Monday, August 1, 2016

Unity in balls of yarn

What's red, was constructed by thousands of hands, and seeks to identify commonalities while celebrating the differences between us? The answer is UNITY, an interactive public arts project launched this summer in Alexandria, Virginia.

Nancy Belmont and the folks at Vessence Corporation are behind the idea. They decided to do something about the divisive labels so common in America today.

In an open green space they anchored dozens of poles, each marked with an identifier --  I am a parent; My ancestors came from Asia; I believe in a higher power, and many many more. Members of the community then tied their yarn around each of the poles whose labels described them.

Well over 1000 people later, the resulting canopy is an interwoven visual representation of the community. It tells a story of individuals and connections, of commonalities and differences that lend texture to the tapestry of our country.

UNITY is art doing what art does best - giving voice to the human spirit.


  1. This is a beautiful thought. My fiance's daughter and her husband just moved to Alexandria a few days ago. I will tell her about this.

  2. Great!
    Sounds like a very welcoming community. I hope they'll be happy there.