Mt Pleasant News

Wash Journal   Fairfield Ledger
Neighbors Growing Together | Aug 22, 2018

Quilt project inspired by refugee plight highlights international potluck

Area residents invited to meet with IW students, share dishes representing diverse cultures
Mar 30, 2018

The opportunity to participate in Quilts That Unite Us, an art project inspired by the plight of refugees worldwide, will be a special feature of this year’s International Potluck Sunday, April 8, at 5 p.m., at Iowa Wesleyan University in the Social Hall.

This is the second year for the dinner, which brings community members and Iowa Wesleyan University (IW) students from a variety of cultures together to share foods from the many nations represented in the Mt. Pleasant area. Place settings are provided. Attendees are asked to bring a dish to share.

Stacey Kitakis Hurlin, owner of Emerald Gallery in Fairfield and director of the ArtLife Society, envisioned Quilts That Unite Us during her travels to work with refugees in Greece. The project involves painting squares of fabric that include the creator’s name, age and place of birth, which are later made into a series of quilts. She has accumulated 721 squares representing 69 countries.

Hurlin will show a three-minute video during the potluck, displaying a finished quilt and many individual squares then provide the opportunity for attendees to create their own squares.

The event is sponsored by Iowa Welcomes Immigrant Neighbors (IowaWINs). It was originally established in the fall of 2015 in Mt. Pleasant in response to the Global Refugee crisis. Since its formation, the Commission expanded the Vision and Mission to include immigrants living in our community. The Commission is open to all community members.

IowaWINs vision is that the greater Mt. Pleasant community would be an inclusive and hospitable community that welcomes people from across the world looking for a new home. In order to achieve that vision, the mission IowaWINs is to identify the issues that newcomers face here, to provide solutions and help integrate them with the community at large; build relationships among the diverse members of our community; build and maintain the infrastructures and sustainable programs that improve opportunity and services now and for future generations of immigrants; provide educational and cultural outlets to the community to learn more about the people (and their needs) who come to Mt. Pleasant.

Anyone interested in joining this effort should contact Tammy Shull at

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