Happy New Year LQP People!
As we close out the year and head into the new, I just want to say THANK YOU! 2013 was a topsy-turvy roller coaster ride with many, many difficult lessons, bizarre journeys and teachable moments around conflict transformation and community healing.
A year bursting with much growth, self-exploration, new opportunities and expanding our community connections. And 2014 promises to be even better for The Lynch Quilts Project as we work towards wrapping up 3 of the remaining quilts. Quilt II is being quilted as we speak and is almost completed. Quilt IV's 433 blocks are being pieced together and Quilt V is in active production.
This past year I had the opportunity to present at TEDx Indianapolis and presented Quilt I, Her Name was Laura Nelson, at Central Library in Indianapolis, IN. This one small exhibition lead to a firestorm of debate and discussion in many communities far and wide. The spiral effect of these discussions has in part lead to quilt production being slowed. But the conversations have been fruitful and promising of the creation of a new future. I've had the privilege to bear witness to community healing and learning right before my eyes.
Most importantly, I've been humbled by the level of community support out there for The Lynch Quilts Project. Each day new friends and supporters enter our ranks and I am grateful, especially for those that have walked this journey with me for years . . . a decade now. I am honored by those that continue to support the project by sewing quilt squares or providing research, and all those that helped make TEDx Indianapolis not only possible, but a truly AWESOME experience! The struggle to reduce and understand the project in 10 minutes was truly enlightening. Thanks to those that continue to open new opportunities for LQP - Quilts for Human Rights Book, Mosaic City, R.O.W. and the Indianapolis Neighborhood Resource Center.
To those that became advocates in the their own rights about racial healing, social justice and the need to take back and re-imagine what our communities can be . . . and have the balls to go other there and make it happen. And those that work quietly behind the scenes to bring about social justice in many forms in our society.
I want to say a special thank you to those who sent words of encouragement that always arrived at just the right moment. Master Quilter Otis Grove has a knack for this. If you've been following this project and newsletter, then you know 2013 meant I had A LOT of difficult encounters this year. But I asked for them the day I had the audacity to talk about lynching in our community and fight for a better future. There have been times this year when throwing in the towel seemed like what I needed to do . . . was what I wanted to do. Then a word of encouragement would arrive, a letter from someone touched in a positive way by the project, seeing the project from the eyes of children. Each encounter reminding me why the work must continue.
In garden news, I worked with a group of developmentally disabled adults to teach gardening and it was tremendous experience. The circle of life was all around the garden as we grew more than 25 different veggies and loss 2 chickens; R.I.P. May and June. But most importantly the garden continued to be a place of peace, respite and growth. A place where I could lick my wounds and regenerate. Next growing season promises to open the opportunity for more growth and transformation in the bounty of kohlrabi and squash, tomatoes and sweet potatoes, budding seedlings, black soil and sunshine.
I wanted to list each person and organization that supported me this year. But the list got sooooooooo long (smile) it seemed like it would become the entire newsletter and each would lose your much deserved specialness in such a long drawn out list. You are all deeply appreciated, all held in my heart in many special ways. And I am thankful and grateful for all that you bring to the table, large and small, all that you have provided, tangible and subtle.
I look forward to continue working with each and every one of you to heal our communities in 2014 and beyond. With that said, 2014 promises to ROCK! We will feature guess writers for the next few newsletters as I concentrate on finishing the quilts. We are back in production mode and there are many opportunities to assist! Let me know if you want to jump on board and where.
With gratitude for all you do . . .
LINKS to LQP ARTICLES
Video: Building Community One Stitch at a Time
Radio Interview by No Limits: TEDx Indianapolis
I am an Artist: Mosaic City
TEDx INDIANPOLIS and 2013