable network, Brookline Interactive Group. Now, it has turned into a four-day event that includes an attorney, clients from a local refugee resettlement agency who want to share their stories, the Coolidge Corner Merchants Association, local musicians, students, and caterers who immigrated to Brookline from other countries. The Makery, our generous host, will be having a free, family-friendly Welcome Blanket crafting workshop on Sunday afternoon.
Everyone is welcome. The first three evening programs will be $10/event to cover costs (though, if you want to come and cannot because of financial reasons, please let us know). Also, The Makery has some stairs. If you would like to join and have mobility issues, please give The Makery a heads-up so they can help figure out how to make access as smooth as possible.
I can’t wait!
If you have ideas of how to put together a local Welcome Blanket exhibition, how to grow the project, or anything related, please let me know. This is a collective effort. You may be the link to spreading welcome in your community.