The Protest Mask Project Favorite 


May 28 2020


Minneapolis MN

The Protest Mask Project was co-organized by Maggie Thompson and Jaida Grey Eagle. During the George Floyd protests, the artists' studio, Makwa Studio, created hundreds of masks to give to protestors in the city of Minneapolis where the demonstrations began.

The artists believed that "Our protestors deserve to feel protected as they gather to fight for collective action and change. The Protest Mask Project is our way of supporting the cause." Makwa Studio handmade and delivered masks to protest sites. The effort began on May 28th and by June 1st, 350 masks were printed, sewn, and donated to Minneapolis protestors. The artists prioritized BIPOC community members in receiving the masks, but anyone who needed a mask could take a mask.

The studio asked for volunteers from the Twin Cities to help sew, print, and donate fabric to the effort in the early days of the June protests. When protests began happening in other cities around the world, the studio made the typeface and design available to download in order to support the growth of the project in other cities. They made these tools available for free and hoped that other projects would make their masks available to protestors for free just as they did.

From the Makwa Studio website: "Makwa Studio is a creative space with a focus on textiles, art and fashion. Much of the work is influenced by Thompson's Native heritage where she brings subtle cultural references to her patterns and design work. Makwa strives to use luxury yarns specializing in the use of wool that is sourced from a US mill. Each item is designed and hand loomed in Northeast Minneapolis at the Northrup King Building. Makwa is passionate about creating high quality made goods and how our practice contributes to the discussion of contemporary Native art and fashion."

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