Interested in becoming a community partner with Welcome Blanket? Please read and scroll down.
Artist, designer, and Pussyhat Project cofounder Jayna Zweiman’s work explores how political activism can be “positive, creative, and collective.” Her new participatory project Welcome Blanket confronts issues around immigration and refugee resettlement through a tapestry of handmade blankets.
Welcome Blanket is a crowd-sourced artistic action that calls for over 3,000 blankets to be knit from 3,500,640 yards of yarn, a length equal to the proposed border wall dividing the United States and Mexico. Welcome Blanket invites participants to craft blankets for new immigrants and refugees, and send them with personal notes of welcome and stories of immigration, migration and relocation to the Smart Museum of Art in Chicago.
The exhibition opened in July in an empty gallery, and is interactive and growing as new Welcome Blankets arrive. After the show’s close, Welcome Blankets and notes will be distributed via refugee resettlement agencies to our new neighbors.
Zweiman hopes to extend the project so that, in time, every refugee family coming to the United States will receive a Welcome Blanket and a welcoming note, sparking a new American tradition that is both symbolic and practical.
Welcome Blanket is looking to partner with refugee resettlement agencies and other community organizations to build a network of allies and to help distribute these blankets and notes to our new neighbors.
How to join:
Are you in? There are many ways to partner with Welcome Blanket. Here are some possibilities:
A. Accept blankets and notes from Welcome Blanket project to distribute to the population you serve. We can talk about how many, how and when.
B. Make a Welcome Blanket as a project for your organization.
C. Document the experience of Welcome Blanket for the people you serve. We recognize that everyone is different and some people may not want to be on camera, share their story, etc. We trust your thoughtfulness and discretion. If using social media, please use #welcomeblanket.
D. Spread the word about Welcome Blanket to your staff, population you serve, volunteers, donors, friends, etc.
E. Share information you have (hand outs, articles, websites, etc.) that you believe would be helpful for the population at large to learn about your organization and topics related to refugee and immigrant populations in the United States. We would love to share it!
F. Be listed on our website as a partner.
Tell us! more about you! As your organization and experience are unique, we would love to hear suggestions and ideas you have to share.