The Craft and Folk Art Museum (CAFAM) will host an outdoor celebration of Black History Month with music, food and art and craft workshops on Sunday, Feb. 22.
Black Lives Matter-Los Angeles (BLMLA), Yarn Bombing Los Angeles, CAFAM and the World City Center are coming together to, as organizers are referring to the event, “reclaim Black History Month.”
“Black Lives Matter is reclaiming Black History Month as Black Future(s) Month so that we can focus on what we want to see for black folks in the future, instead of just people that have made significant gains in the past … even though that’s important, of course,” said Tanya Lucia Bernard, organizer with BLMLA. “But we really wanted to focus on the vision for what we want the future to look like.”
People who attend the event Sunday afternoon will be able to take part in art-making activities, such as group drawing, cape-making and paper quilt-making.
Quilt-making is an example of the ability of African Americans to use and repurpose resources to create art and preserve history, Bernard said.
“Slave women used scraps of cloth to make blankets and quilts. We’re using that framework to work with the World City Center to make these quilts. Black folks use the resources that they have to create something larger than themselves,” Bernard said.
The event serves to highlight the artistic contributions within the social justice movements, especially in the African American community.
“We wanted to have an art event at CAFAM so that we can prioritize that work and have the community come out and create and envision together … a lot of the time the movement is about fighting and protests. So this is important, this is regenerative. [It’s important to] spend quality time with family and the community,” Bernard said.
On Jan. 12, Yarn Bombing LA unveiled its crochet/fiber art, or “knit graffiti” as some refer to it, on the fence in front of CAFAM which read, “Black Lives Matter.” Yarn Bombing LA’s art installation was an act of solidarity with the national movement Black Lives Matter, which raises awareness about police brutality against African Americans. The Los Angeles chapter of Black Lives Matter was inspired to organize something at CAFAM after seeing Yarn Bombing LA’s art installation.
“They put that up and we were like ‘we should do something at CAFAM.’ It feels like a good pairing to use [the African American] history of creating works from used objects, repurposing items, scraps of fabric for quilts … and bringing that into this current movement,” Bernard said.
CAFAM is located at 5814 Wilshire Blvd. The event will take place from noon to 5 p.m. Admission is free, for all ages and open to the public.
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