Project 60/50 met May 20 for “Quilted Conversations: Materializing Civil and Human Rights,” an event that featured historic and locally made quilts to educate and inspire conversations on civil and human rights.
The Michigan State University Museum presented six historic quilts ranging from 1896 to 1991 that were inspired by historic events and people ranging from the liberation of Dachau concentration camp to political activist Marcus Garvey.
“We want people to start having conversations on race and equality prompted by some of the subject matter addressed in the quilts,” said Mary Worrall, MSU Museum curator.
In addition to the historic quilts, members of the MSU and greater Lansing communities submitted quilt blocks that represented a civil or humanitarian issue. The blocks were sewn into one large quilt, which was unveiled at the end of the meeting and promoted meaningful discussion about the subject matter that inspired each block.
“The discussion today was very deep and meaningful and the event today really moved me,” said Lynn Bartley, a Lansing community member who created a quilt block promoting safe gun regulation.
Project 60/50 is still working to inspire more members of the community to submit quilt blocks for an exhibition that will open on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 2017. The exhibit hopes to feature three quilts; two will include blocks submitted by community members and one quilt will be made up of blocks inspired by Lansing’s children.
“I thought it was fascinating. People are brought together in a beautiful and articulate way to discuss the issues about which they are passionate,” said Karen Klein, a Lansing community member who submitted a quilt block celebrating the desegregation of schools. “The fight for equal education for all must be continued and expanded and held as the highest goal of our civilization.”
Campus collaborators for this event include the Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives, MSU Museum, Residential College in the Arts and Humanities and the Clerical-Technical Union of MSU.
Learn more about other Project 60/50 events on campus.