Daughter Alison is with me at University of Central Missouri. a history major who is keen on such things, will now help me preserve, archive, and catalogue information is now The 70273 Project Documentarian.
It was good to get reacquainted with the quilts. I think they were as almost as glad to see me as I was to see them.
Firs stop of the day was to a Fiber Arts Class taught by Professor Mick Luehrman. Many of these students are Art Education majors, so I gave a brief overview of The 70273 Project then spent time talking about Nancy’s work and how it has changed and evolved since June 2012 when she began drawing.
Next it was back to the McClure Archives and University Museum where I had the honor of speaking to Dr. Clifford’s Cultural Anthropology class. Their paper about The 70273 Project is due on Thursday, 19 September 2019, and because they’d just discussed construction of cultures, I focused my talk on Aktion T4.
One student showed me photos of the Hawaiian quilts his sister makes. He’s very proud of her, and rightly so.
I even shot a short video for him to send her, inviting her to bring Hawaii into The 70273 Project.
Several of the Cultural Anthropology students stayed after the talk, taking a closer look at the quilts and snapping photos (They asked Dr. Clifford first), perhaps for their papers. Many of them wandered over to ask me more questions or just to chat a bit about the project or history. Collin Shepherd, the man on the left (name used with his permission), says “I love the simplicity of the project and that anybody can participate. The simplicity makes it powerful.” Such good questions they asked. And how I enjoyed getting a glimpse of how their brains work, how they are using critical thinking skills (yay!) and diving deep in thoughtfulness for a blast of insightfulness.
Two reporters were there before, during, and after my presentation to the Cultural Anthropology students. Heather Berry of Rural Missouri (L) and Derek Brizendine of The Daily Star Journal (R). (Now listen, y’all. The Daily Star Journal comes out on Friday, and we’ll still be here so I can get a couple of copies of that, but I need y’all to promise me faithfully that you’ll send me a copy of Rural Missouri when it comes out with the article in it.) They, too, asked terrific questions and seemed keenly interested. Heather is working on her second quilt and using her sewing machine. Her first quilt was done by hand as she spent time with her mother who was dealing with cancer. Fortunately, Heather was able to show her mother the finished quilt before she died. And guess what: she promises to get involved with The 70273 Project and make a quilt! Derek’s burning question (delivered after the students left): “Tell me about your shirt and your glasses.” They were so much fun.
After bidding farewell to Heather, Derek and the Cultural Anthropology students, it was time for the Art and Collaboration class taught by Dr. Melanie Johnson. These students are pursuing majors in a variety of fields – sports medicine, business, music, and more that escape me right now – so after a brief overview of The 70273 Project, I focused on collaborating with Nancy and with people from around the world, and what it’s like leading a ginormous group of kind, compassionate, creative volunteers. Theses students, like the ones before them, were delightfully engaged, inquisitive, and observant. They continued the tradition of asking thoughtful, pertinent questions. Good questions seems to be the theme of the day. Do you have questions? If so, let me know because I plan to post the questions and my answers in future blog posts.
We left campus with a smile on our face and much to talk about. After a stop by the drug store and the college bookstore (where I purchased a tote bag which will be much easier to get to things we need instead of having to negotiate a suitcase), we came back to the apartment. The plan was to rest for an hour or so, then go to Amber’s house to see Tara and meet their goats. But you know what actually happened? Energized as I was, I want you to know that I sat down and went promptly to sleep. I was in such a deep sleep that Alison couldn’t wake me up till near midnight, so we’ll meet the goats and hear all about Amber’s shiny, new Fulbright scholarship later in the week.
It was a good day, a great day, an amazing, astonishing, absolutely sublime day. Parents, if your child is considering the University of Central Missouri, put it on the short list. If they’re not considering UCMo yet, put it on the short list to visit. Professors, Museum Directors, and Accessibility Staffers on college and university campuses, consider inviting The 70273 Project for an exhibit, class visits, presentations on and around campus, and a block drive. I’ll make you look good, I promise.
If you’re in the vicinity of University of Central Missouri, here’s the schedule for the rest of this week:
Wednesday, 18 Sept 2019
12 to 1:30, students, staff, and faculty are invited to a brown bag lunch with Jeanne in the Chapel Basement
5:00 p.m. Jeanne will present “The 70273 Project: a Backstage Pass” at the Warrensburg Presbyterian Church. This even is open to the public, so y’all come on.
6:30 p.m. Community dinner with Jeanne Hewell-Chambers at Café Blackadder. By invitation only. Attendees pay for their own meal.
Thursday, 19 Sept 2019
2:00 p.m. Lecture (The 70273 Project: a Backstage Pass) at Midwest Center for Holocaust Education in Kansas City
Saturday, 21 September 2019
9 am to 12 pm Block Drive in downtown Warrensburg Courthouse Square. All ages invited. No sewing skills necessary.
Hope to see y’all at some of these events, and Dr. Amber Clifford (above l to r: Dr. Clifford, Jeanne, Dr. Melanie Johnson, who was wearing the cutest shoes you ever saw), thank you again for this week.