Congratulations to the Tutwiler Quilters for being named one of six recipients of the 2021 Governor’s Arts Awards. The Quilters won in the category of “Arts in Community.”
The Governor’s Arts Awards “are given to individuals and organizations to recognize outstanding work in the artistic disciplines as well as arts-based community development and arts patronage in Mississippi,” noted a Tuesday morning announcement from the Mississippi Arts Commission.
“The awards,” the news release added, “are presented in partnership with the Governor’s Office and signify the important relationship between government and the arts.”
An awards ceremony will be broadcast in February on Mississippi Public Broadcasting TV and MPB Think Radio, and portions of the ceremony will be accessible via digital media.
Initially started in 1998 as a project of the Tutwiler Clinic Outreach Program, the Tutwiler Quilters now are under the umbrella of the Tutwiler Community Education Center.
In a brief biographical sketch about the recipients, it was noted that “Tutwiler Quilters ... helps African American women in the Mississippi Delta use their quilt-making skills to support themselves, their families and help preserve the tradition indigenous to African American people in the Delta. Participating in a creative economy, each quilter is paid for their work, and the [Tutwiler Community Education Center] sells the items on their website and at craft shows. After being featured on CBS’s 60 Minutes, the Tutwiler Quilters have shipped quilts to nearly every state in the nation as well as England, Australia and other countries.”
Among some notable past recipients of the Governor’s Arts Awards mentioned by MAC on Tuesday are John Grisham, B.B. King, Cassandra Wilson, the Craftsmen’s Guild of Mississippi and Malaco Records.
Again, our heartiest compliments to the Tutwiler Quilters and the Tutwiler Community Education Center for the work they have done, and continue to do, and for earning this richly deserved Governor’s Arts Awards honor from the state.
To learn more about the work of the Tutwiler Quilters, or to stop online for some of their handcrafted items, visit the TCEC website at www.tutwilercommunityeducationcenter.org.