The Arts & Entertainment Districts of Cumberland and Frostburg, in concert with the Downtown Development Commission and Schoolhouse Quilters, Inc., are pleased to announce their first ever collaboration, QuiltWalk 2021.
QuiltWalk 2021 celebrates the art of quilting by members of the Schoolhouse Quilters Guild and Creative Needles, two entities that partner to form Schoolhouse Quilters, Inc. Handmade quilts will be displayed in storefronts located in the downtown areas of Cumberland and Frostburg from September 1-30, 2021, showcasing many available commercial properties and showcasing the work of local artists.
The Arts & Entertainment Districts of Cumberland and Frostburg are two of 29 districts designated by the Maryland State Arts Council aimed to develop and promote community involvement, tourism, and revitalization through tax-related incentives that attract artists, organizations, and other creative enterprises to towns across the state. This event is the first ever presented by the A & E District of Cumberland, and seeks to highlight available commercial properties ripe for reinvestment and development, with the hope of attracting artists and arts organizations to fill available space. It is the first in a series of goals the A & E has developed to make developers and artists aware of the benefits of living, working and selling within the A & E District boundaries. Additional quilts will be available in operating storefronts to enhance the overall experience.
To learn more about the A & E, and the economic impact of the Districts' work across Maryland, visit here.
The history of quilting, the stitching together of layers of padding and fabric, some say dates to as far as 3400 B.C., and for much of its history, was primarily a practical technique to provide physical protection, warmth and insulation to bedcoverings. However, quilting in Appalachia became much more, and is today considered a tradition native to the region, producing beautiful works of art which incorporate stellar craftsmanship, creative design, and highly-challenging needlework. Like other art forms, quilting has also changed with technology and the introduction of machinery which takes the process even further.
But quilting has social beginnings, too - it was commonplace in many Appalachian communities for quilting bees, groups of quiltmakers who gathered to create and socialize, often choosing to support community development through the provision of quilts to children and soldiers in need, and to commemorate special occasions in their communities. Today, there remains a steadfast commitment to this art practice, the largest of which results in the International Quilt Festival, which takes place in Houston, TX, annually, attracting more than 55,000 people.
Locally, quilting remains a treasured pastime, and local quilt groups continue to produce, meeting regularly and supplying quilts to children of Jane's Place and other local support programs. The Schoolhouse Quilters, Inc., is comprised of two entities - the Schoolhouse Quilters Guild and Creative Needles, groups who have routinely collaborated for a biennial quilt show, the last of which took place in 2017. This year, they are joining forces once more for QuiltWalk 2021.
Although additional locations continue to be added, the following businesses have confirmed participation in QuiltWalk 2021:
Allegany Arts Council, 9 N. Centre Street, Cumberland, MD 21502
Cumberland Arms, 10 N. Liberty Street, Cumberland, MD 21502
Vacant, 145 Baltimore Street, Cumberland, MD 21502 (former home of Peskins)
Vacant, 62 Baltimore Street, Cumberland, MD 21502 (former home of Beatitude's Hair)
Vacant, 119 Baltimore Street, Cumberland, MD 21502 (former home of Incogneato Imagery)
Vacant, 128 Baltimore Street, Cumberland, MD 21502 (known as Schwartzenbach Building)
Locations to be added shortly.