Wesleyan students from a range of majors and interests – all with shared interests in utilizing resources in innovative ways to positively impact the greater Middletown community – applied to the Student Innovation Fund. The fund provided up to $750 for spring OR summer projects that prioritized:
Collaboration between student groups, faculty/staff, and/or community partners.
Investigation of the impact of our civic engagement efforts.
Sharing of ideas and learnings in civic engagement on campus and beyond.
Lizzie Phan ‘19, Kriti Narayanan ‘20, and Erica Clark Gould ‘21 organized Stitched. Read their Innovation Fund Report below:
Stitched is a free women’s embroidery workshop series in collaboration with New Horizons, a local domestic violence shelter, to build a supportive community for self-expression and storytelling through the simple use of threads. Connecting the gap between the Middletown area and Wesleyan, the innovation project allowed the group to foster healthy relationships with empathy, self-love, and mutual respect. Our goal was to create an empowering and welcoming environment for women’s voices to be heard while providing them with resources and structure. With no experience necessary, the participants were able to experiment with a meditative art form, illustrate their unique perspectives, and support other women. From April 14th to May 12th, the “Self-Care Sundays” revolved around supportive themes of love, tenderness, power, memory, and intersectional feminism. During this process, we learned that art and service learning has a high impact on engagement for both the individual and the community. The weaved works reflect the delicacy and strength of being vulnerable and personal. These workshops served to help women reclaim their autonomy to share their own experiences. We want to advocate for safe spaces of creativity for a trusting community of women. For future innovators, we advise following your intuition, passion, and experiences to guide you to engage and push for change. Our team appreciates the opportunity to have explored the art and service realm to inspire new projects, visions, and innovations. Thank you to the Innovation Fund for a wonderful journey!