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Panel Discussion | Queens Memory Program: Quilting Memories of Migration

  • Self-Taught Genius Gallery American Folk Art Museum 47-29 32nd Place, 2nd Floor Long Island City United States (map)

Queens Memory Program: Quilting Memories of Migration

Gather with a team of quilters and storytellers to celebrate the completion of Common Thread, a twelve-week series of workshops to create a community story quilt. Organized by local artist Naomi Kuo, Common Thread invited several local quilting instructors to teach participants quilting basics, and help them explore their own family traditions of craft and creativity. The result is a community project illuminating stories of migration—memories that are illustrated visually through the quilts themselves, and relayed aurally through embedded electronics that play recorded oral histories.

Join us to hear participants reflect on their experience contributing to Common Thread, and share your own memories of migration to Queens. Alisa Martin, vice president of educational operations at the Tenement Museum (New York), will be moderating this discussion. Following the panel discussion, take a look at the Self-Taught Genius Gallery’s current exhibition, Handstitched Worlds: The Cartography of Quilts, and add your own Queens memory to the ongoing participatory embroidery project, Our Queens. Light refreshments will be served. Come celebrate with us!

Common Thread was the second “story quilt” workshop series developed by the Queens Memory Program as part of the Memories of Migration initiative, funded by a grant from Institute of Museum and Library Services. Memories of Migration was conceived by the Santa Ana Public Library (Santa Ana, CA) in partnership with Queens Library (Queens, NY), West Hartford Public Library, (West Hartford, CT), the State of New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs, and New Mexico Highlands University (Las Vegas, NM). It is a three-year community memory project that gives voice to immigrant communities through the digitization and dissemination of oral histories that develop cultural heritage collections around the shared stories of migration in America.

Alisa Martin, vice president of educational operations at the Tenement Museum, is a senior arts and cultural administrator and project consultant with expertise working in organizations to align internal operations and product offerings with their strategic goals and branding efforts. Alisa led brand management and visitor services at the Brooklyn Museum, and has served as an adjunct faculty member at Baruch College and The New School. Alisa has led cross-functional teams through change management, process improvement, and audience research initiatives. Her consulting clients include the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Lincoln Center Education, BAM Local Development Corporation, and Columbia University. Before shifting her focus to the arts, Alisa spent the early years of her professional life in marketing, service quality, and human resources at MetLife and American Express. She is a graduate of Vassar College and New York University.

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