banners of hope
Fabric Arts Council initiative encourages crafters to create for a cause by making banners that will give hope to challenged populations
We all know the immense personal joy and satisfaction that comes from crafting, but our handmade creations can also lift the spirits of folks we’ve never met, by enlivening an environment with inspirational imagery and messages. That’s the aim of the Banners of Hope project, the brainchild of Lorine Mason, co-chair of the Fabric Arts Council (a subset of the Craft and Hobby Association) and Elena Etcheverry, founder of the Charity Wings Art Center in San Marcos, CA.
The two women were in search of a project that would both promote the fabric arts and encourage community involvement around creativity. Banners of Hope accomplishes this by bringing together individuals and charitable organizations to create fabric-based banners to hang in shelters, hospitals, senior homes, and other such spaces, where their messages of hope can reach the less fortunate.
As Elena Etcheverry says, “The Banners of Hope Project is a great way for artists and the community to come together to inspire hope through art and creativity.” She adds, “The charities that came to the Charity Wings Art Center to create banners were moved by the project and how it made them feel. Each person crafted a gift of art that is all about positivity and making people feel good, which in turn fuels our own positive energy and gives us a break from whatever troubles we may be facing in the world.”
Since BOH first debuted in January 2014 at the CHA’s Mega Show in Anaheim, CA, the program has quickly grown, attracting the interest of groups across North America. The CHA/FAC makes it easy for groups to conduct their own BOH events by providing templates and guidance for event planning, choosing a partner charity, raising donations for materials, event promotion, etc.
As Lorine Mason states, “There are two goals for the BOH project, first to encourage the public to develop or expand their sewing skills
on a simple, often quick project, and second, and most importantly, to connect the sewing industry with the public in a meaningful way. You never know the impact of a positive phrase or an uplifting comment on someone in a very delicate state of mind or health.”
To learn more about organizing a Banners of Hope event, visit www.craftandhobby.org/ BOH. Or participate in the Mollie Makes USA Banners of Hope Creation Contest! All banner submissions will be donated to Charity Wings Art Center, which is coordinating a travelling exhibit of banners to be displayed at institutions and public spaces across California and eventually other states. The creator of the best banner will win a fabulous prize! See the sidebar to the right for more info.
Mollie Makes craft editor Jann Jones puts the finishing touches on her Banner.
The only requirement of a BOH is that the base be made of fabric, and that the finished size measures 8x12 inches. Beyond that, it’s all about the maker’s imagination and personal style.
Lorine Mason (left) and Elena Etcheverry at CHA’s 2014 Mega Show, where Banners of Hope was launched.