Vicki Dansky, Gift Planning Officer at Rose Community Foundation in Denver graciously hosted me on my recent visit there to speak at the annual PG Roundtable Summer Symposium. We took a little detour en route to the conference to see the Foundation’s “Living Legacy Tapestry,” one of the most amazing and powerful recognition and stewardship installations I’ve ever seen. As they put it in their print materials, it’s an artistic archive of the values and experiences that have informed the Foundation’s legacy donors’ philanthropy and dedication to community.
Here are two pictures I took with my phone and you can also watch a video of the tapestry here.
Here’s how it works. Legacy donors are asked to provide photographs, documents and items of personal significance, which are digitized by the artists, and the images are transferred onto long paper panels coated with encaustic. The donors are videotaped as they explain the significance of the items they chose to include in the Tapestry. Those videos are archived for their family members to view in the future.
The artists, Lynn Bregman Blass and Leah Sobsey of the Visual History Collaborative, describe their work this way: “VHC works with individuals, families, communities and organizations to create custom art through stories and artifacts — memories and mementos. The end result is an installation of translucent panels, a book, or custom art designed as a new form of 21st century tapestry that showcases the collected narrative.”
I love everything about this, especially these elements:
The whole concept and the language that is used to describe it evokes exactly the kind of linkage between autobiography, permanence and legacy giving recommended by Russell James’ recent research.
The process requires engagement with the donor and often, the donor’s family, setting up the opportunity for a multi-generational connection that can live on past the donor’s lifetime.
The result, a truly beautiful work of art displayed in a high traffic location as it is at Rose Community Foundation invites conversations with prospects.