These living arts have been passed down by oral histories through generations of women and men—connecting us to our roots, our past, our community, and consequently to our present.”

— Natalie Chanin, 2008
From the original introduction to Alabama Stitch Book

A connection to community has always been deeply rooted in Natalie’s work and is an integral part in the establishment of the Project Threadways nonprofit. In Project Threadways’ mission, community is included in two ways:

  • Sharing and retelling how the act of making textiles shaped the lives of the communities and the individuals of those communities
  • Exploring the connection between community and the evolving region through the lens of material culture

Project Threadways is retelling the stories of our community through an ongoing oral history project in partnership with the Muscle Shoals National Heritage Area. During last year’s symposium, Brian Murphy from MSNHA, shared oral histories he had conducted with previous Tee Jays textile workers. (If you want to learn more about Tee Jays, visit here.)

In anticipation of this year’s theme, “Textiles Across Time and Place,” the oral history project has expanded and includes a more diverse perspective of textiles in our community. Katie Randall from the MSNHA heads up the oral histories this year and will present at the 2020 Project Threadways Symposium on Saturday, November 21st at 10am.   

Her lecture will be open to the community in a pay-what-you-wish fashion. Everyone is welcome to join. Invite a friend. Bring your family. Tell your neighbors. Any and every donation is deeply appreciated and will go directly toward Project Threadways. We ask that guests RSVP that the team can plan accordingly.

We announced the 2020 symposium last week, and tickets are available for the event held this year from November 19 – 21 at The Factory.

Purchase tickets for Friday, Saturday, or All Access here.

RSVP to the oral history presentation, which is open to our community (near and far).

Support Project Threadways nonprofit by making a donation here.

Project Threadways is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) that records, studies, and explores the history of the textile industry in The Shoals community, and the American South.

Please note the symposium has been rescheduled from April to November due to the Coronavirus outbreak. Please contact with questions regarding your tickets.


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