Stitch Buffalo (501c3) and Massachusetts Avenue Project (501c3) are partnering to present a two-day art event to promote sustainability, work by artists of marginalized genders, and the power of community building through cross-cultural exchange. All events are centered on a visit from internationally renowned LGBTQ+ activist, curator, and artist Shannon Downey.
The event will feature a public exhibit of 180 storytelling art pieces from around the world, sharing the lived experience of the person who created them. This will be held at the MAP building on Buffalo's West Side. During the event, guests will be able to view the art and meet Shannon Downey (who will give a short presentation). They will also be able to tour the farm with teen guides, learn about sustainable food and arts practices, and get free supplies to create their own textile art "Herstory."
The second component of this event is a public art-making session at Stitch Buffalo. Members of the community will be invited to stitch along with Shannon Downey and artists from the Refugee Women's Workshop at Stitch Buffalo. We will be working on a large banner that reads "The World Is Here," reflecting our experience of Buffalo as a vibrant melting pot of world cultures. The banner will also feature floral motifs and textiles from around the world. While visiting Stitch Buffalo, guests will also be able to tour our "farm"—a dye garden full of native plants that can be used to color fabric, paper, and other natural fibers. Guests will see garment samples and be able to experiment with making their own eco-dyed bookmark.
All events will be open to the public with no admission fee (free-will donations will be accepted to support both organizations). This event will take place on Garden Walk weekend (July 28 and 29), so we hope to reach both local and traveling participants—and share with them Buffalo's commitment to diversity and sustainability.
Funded by Buffalo, NY (June 2023)