The Immigrant Yarn Project (IYP) started as a curiosity. Could we reach out across the country and get immigrants and their descendants to send in yarn-based creations and then build a colossal work of public art that would stand as a metaphor for our crazy, diverse and colorful country to honor and celebrate the very people who helped make the exhibition? Incredibly, the answer was a resounding YES WE CAN – but not without a lot of help.
First the Immigrant Yarn Project organized under Enactivist, a San Francisco-based 501(c)(3). Partnering with the National Park Service, the Golden Gate Conservancy and dozens of community-based organizations, clubs and schools, the IYP quickly became one of the largest yarn-based works of public art in the country with over 600 contributors, representing nearly every country under the sun. Eighty unique totems made of thousands of separate pieces representing the oil of over 6000 fingers were exhibited in the Spring of 2019 in the glorious corridors of the Fort Point National Historic Site under the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Free and open to the public, nearly 30,000 people visited the IYP.