About Welcome Blanket

The Museum of Work & Culture is excited to announce that it is collecting handmade blankets in preparation for an upcoming exhibition in collaboration with Welcome Blanket and Dorcas International Institute of Rhode Island.

Welcome Blanket is an art initiative started by Los Angeles-based artist and Brown University graduate Jayna Zweiman. In 2017, Zweiman originally conceived of Welcome Blanket as a way to reimagine the proposed border wall with Mexico as 2,000 miles of yarn to be knit into blankets to give to people as a warm welcome to our nation. These blankets, and the corresponding stories of their makers, were then exhibited in order to create spaces in which to talk about immigration issues. Afterward, these Welcome Blankets were gifted to refugees. Since 2017, the project has led to numerous exhibitions across the county.

The Museum of Work & Culture, inspired by the RIHS’s 2024 annual theme Making History, which celebrates creativity, innovation, invention, and craft in Rhode Island, will be staging its own Welcome Blanket Exhibit in September 2024.

How to Participate

To participate, individuals can handmake a 40-inch by 40-inch washable blanket and write a corresponding welcome note sharing a story important to their family relating to immigration or relocation. Blankets can be of any medium (knit, crochet, quilt, etc.), as long as they are handmade and new. These blankets and notes will be exhibited in the Museum of Work & Culture’s changing gallery space in September 2024. Following the exhibit, all blankets and notes will be gifted to Dorcas International Institute of Rhode Island to welcome new refugees as they enter the United States.

All participants will be asked to complete a waiver, which can be downloaded here. Examples of the accompanying welcome notes and welcome note templates can be found here.

The Museum will accept blankets from January 8th until May 15th, 2024. Blankets can be hand delivered to Rhode Island Historical Society locations, including the Museum of Work & Culture in Woonsocket, as well as the Aldrich House and John Brown House Museum in Providence.

Questions related to donating blankets can be directed to mowc@rihs.org or 401-769-9675.

Thank You to our Partners