A new community-created fiber arts mural, “Stand-Speak-Shape,” is now on display in Chinatown, NYC. The mural, created by the Chinatown Yarn Circle and Naomi Mirag, was a project designed to knit the community together.
Project participants included Chinatown seniors, youth, public and private organizations (Asian Americans for Equality, Think!Chinatown, OCM Church) and civic allies gathering for civic engagement learning and discussion while knitting and crocheting. Their goal is to “engage as many Chinatown locals, neighbors and friends, many just trying out this new skill, to create crochet pieces and build something beautiful for Chinatown.”
With over 2,000 flowers and sessions throughout the summer, the community, together, has built a mural that is 4-feet high by 28-feet long standing prominently in the center of Chinatown’s Columbus Park. This #StandSpeakShape, mural demonstrates the “community standing knit together” and counters xenophobia and racism with beauty and civic action.
This initiative was supported by several organizations including Creative Sanctum, whose Founder and Executive Director is Sharon Chin, a Landecker Senior Fellow. Through the collective vision of visionaries and supporters, the mural was not only created but also dedicated at the most recent gathering. Chin read a commissioned poem “From Threads” at the gathering.
See the Chinatown Yarn Circle’s Instagram page for pictures from the action. Find out more about Creative Sanctum’s project and how you can engage in it here. This project was one of Chin’s Catalyst Commission projects – using the power of art to build community and foster civic participation to strengthen democracy.
Sharon is one of thirty 2020-2021 Landecker Democracy Fellows. This fellowship, a collaboration between the Alfred Landecker Foundation and Humanity in Action, was created to strengthen a new generation of leaders whose approaches to political and social challenges can become catalysts for democratic placemaking and community building. Read more about the fellowship here.