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No More Violence Week: Threads of Connection

Community quilt displays messages of preventing violence, healing, safety, and kindness for No More Violence Week.
No More Violence Week: Threads of Connection
Posted at 6:48 PM, Apr 12, 2024

In conjunction with No More Violence Week, the Threads of Connection showcase at the Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art features a 167-foot long quilt consisting of 669 squares, crafted by people within the community of all ages, spanning from ages one to ninety six.

The project took three years, with the first two years consisting of gathering finished squares from over 20 workshops within the community. At these workshops, participants were given prompts such as ‘What is safety? Connection? Healing?’ and ‘How do we prevent violence?’.

Organizations that contributed include the Great Falls Rescue Mission Cameron Family Center, YWCA, Senior Center, Alliance for Youth, PGS Curative Art Collective, PGS Senior Art Class, Youth Court, AWARE, and Easterseals Goodwill.

The quilt squares are made of old bed sheets, which Director of Education at the Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art, Ellie Weber says “is a pretty interesting layer of the context of violence in general. And this idea that it's a quilt is to sort of counteract that, and think about how beds are also a place of real comfort. This quilt really spans those ideas of ‘how do we prevent violence?’ What is on the other side of violence - which is healing and connection and safety. Through the prevention of violence in the community, we are all connected. And so that is why we titled it ‘Threads of Connection’ because those running stitches are really what's connecting all of us as individuals.”

Participants utilized a variety of mediums including paint, watercolor, and embroidery. Many display messages of love and maintaining peace.

Weber shared her thoughts on seeing the project build for three years; “I think one of the most powerful parts of this project is seeing it really come together, and seeing how much it grew. This quilt has become really powerful because what you see here are all ages and you see all of these different ways that people are connecting to the prevention of violence or through their own narratives of personal experience."

For the purpose of the display and giving pieces of the quilt back to organizations that worked on it, the quilt is partly broken up into panels. After this week, the quilt will be taken apart to be distributed throughout the community.

Threads of Connection at Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art is supported in part by the Montana Arts Council, a state agency funded by the State of Montana, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Additional funding is provided by museum members and the citizens of Cascade County, Davidson Family Foundation, D.A. Davidson, Horizon Credit Union, an anonymous donor, and Kelly’s Signs & Design.

For more on the Threads of Connection, click here.