Quilter, historian receives grant to create storytelling quilts

Local textile artist Marla Jackson has received a grant from Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area to create a series of storytelling quilts.

The project will connect the story of an enslaved woman in Cass County, Mo., who was brought to Lawrence in 1862 as contraband. Students at the African American Quilt Museum and Textile Academy, 730 East Ninth St., which Jackson owns, will help create five quilts that interpret her as enslaved and then as free, while exploring the historical context of her story.

A lecture series will discuss the history of the enslaved woman, as well as quilting, dying, weaving and spinning techniques. Research conducted will be published in an accessible format.

"I love working with youth to help them express the pride, spirit, pain and joy of the American experience through quilts and textile media,” Jackson said in a press release.

Last year Jackson’s students made a quilt, also with a grant from FFNHA, for the 150th anniversary of Quantrill’s Raid entitled "Still We Rise." It was exhibited at the Spencer Museum of Art.


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