Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Story Telling

The Journey to the White House quilt has now been on display for one month (one month and one day to be technically accurate) and what a month it has been. I have personally given several tours including the quilt, have seen people who worked on the quilt come back to the museum with their friends and family to see the quilt and show off their work, and this blog has been viewed by nearly 500 people from across the United States and in a few countries across the Atlantic Ocean!

As I have led tours of the quilt and have seen people discuss the quilt, I am continually noticing the high level of story telling occurring. People are very happy to share their stories about where they were for election night and during Inauguration Day. They love to look at the quilt and talk about the images included, drawing on personal connections. That is one of the amazing outcomes of Dr. Gaither's works. While the quilts are called story quilts, it is not just the quilts themselves that tell the stories. With this exhibition and the quilting portion of the Trails, Tracks, Tarmac exhibition there are stories coming from many places. Over and over again I have witnessed people sharing their stories with one another based on what the quilts inspire and evoke. I have been amazed at what I have heard. At times, I feel as though the museum needs to have a video camera continuously running to capture these conversations. I wonder though if people would be as willing to share as much as they do in the intimate story telling they do while talking in front of the quilts as they would in front of a video camera. My sense is they would not, however it doesn't mean that the story telling should go unrecorded.

We encourage you to share your stories. Whether they be stories inspired by what you see and read here on the blog, from the pictures, or from the quilt itself. Come to the museum and tell your stories with people in the building, share them in the quilt book, or write them on the blog.

The Journey to the White House Quilt is full of images of people who inspired and helped President Obama not only on his journey to the White House but on his life journey as well. Tell us about who inspires you. Who has helped you along the way in your life? Please share your thoughts here.

Need a starting point? Try finishing this idea: I am inspired by.... They inspire me because....

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