The Giving Strength Robe is a woven healing blanket. Eighty-four Chilkat and Ravenstail weavers from across the Pacific Northwest and beyond have registered to contribute to this project, which will be completed in October 2019.
The robe is drawing further attention to the issues of domestic and sexual violence, and inspiring healing in survivors, both locally and internationally.
Once completed, the robe will be danced and given to Aiding Women in Abuse and Rape Emergencies (AWARE), Juneau’s gender-inclusive shelter for survivors of gender-based violence. The robe will be worn and danced, bringing strength and healing for years to come.
Creation of this robe is motivated by the grief and survival many are feeling in regards to domestic violence, in our women, our communities, and our nation. We weavers are coming together to weave, to commune, and to bring strength to all involved.
Structurally, it will be 72” by 60,” with several dozen artists contributing original 5x5-inch weavings, and will be a combination of geometric Ravenstail and curvilinear Chilkat weavings, similar to the recently-finished Weavers Across the Waters Community Robe, which was spear-headed by the late Clarissa Rizal, mother/sister to three of the weavers/motivators on this new project.
Participating weaving artists live as far as Colorado, New Mexico, Oregon, and Washington; and cities in Southeast Alaska, including Ketchikan, Sitka, Juneau, Hoonah, Yakutat, Skagway, Wrangell, Anchorage, Prince of Wales Island; and reach up into Whitehorse and Teslin, Yukon Territory, Canada.
Lead teachers/weavers in several communities have committed to assisting beginning weavers to execute their projects, with monthly in-person gatherings, or weekend-long classes. These gatherings and classes encouraged excellence in handiwork, and expanded the weaving community, as new weavers joined.
The top and side borders framing the 5 X 5 contributions will be woven in Juneau, Alaska, inside the AWARE shelter, inviting residents and weavers to participate, bringing strength and healing to the all participants and witnesses.
The Giving Strength Robe will be finally assembled with all squares in October 2019, with the robe permanently housed and used by AWARE, in Juneau, Alaska, hopefully traveling with staff for domestic/sexual violence awareness events around the Pacific Northwest, and potentially nationally/internationally.
The scope of this project is multi-layered, with healing and strength for our communities as the foundation for the work. In addition to holding space for healing, we’re strengthening the Chilkat and Ravenstail weaving art forms, our community connections, our women, our children, and our nation.
A book including weavers' biographies, images, and stories regarding their impetus to join this project is being compiled. Should enough funds be raised, the book will be printed, and all contributing weavers will receive a copy.
All financial donations will be regognized in the back of our book, whether it be digitally or physically published.
Your financial support will cover expenses directly related to this project: weaving materials, lead-teacher honorariums, book layout and printing costs, small honorariums for weaver contributors, food allowances for gatherings, supply costs for the first dance event in October 2019, and travel expenses for lead teachers to attend the event.
This project is being organized by Spirit Uprising, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the integrity of Ravenstail and Chilkat Weaving by promoting excellence, educating students, and supporting weaver communities internationally. Spirit Uprising is seeking its 501(c)(3) status. The Juneau Arts and Humanities Council is our acting fiscal sponsor for this project. All monies raised will be directly applied to this project.
Inspired by weaver Heidi Vantrease.