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The Mourning Project event



The heartbreaking headline read American babies are 76 percent more likely to die in their first year than babies in other rich countries.

The United States’ infant mortality rate is the highest in the developed world.  That statistic shocked me.  It’s a form of American exceptionalism we Americans don’t like to think about.  As the Washington Post put it, Our Infant Mortality is a National Embarrassment.

I thought about the parents of those little ones, whose crushing loss–losing a child before their first birthday–is immeasurable.  The cost of 23,000 infant deaths on our country is unimaginable.

The loss cuts deeper because infant mortality is a problem we understand pretty clearly.  The causes of infant mortality and solutions to it are well known.  It is a problem other countries have solved.  And it is something we have ignored.

As a visual artist, I believe in the power of art to change hearts, minds, behavior, and the world.  Think about the famous AIDS Quilt, a community art project commemorating the loss of more than 80,000 lives.  By ‘drawing’ a picture of a problem, we can see and feel the enormity of it.  Our country, our leaders, and lawmakers need to see exactly what infant mortality looks like in America.

My vision for TheMourningProject.com is that each of the infants lost in a given year will be remembered with a unique, handmade, heartfelt little elegy.   I am asking the fiber art community to come together to create an image of infant mortality with 23,000 pairs of baby booties.  This is the number of American infants who die every year.


Requirements: Please bring fabric scraps and/or black white and grey felt. All other supplies will be provided by Sew Hip.
Instructor: Mary Vaneecke
Instructor Bio: Mary is a visual artist.
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This class cannot be purchased online. Please contact the store for more information.