“It is a thing of beauty . . . all of it: the film, the quilt, the story, the relationships, the memories, the dreams.”
– George Ayoub
The Grand Island Independent, November 10, 2012
The Quilted Conscience (TQC) is an arts-based learning experience that fosters inter-generational, cross-cultural bonds between individuals and communities who otherwise might never meet. TQC works with:
- Immigrant / refugee children who are newly arrived in the U.S.
- Traditional-American communities whose families have been here for many generations, but who don’t yet know their newest neighbors.
It encourages creativity, respect, and friendship.
TQC partners with ELL (English Language Learning) departments of public schools to create and then share with a large general public mural-size story-quilts of the Dreams & Memories of immigrant children – while teaching basic art and sewing skills to the student-artists. It helps form positive bonds between diverse communities and builds confidence and self-respect in at-risk youth. Read more about us in our TQC Overview.
TQC’s primary achievements include:
- Our nationally popular film, The Quilted Conscience, for Public Television.
- The rapidly expanding workshop and exhibition programs, which have been developed and disseminated through extensive broadcasts and screenings of the film.
John Sorensen (Project Director) is the creator of The Quilted Conscience workshops and is the producer / director of The Quilted Conscience film, which is currently being broadcast on Public TV stations across the U.S. He is the author of the books The Grace Abbott Reader (University of Nebraska Press, 2008) and Grace Abbott: an Introduction (UNO, 2010). His newest Abbott book (A Sister’s Memories) was published by the University of Chicago Press in September 2015. Mr. Sorensen has presented a wide-range of arts and social service programs for the U.S. Dept. of State, the New York Public Library, Chicago Public Radio, New York University, Columbia University, the University of Chicago, the University of Nebraska, Paley Center for Media, Anthology Film Archives, Nebraska Public Radio, the Chicago Humanities Festival, etc.
In addition, Mr. Sorensen is the founding director of the New York Public Library’s Four Corners world culture series and of the Jumble Shop Theater of Greenwich Village (for which he has directed productions of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Sophocles’ Electra, Ionesco’s The Chairs, Chekhov’s Swan Song, etc.).
He was the assistant director of the Broadway plays Tru (Tony Award) and The Big Love and appeared as an actor in the ABC-TV series Hot House. His work for the U.S. Dept. of State includes two lecture tours in Romania. He has directed many films, including documentaries (The Andy Warhol Robot, Carnegie Museum) and dramatic works (Midsummer, NYPL), as well as radio specials such as Aunt Willa and the Menuhins (WFMT, Chicago) and the radio drama series, Theater of the Air (WNYU-FM, New York City).
Peggie Hartwell (Artistic Adviser) is a preeminent American quilt-maker who focuses on the creation of story-quilts to educate and inform the young. She is a founding member of the Women of Color Quilters’ Network. Her life and work have been the subject of profiles by the Smithsonian Institute and the TV program, Reading Rainbow. Ms. Hartwell has a B.A. in Theater from Queens College, N.Y. and a Certificate of Completion: Artists in Classrooms (Developing Strategies for Working with Students with Disabilities) from the South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind. She is on the roster as a Master Artist for Opus Inc., Hartford, CT and as Artist in the Classroom for the State of South Carolina.
Thanks to Our Supporters!
We are deeply grateful to all who have been involved with our endeavors over the years. None of The Quilted Conscience projects would be possible without the moral support and financial contributions of many community groups. A very special thanks to our key sponsors and partnering organizations.
Grace Abbott School of Social Work, University of Nebraska-Omaha
Earl and Maxine Claussen Trust
The Cooper Foundation
The Duncan Family Trust
Nebraska is Home
Peter Kiewit Foundation
Principal Financial Group
The Woods Charitable Fund
The Quilted Conscience is a fund under the Grand Island Community Foundation.