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Sew Much Love in Memphis

Memphis Puppet Parade

By Patty Mitchell, CEO, Creative Abundance Group –

Blues City Cultural Center of Memphis is hosting their third “Sew Much Love” collaborative art residency, this year sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and with ongoing support from Tennessee Arts Commission and ArtsMemphis. The BCCC, working with The Creative Abundance Group, will invite women presently living in a shelter, artists and community members to make art in a safe space with the goal of creating giant puppets, masks, costumes and dance culminating in a parade April 7th at Tiger Lane for “A Taste of Memphis.”

The Creative Abundance Group offers on-site consulting and technical assistance to programs supporting people with developmental differences, physical challenges, seniors, women living in shelters and other interested groups curious about advancing their vision and mission through the creative process.

The first project with BCCC culminated in a giant puppet parade adding to the delight of “A Taste of Memphis” festival. The women were amazing makers and delighted in the building of puppets, masks and costumes. “Sew Much Love Memphis” grew out of the collaboration with The Creative Abundance approach and the organizers quickly began planning for a doll making residency the following year, with a focus on developing cottage industry opportunities.

“Not only was I intrigued by the Creative Abundance concept, but how the participants, women living in shelters, responded to the freedom to create,” said Deborah Fraizer, Co-Founder/Project Director for the BCCC.

This year Blues City Cultural Center is going BIG.  They are bringing in local dancers, a choreographer, costume designers, mask makers and The Creative Abundance Team to collaborate with approximately 18 women culminating into a parade at “A Taste of Memphis”. The organizers are intentionally encouraging mask-making so that the choice of anonymity is respected while participating in a robust community celebration.


Public Seminar

The Creative Abundance Group is offering a seminar Wednesday, March 29, 2017, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. at SVRS, 3971 Knight Arnold Road, Memphis, TN 38118. Susan Dlouhy, COO and Patty Mitchell, CEO will give a vibrant and timely message addressing current challenges, within social programs with a special emphasis on organizations serving people with developmental disabilities. They will share approaches for adapting to the new Center for Medicaid Services (CMS) guidelines illustrated through stories and photographs of successful CAG projects from across the nation.

Register here

The success of CAG projects relies heavily on creating “making spaces” and introducing responsive collaborative making processes. ARTISTS are the key to facilitating projects and programming and are encouraged to attend and consider this model as a professional path.


For more information:

Blues City Cultural Center 

Sew Much Love

Creative Abundance Group

“Upcycling Sheltered Workshops” A Revolutionary Approach to Transforming Workshops into Creative Spaces. By Dlouhy, Mitchell Ohio University Press & PBS Documentary film, “Creative Abundance.”

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