Community of Con-stitch-uents

Jclay

Jessica Clayton resisting  and persisting with her handmade shirt by co-founding craftivist, Koko.

We cannot sit still, and if you’re reading, I’m guessing you might feel the same. If you’re stressed out, you’re not alone. If you’re angry, you’re not alone. If you feel alone, you’re not alone.  But sometimes in those deep dark holes of loneliness and seeming despair  the brightest ideas fall unexpectedly into the void, hit us like drops of rain, inescapably lighting the way to hope.

To say this idea started after Nov 8th would be to sell it short. All of us have always had a fire in our hearts and creative tools in our hands. From community murals as senior projects as a means to help a hurting campus heal, to Skype conversations that facilitate cultural and racial understanding and healing… our souls have been intertwined in a collaborative art project for awhile. But after that fateful day we knew what we love must be what we do. We started messaging each other about ways we could start a community art project, but we live on separate coasts. Logistics were a beast, but eventually we got here.

We want this to be a place where EVERYONE can come to get ideas of how to act and heal through art. We want to use this platform to facilitate empowered creative acts that move us- keep us fighting and help us heal. A place to learn- about each other and ourselves. A place we can explore the way to use art to examine ourselves and society. A place to challenge ourselves to connect, to examine privilege, and to use that fire inside to make meaning and beauty.

We hope to bring together a multitude of talents, perspectives, and narratives to create, question, interact and act. We are makers and doers. We want you to tap into your creative reserves and let your dissent flow out of your mind, into your hands, and out into existence in whatever medium you choose. Draw the daring dame who lives inside of you staring your least favorite bigot in the face. Stitch a message railing against the patriarchy into a pillow. Leave some repurposed journals at a bus stop for people to vent in. Gather some friends to sew together a quilt of policy goals you want to see your legislators perform for the year and send it to them. Create a mix cd of your favorite protest songs and mail it to your friends and favorite senators. Then share your craftivism with us! We’ll share our craftivist projects with you too, and post challenges to get you thinking about your role as a craftivist in this crazy world.

For those who are nervous about taking to arts and crafts as a form of dissent, let’s first discard the notion that you can’t do it… because art is for everyone! Can’t draw to save your life and win that game of pictionary? That’s alright, drawing isn’t the only form of art. And guess what- if you really want to-you can learn it- just like building muscles at the gym. #growthmindset #caroldweck

Perhaps our biggest fear is that we are powerful beyond our conception and what we are capable of making will take us to someplace we’ve never been before both internally and physically. Sometimes I’m afraid to engage creatively because there are too many options and too many places one art venture can take you. We need to lose the fear of being wrong- find humility- be vulnerable enough to examine our own biases in order to grow into and expand our consciousness to recognize privilege and act on that privilege. Craftivism is active. It’s about connection, inclusion, and vulnerability for the sake of breaking down barriers. It’s about you and me and we taking the power back into our own hands.  #letsdothis

With love,
Anuli-Jessica-Koko, the founding mamas of your craftivist collective

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