Join the Water Quilt Project

About the Water Quilt Project:

ARTivism Virginia, in collaboration with Appalachian Voices, POWHR Coalition (Protect Our Water Heritage Rights), Haw River Assembly, and Preserve Monroe (West VA) is pleased to invite you to participate in the Water Quilt Project to honor and protect the waterways of VA, WV and NC threatened by the Mountain Valley Pipeline and Mountain Valley Southgate.

The Water Quilt Project is a collaborative art project focused on building community and telling the story of neighbors and water bodies impacted by the MVP. Quilters, artists, storytellers, and water protectors from these directly impacted regions as well as anyone from around the globe are invited. There are many ways to participate. We hope you will join us, and please help us to spread the word to others who may be interested. 

For folks who would like to connect with us online, the easiest way to learn more and participate in the project is to fill out this form:

The Water Quilt Project was created out of ARTivism Virginia Co-Director Kay Ferguson’s desire to welcome new and experienced pipeline fighters alike. Kay noted, “The Water Quilt Project is another in a series of invitations to newcomers to our cause – invitations that are participatory, inspirational and compelling while simultaneously lifting up and creatively uniting those who have been fighting pipelines for so long.”

Emily Blankenship-Tucker is another leader of the project, who reiterated the importance of inviting new activists, saying “our primary goal has been to welcome new folks to the resistance.” The Water Quilt Project’s monthly “Stitching Stories & Silence” event format was born out of a test ‘Zoom.’ As Emily recounts, “we hosted a quiet Zoom crafting circle as an experiment, and felt incredibly uplifted by the experience. Working with our hands, laying down the expectations and responsibilities of watching or listening to a screen in order to be with others, using our collective creativity to make a piece of art that will tell a story, invite others in, and honor and protect our water felt radical in its gentleness. It was restful, and beautiful, and inspiring. We’re really looking forward to continuing that in the Stitching Story & Silence Circles on March 15 and April 19.”

We are also making an effort to reach folks who may not be active online. If you know of someone who would like to participate without the internet, they can contact us at: 

Water Quilt Project

1050 Broomley Road

Charlottesville, VA, 22901

A few ways to participate: 

  • Individuals can create a square for the Water Quilt that gives voice to a beloved waterway or water body. 
  • Organizations and faith communities can endorse the project. 
  • All can contribute a short video or photo for our “Weaving Waters” song video. 
  • Anyone can attend one of three monthly “Stitching Story & Silence Circles,” (held virtually via Zoom), and share their story, their quilt square creation or just a quiet time to sew together in this time of distance and concern.  
  • You can choose to make a square for a regional neighbor who is directly impacted or who is working to protect our water future in other ways.  
  • We hope many will invite others to join the project including and especially those who may not yet be aware of the Mountain Valley Pipeline challenge.

The Water Quilt squares will be assembled by ARTivism Virginia and completed squares should be in our hands by May 1, 2021.  

How and when we fully finish and bring the Water Quilt to our communities is, of course, pandemic safety dependent, but we dream of a quilting bee gathering by the banks of a Virginia river come June.  If this cannot be, we will send the Quilt on tour to a safe outdoor space near you.  

Important Dates and Links:

March 15 Stitching Silence & Story Circle, 8:00 PM via Zoom, Register HERE

March 31 Last day to submit photos or short videos for the “Water Weaving Song”

April 19 Stitching Silence & Story Circle, 8:00 PM via Zoom, Register HERE

May 1 Deadline for quilt square submissions. Mail to 1050 Broomley Road, Charlottesville, VA 22901

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Grace is POWHR's Coordinator. She enjoys gardening and fighting for a fossil-free future from Western Virginia.