GBA Partners With Museum To Create Business Pioneers Quilt & Coloring Book
The GBA has partnered with Gaston County’s African American Museum of History and Culture to create a quilt featuring black owned businesses and a coloring book highlighting accomplishments of Gaston County residents. The partnership developed after GBA President & CEO Patrick Mumford took a tour with museum Co-Founder and Curator Dot Guthrie.
“During our tour, Dot narrated stories of black businesses in Gaston County,” said Mumford. “I was struck by this rich history, and we began discussing how we could honor and leverage their experiences for the next generation.”
Dot quickly mobilized the African American Quilt Guild to help her create a “textbook on fabric” that will serve as a way for young people and the community to learn more about African Americans in Gaston County.
The quilt will be available for businesses and organizations to use as a visual tool for learning. Gaston County Schools also invested in teaching guides for the quilt to provide teachers the ability to include the information in their curriculums. The goal is to have the quilt travel around the County to spark conversation, celebrate history, and educate. To reserve the quilt for an event, please visit the museum’s website.
In addition to the quilt, the GBA, Gaston County, Gaston Community Foundation, Gaston Arts Council, and the Glenn Foundation contributed to the creation of a coloring book showcasing prominent African Americans from Gaston County. The coloring book titled, “Coloring my Way Through 175 Years of History: An African American History Coloring Book, includes people such as:
- Nathanial Barber, the first African American to serve on the Gastonia City Council and one of the founders of Excelsior Credit Union;
- Juanita Bernice Falls, an opera singer who performed at the Metropolitan Opera and Carnegie Hall; and
- Air Force Brigadier General Horace Russell, who served under Presidents Carter and Reagan.
The quilt and coloring book will help further connect Gaston’s history with present and future generations.