The Coalition secures funding to expand Quilt Trail

Sanders farm in Phillips. Photo by Saskia Reinholt

Pine Tree Farm Lexington, Maine. Photo by Dotti Carter

FARMINGTON — The Greater Franklin Cultural Coalition is collaborating with the High Peaks Creative Council (HPCC) on a project to expand the American Barn Quilt Trail in southern Franklin County.

The HPCC has created and installed thirty quilt block murals in northern Franklin County and fifteen in Somerset County. The artwork was created through a series of workshops in local school districts and community workshops for people of all ages.

The Franklin County South Barn Quilts will be created in a series of free workshops. Participants will learn the art of making barn quilt murals and help create public art for the community! Each participant will learn skills and techniques to create outdoor murals of American quilt block patterns.

Finished pieces will be displayed in barns and roadside buildings in the area. Workshops will strictly follow CDC guidelines. All ages are welcome, children must be accompanied by an adult. RSVP is required as space is limited. The schedule is as follows:

• Western Maine Play Museum in Wilton, Maine: March 2, 3 and 4 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

• Belle Creative Arts Center in Wilton, Maine: March 7 and 8 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

• Farmington Community Center in Farmington, Maine: March 14, 15, 17, 18 and 21 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

The first barn quilt trail was started in Adams County, Ohio in 2001 by Donna Sue Groves who wanted to honor her mother, a well-known quilter by painting a quilt block on their barn. Soon after, twenty quilt blocks were painted on barns in Adams County.

The project had wide appeal and proved beneficial to the community by bringing tourism and economic development. Today, there are barn quilt trails in more than half of the states in the United States.

The HPCC participated in the American for The Arts “Arts and Economic Prosperity Study 5” and found that the nonprofit arts and culture industry generates $1,755,237 in annual economic activity in the northern Maine High Peaks region of Franklin County.

“This research provides data indicating that the arts and culture industry has a significant impact in our rural communities. Here in Franklin County, the cultural sector provides employment opportunities, supports businesses, attracts tourism and extends the time visitors choose to stay here,” said Reinholt.

The national study was organized by Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading nonprofit to advance the arts and arts education. “We hope that the expansion of the Barn Quilt Trail will improve cultural destination tourism, increase economic activity and increase community pride.

Linking the American hobby of quilting with rural farm buildings together celebrates two integral parts of American culture,” said Reinholt. For more information on the project, please contact Saskia Reinholt at 207-313-4878 or by email [email protected]

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