Quilters from Gee's Bend, Ala., an African American community internationally known for its quilts, are visiting the Seattle area Feb. 17-22.
Special events will be held at Taproot Theatre Company, Greg Kucera Gallery and Tacoma Art Museum, which are celebrating the history, stories and art of the Gee's Bend community.
The people of Gee's Bend have a rich history going back to slavery days, when the peninsula was the site of a plantation established by Joseph Gee in the early 19th century.
Today, 200 years later, many residents are descendants of the enslaved artisans of Gee's Bend.
Throughout the years they became sharecroppers and land-owners and marched with Martin Luther King, Jr. — their mules even pulled his casket after he was assassinated. Their quilts have been sold at Bloomingdale's and have been exhibited at museums across the country, including shows in the Puget Sound area.
Taproot Theatre Company is excited to have the quilters speak at post-play discussions following two performances of Gee's Bend, the regional premiere of Elyzabeth Gregory Wilder's celebrated play about the courage and hope of the people of Gee's Bend. The quilters will speak after the evening performance on Feb. 18 (which is currently sold out) and the matinee performance on Feb. 21.
Ticketholders to any Gee's Bend performance are welcome to attend on a space-available basis, but seating priority goes to ticketholders for those performances. Gee's Bend runs through Feb. 28; tickets can be purchased through Taproot Theatre's box office at 206-781-9707 or Ticketmaster at 206-292-ARTS. More information is available online at www.taproottheatre.org.
The quilters will also attend the opening reception of Quilters of Gee's Bend: Quilts and Etchings at Greg Kucera Gallery, and then appear for an artist talk at the gallery at noon on Feb. 21. Quilters of Gee's Bend: Quilts and Etchings runs from Feb. 19 through March 28. Visit www.gregkucera.com for more information.
In addition, Tacoma Art Museum is hosting an afternoon tea with the quilters on Feb. 20 from 3-5 p.m. The tea is open to the public. For more information, visit www.tacomaartmuseum.org The quilters will also be visiting a high school that day; that appearance is closed to the public.
Gee's Bend is sponsored in part by the Tacoma Art Museum; their generous support is providing the resources for the women of Gee's Bend to be present at Taproot Theatre's post-play discussions. Gee's Bend is staged in partnership with the Northwest African American Museum.
Taproot Theatre Company is a professional, non-profit theatre company with a multi-faceted production program founded in 1976.