Crafting Democracy: Craft Intervention at Corinthian Hall

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By rvuji

The Event: Craft Intervention at Corinthian Hall

In 2019, a unique event, titled ‘Craft Intervention,’ took place at the historical site of Corinthian Hall, a location now recognized as a parking lot. This event was conceptualized and led by the curators of the exhibit Crafting Democracy: Fiber Arts and Activism, Juilee Decker and Hinda Mandell. The event aimed to honor the historical significance of the site and the contribution of the Rochester Ladies Anti-Slavery Sewing Society to the abolitionist movement.

Corinthian Hall bears historical significance, as it was here that Frederick Douglass delivered his famous Fourth of July speech in 1852, invited by the Rochester Ladies Anti-Slavery Sewing Society. ‘Craft Intervention’ sought to commemorate this event with a vibrant display of yarn and thread crafted by volunteers and fiber artists.

Contributing to Democracy through Art Activism

Art, as a form of expression, has played a crucial role in shaping democratic societies. It has been used to communicate ideas, inspire change, and challenge the status quo. The Craft Intervention event exemplified this by using art activism to shed light on an essential piece of Rochester’s abolitionist past.

Art activism, or ‘craftivism,’ can contribute to democracy in numerous ways. It provides a platform for individuals to express their perspectives and engage in dialogue about critical societal issues. In the context of the Craft Intervention event, participants used their craft contributions to honor the abolitionist past of the site, thereby participating in a dialogue about the importance of remembering and honoring historical milestones in the fight for equality and justice.

Craftivism fosters community engagement and participation, critical components of a healthy democracy. The Craft Intervention event, for instance, relied on the involvement of volunteers and fiber artists, fostering a sense of community and shared responsibility.


The Craft Intervention event at Corinthian Hall is a testament to art activism’s power in promoting democratic values and fostering community engagement. As we navigate our evolving political landscape, such events remind us of the importance of remembering our past, engaging in dialogue about our present, and shaping our future through collective action and participation.

We invite you to explore our site further, learn more about the intersection of art, activism, and democracy, and join us in our ongoing journey of crafting democracy, one thread at a time.

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