Sister Artists


The Advocacy Project (AP) and Quilt for Change are working together to develop an exciting new partnership between survivors of gender-based violence (GBV) in Mali and quilters in the Global North.

Under the initiative, known as Sister Artists, survivors have produced around 40 embroidered blocks depicting their life in Mali. These are shown below on the second tab (Malian Sister Artists). Quilt for Change has invited quilters from the Global North to turn the blocks into an art quilt. Their finished quilts are featured on the third tab (Global North Sister Artists) as they reach us. When all of the quilts have been submitted they will be exhibited and auctioned. All proceeds will be sent to Mali and invested in an embroidery micro-enterprise (Sini Brodage) for the artists.

Quilt for Change is a long-time partner of AP and a leader in the use of quilting as a tool for social change and AP is delighted to be working with the group again. Sister Artists also represents an important step in AP’s efforts to support survivors from the conflict in northern Mali. Our engagement began in 2014, when we joined forces with Sini Sanuman (“Healthy Tomorrow’), a leading Malian advocate for women’s rights. Over the last five years, over 650 women have enrolled at a Sini Sanuman center where they were trained to make embroidery by Abi Konate and Massaran Traore, pictured below. Almost all of the artists lived in the north before fleeing the conflict and their blocks describe the life they left behind. Many live on less than $2 a day in Bamako and hope to sell embroidery. We hope to make a start with this project.

This exciting initiative has already attracted over 40 talented quilters from the US, Canada, the UK and even Kenya. We hope to exhibit their finished quilts in Washington and New England before the end of this year. Hollis Chatelain will select the best quilt and the winning quilter will receive a gift of fine African fabric. We will keep participants informed about Sini Brodage’s future progress through a blog.

We are trying to accomodate late applications. To participate, please  fill out this form and follow instructions. We will mail you a block that has not been assigned. To pay the $25 entry fee please send a check to The Advocacy Project (2201 P Street, NW, Washington DC) or pay online by clicking on the donate button at the top of this page. Scroll down to the “special purpose” field and enter Sister Artists. For further information contact us at +1 202 758 3328 or email We look forward to hearing from you!

Click here to read about the crisis of gender-based violence in Mali and Sini Sanuman’s response. Click here to learn about AP’s program of advocacy quilting.

Mariam Seck coordinates Sini Sanuman’s program in Bamako Abi Konate trains survivors in tailoring and co-manages Sini Brodage Massaran Traore trains survivors in embroidery and co-manages Sini Brodage

Malian embroidered blocks

Malian Sister Artists

#1 Bird #2 Home #3 Cooking
#4 Animals #5 Traditional Huts #6 Huts
#7 Huts #8 Grinding Maze #9 In the Fields
#10 Pirogue #11 Grinding Maze #12 Preparing Maize
#13 At the home #14 Grinding Maize #15 Carrying Maize
#16 Preparing Food #17 Cooking Food #18 In the Fields
#19 Huts #20 Cooking #21 Grinding Maize
#22 Grinding Maize #23 Off to the Market #24 Village Scenes
#25 Camel #26 In the Village #27 Preparing Maze
#28 Off to the Market #29 Camel #30 Camel
#31 Camel #32 On the Road #33 Birds
#34 Hunting  #35 Preparing Maize #36 Cooking
#37 Fishing #38 Preparing Maize #39 Preparing Maize Flower
#40 Cultivation #41 Village Huts  



Finished art quilts

Global North Sister Artists

Ellen Fisher, New Hampshire Karen McCann, Rhode Island


Pam Shanley, South Carolina Deborah Weir, California


Colleen Ansbaugh, Wisconsin Hope Barton, Connecticut


Nancy Hershberger, Pennsylvania Janice Jones, Massachusetts 


Salama Mamas, Kenya Suzanne Munroe, Rhode Island


Ellena Georato, New Hampshire Sue Bates, Rhode Island


Eleanor Levie, Pennsylvania Diane Clapes, Georgia


Dawn Piasta, Canada Cathey LaBonte, Connecticut


Karen Pulaski, Massachusetts Glenda Mah, Oregon


Tricia Deck, Massachusetts Rhonda O’Keefe, New Hampshire




Katherine Wilson, Maryland Janice Jones, Massachusetts


Janice Jones, Massachusetts Kathleen Paduano


Sue Willows-Raznikov Veronica Mays, Rhode Island


Judy L. Miller, California Patricia S. Rennau


Betty Warner, Vermont Wendy Overly, Massachusetts



Linda M. Kim, Texas Susan Charles, Louisiana




Barbara Eisenstein, Maryland Sandy Snowden, England



Jackie Heupel, Texas Julie Zaccone Stiller, California



Allison Wilbur, Rhode Island Deborah Elouahabi, Virginia
Edith Gross, Louisiana Elizabeth Greene, Rhode Island