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Mon, Jun 28


Zoom Presentation

Marsha MacDowell & Beth Donaldson, Co-authors of Quilts and Health

Marsha & Beth explore the connection between textiles and health. Program is free for current MCQ members. Not a member yet? Click "Join MCQ" button above.

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Marsha MacDowell & Beth Donaldson, Co-authors of Quilts and Health
Marsha MacDowell & Beth Donaldson, Co-authors of Quilts and Health

Time & Location

Jun 28, 2021, 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM CDT

Zoom Presentation


About the Event

Name an illness, medical condition, or disease and you will find quiltmaking associated with it. From Alzheimer’s to Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Lou Gehrig's Disease to Crigler-Najjar Syndrome, and for nearly every form of cancer, millions of quilts have been made in support of personal well-being, health education, patient advocacy, memorialization of victims, and fundraising. 

  This presentation will explore the long historical connection between textiles and health and its continued and ever growing importance in contemporary society.  Marsha and Beth will examine the evidence-based literature that demonstates the profound impact quilts (making and receiving) have on healing and well-being.  They will introduce us to resources - in particular the Quilt Index ( we can use to participate in and or to study the important intersection of art and health.  They are joining us from East Lansing, Michigan.

Marsha MacDowell, Ph.D. is a professor and curator of folk arts and quilt studies at Michigan State University. She is also head of traditional culture digital projects, including The Quilt Index, at MSU’s Matrix: Center for Digital Humanities and Social Sciences. For over 40 years she has been engaged in quilt-related research which has resulted in numerous exhibitions, festival programs, publications, and digital resources. Of special interest is quilt history of Michigan, South Africa, Southwest China, Native Americans, Hmong, and African-Amercans as well as quilts related to health and wellness, human rights, and social justice. 

 Beth Donaldson has been a quilter for over 40 years. She has taught quilt-making, authored books, researched exhibits, managed the Michigan Quilt Project, and worked on the Quilt Index ( since its inception. Currently she is the Associate Director of the Quilt Index, responsible for data and contributors. Contact Beth at with any Quilt Index related questions.

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