Creativity and Crisis

“Outing” Our Humanity: A Personal-Professional Reflection on the 2012 Creativity and Crisis Folklife Festival

When The Names Project Foundation came to the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage conference room in Spring 2011 to discuss a Smithsonian Folklife Festival program about The AIDS Memorial Quilt, I asked if the program would include making new 3’ x 6’ panels to commemorate Smithsonian Institution colleagues and … Continue reading “Outing” Our Humanity: A Personal-Professional Reflection on the 2012 Creativity and Crisis Folklife Festival

Women Making a Difference: The Women’s Collective, pt. 2

The Women’s Collective was founded in 1993 by Patricia Nalls as a safe place for women and girls living with HIV/AIDS and their families to find care, support, and community. This story was filmed at the Center during a 2012 “Call My Name” quilting workshop conducted by The NAMES Project … Continue reading Women Making a Difference: The Women’s Collective, pt. 2

A Living Artifact of the Lives Lost in the Fight Against AIDS

The 2012 Folklife Festival was closed on one day due to storm damage. The Smithsonian and Festival teams worked tirelessly so that exhibits were ready for participants and visitors by the next day. The AIDS Memorial Quilt was impacted, but incurred only minor damage. This was a testament to the … Continue reading A Living Artifact of the Lives Lost in the Fight Against AIDS

Marquetta Bell-Johnson: The Yo-Yo Queen

Known as the “Yo-Yo Queen” for her use of fabric medallions (yo-yos) to decorate quilts, Marquetta Bell-Johnson translates her skills as a textile artist into her role as a panel-making facilitator for The NAMES Project Foundation. At the 2012 Smithsonian Folklife Festival, Bell-Johnson recounted the power of quilting to transform … Continue reading Marquetta Bell-Johnson: The Yo-Yo Queen