Lion Brand Notebook

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Arts Street Textile Studio: Fiber Arts Supporting the Homeless in Philadelphia

October 18th, 2010

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This month, we’re highlighting various fiber works and projects taking place currently around the country and the world. If you’d like to suggest an artist, exhibit, or event, please feel free to leave a comment and let us know!

From the summer of 2009 to the summer of 2010, the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program worked on the “Finding Home” project, a textile mural designed by Josh Saranatitis and Kathryn Pannepacker, assisted by Shelby Donnelly, aimed at raising awareness about homelessness. During that time artists and volunteers working in homeless shelters and cafes throughout Philadelphia worked together to weave the pieces of this mural. After this project, the studio re-invented itself into the Arts Street Textile Studio: handmade with the homeless. Staffed by fiber artists Kathryn Pannepacker and Leslie Sudock, recreation specialist Rachel Gucwa and muralist Mary Newsom, it’s a space that offers lessons in weaving, knitting, crochet, quilting, embroidery in an open studio space for a nominal contribution. The studio will also serve as a gallery featuring the works “of individuals who, though stigmatized as homeless or life-challenged, nonetheless identify as artists and want to work productively as artisans.” In addition, the organization–which is currently working to obtain non-profit status–has also initiated an outreach program to invite homeless women and children to participate in knitting, crochet, and quilting circles.

Stating that “art is a social service,” they are encouraging members of their community to come learn new skills and support this effort. Donations and contributions of materials, tools, and equipment are always welcome. Learn more by contacting Kathryn Pannepacker (kpannepacker@gmail.com) or Leslie Sudock (lsudock@gmail.com).

Arts Street Textile Studio
626 South Street, Philadelphia, PA
Wednesday – Sunday, 3 – 8pm

For more organizations doing good in the world through yarncrafting, click here for our Charity Connection.

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