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Stitching Portland’s Black History: Virtual Exhibit
October 18-November 1
The story of a quilt and the incredible women who created it.
For the first time in 23 years, the Afro-American Heritage Bicentennial Commemorative Quilt was on display at the Oregon Historical Society. Unfortunately the exhibit had to close prematurely after the quilt sustained damage after being forcibly removed. This virtual exhibit aims to to continue to honor and preserve the legacy of the Afro-American Heritage Bicentennial Commemorative Quilt which was conceived and created by 15 pioneering African-American women in Portland and completed at the time of the Bicentennial in 1976 to celebrate Black history in America.
Displaying this quilt, a valued part of the OHS collection, during Portland Textile Month emphasizes its political and cultural importance, both historical and present. It highlights (1) the important contributions of African-Americans during 200 years of American history, (2) the pride expressed by the quilters in America as a diverse nation, and (3) the significant contributions of the quilters to the city of Portland despite decades of racial discrimination. The quilt shows the decades-long efforts by Portland’s African-American community to address racial discrimination and the injustice it causes.
The 30 blocks in the quilt each represent an event, individual, or group of importance to Black history in America. A copy of the original pamphlet that describes the stories in each block will be on display with the quilt.
Portland Textile Month only happens one month out of the year and we have more events than we can list. So the TextileX-change has been created to serve as a year-round companion site. Both community platforms provide a space to share ideas, histories, knowledge, commerce, and practices across cultures and generations.
TextileXchange serves as a primary hub to foster this inspired exchange throughout the Portland textile community and beyond. We hope you’ll join us!
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Help Fund the Next Phase of Development of Portland Textile Month
In a little over two years, PTM has turned from an ambitious idea into an engaged community movement. This transformation highlights the power of our mission to foster collaboration cross-pollination, cultural dialogue, and exchange among the Portland textile community and beyond.
We've organized 3 festivals with over 170 events representing the diversity of textile interests and practices. And we've galvanized makers, businesses, teachers, students, institutions, and organizations to gather around shared interests and knowledge-sharing.
PTM would not have been possible without the dedication of a core group of committed volunteers and the receptiveness of the textile community. We hope to continue building PTM and TextileXchange as sustainable resources that serve the textile community for years to come. And that's where you come in.
If you feel a connection to the PTM mission and what we can accomplish together, please consider directly supporting the next phase of our development. As a direct contributor, your funds will go toward directly towards operational expenses.
Make Your Contribution to PTM