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PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT ART INSTALLATION

25 MILLION STITCHES – ONE STITCH FOR EACH OF THE 25 MILLION REFUGEES

The world is in flight. 25 million people across the globe have been forced to flee their homelands as a consequence of genocide, war, poverty, drought, targeted violence, and other grave threats. They leave behind everything they’ve known, possessed, and been a part of in order to live; they face immense struggles, misfortunes, and perils on their journey; and, though it all, survival, much less successful resettlement, remains but the slimmest hope.

Please join this project, stitching 25 million stitches: one stitch for each refugee. How does making 25 million stitches help refugees? We believe that stitching for this project is a way for us to engage with this global crisis instead of ignoring it. And even though no single stitch can fully represent an individual, the act of stitching and the resulting work will help bring attention to the scale of the crisis. Therefore the two objectives of the project are:

1. To engage as many people as possible to raise awareness of the global refugee crisis and

2. To amass 25 million stitches to visually represent the sheer volume of this astronomical figure of refugees.

This is a community art installation. We are asking volunteers to hand stitch on fabric panels. We now have over 820 participants from 23 states. However, 2,000 panels will be needed to be stitched to add up to 25 million stitches. When the panels are returned to us fully or partially, stitched we will assemble them into an installation along with the first names of all the participants. Our first full installation will be at the Verge Center for the Arts in Sacramento.

Participating in the project: If you are interested in stitching, please fill out the form so that we can put your name on our file: https://forms.gle/b9pTuEqBBVg7BLJr8

The aim of this project is to raise awareness and create opportunities for conversations about the dire challenges refugees face. There are no bad, ugly, or uneven stitches in this project. Uneven stitches and even personal designs make the panels more unique and beautiful. Any amount of stitching helps. However, Please try to cover as much of the panel as you can and if you cannot finish a panel, please recruit your friends to continue. Please refer to the photos below for the density of stitches we are looking for.

How to further support the project:

1. Recruiting more stitchers is the best way to support the project.

2. You can help us minimize administrative time and cost by buying your own unbleached muslin. Panels should be 15” in width and 30-65 inches in length. We encourage you to use recycled linens in similar dimensions as well. Joann Fabrics, Michaels, and Walmart all carry unbleached muslin. 3. Organizing sewing circles in your area will promote the project: 1.by recruiting more participants 2.by helping one another finish the panels.

We ask the participants to send the finished panels back within three months time. The final deadline is Apr 30, 2020

Please send finished panels to: 25 Million Stitches, P.O. Box #22246, 5930 S Land Park Dr. Sacramento, CA, 95822

25 Million Stitches Sewing Circle at Verge: Saturday, 8/17/19 2-5pm 625 S street, Sacramento: https://www.vergeart.com/attend/25-million-stitches-sewing-circle/
INSTALLATIONS

Eddie Rhode Gallery at the Contra Costa Community College At the Border will showcase 25 Million Stitches as a work in progress August 26-Sept 30 2019

Summer 2020, Verge Center for the Arts, 625 S Street, Sacramento
June 5, 2020-August 15

Please post your stitching images on Instagram using #25millionstitches and add yourself to Team 25 Million Stitches on our FB page, to post your images: https://www.facebook.com/25millionstitches/?modal=composer

The World Refugee Day: https://www.un.org/en/events/refugeeday/

The statistical refugee count is based on the UN Refugee Agency’s 2017 projection based on their study of refugees in 2016 (please read the link to UNHCR). https://www.unhcr.org/figures-at-a-glance.html