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Michelle Hartney Sewing Circle and Intimate Conversation with Ameri Klafeta, Director of the Women’s and Reproductive Rights Project (WRRP)

September 23, 2022 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm


21c Museum Hotel Chicago is proud to host a Sewing Circle on September 23rd with Artist in Residence, Michelle Hartney. As part of her collaborative mixed media project and exhibition, Unplanned Parenthood: Letters to an Army of Millions, Hartney will lead the sewing circle and join Ameri Klafeta, Director of the Women’s and Reproductive Rights Project (WRRP), in an intimate conversation surrounding the impact of the overturn of Roe vs. Wade.

As a community, we will gather to sew select letters from Motherhood in Bondage, a collection of letters received by Margaret Sanger in 1928 from mothers asking for help to prevent unwanted pregnancies. Sewing circles have traditionally served as a time for women to gather and talk, sometimes working on projects, such as this one, focused on creating a more just society. On September 23rd, we welcome all genders and community members to join us for sewing and dialog about reproductive rights.

The artist will supply kits during the sewing circle and the first ten participants will receive a fine art print. All events are a safe space for community dialog around reproductive rights.

September 23rd, 5-7pm
Location: Gallery 6
RSVP via Eventbrite here

Unplanned Parenthood exhibition

Unplanned Parenthood is a collaborative, textile-based piece exploring historical attacks on reproductive health access and calling for intersectional reproductive justice. Hartney will work with volunteers from across the country to tell the stories of more than 250,000 women who penned desperate letters in the 1920’s asking for help ending and preventing pregnancies. The letters come from Motherhood in Bondage, a collection published by Margaret Sanger in 1928 of the correspondence she received when any information about contraception was deemed “obscene,” and disseminating it was punishable by law.

Volunteers can participate onsite at 21c Chicago by penning a letter from Motherhood in Bondage onto floral paper designed by the artist or sewing a handwritten letter onto vintage bridal fabrics. Throughout the exhibition, Michelle will be onsite at 21c furthering the development of the project, exhibition, and dialog.

Upcoming Studio Hours:

Aug 4, 12-2pm
Aug 18, 10a-12p
Aug 19, 12-2pm
Aug 22, 10a-12p
September 23rd, 5-7pm** In-person Sewing Circle

Date forthcoming ** Virtual sewing circle with tips and tricks from Michelle Hartney.

Sign up to participate remotely on Michelle Hartney’s website here.

Michelle Hartney is a Chicago based interdisciplinary artist who works with fiber, installation, sculpture, performance, and the internet. Her practice focuses on women’s rights, maternal healthcare issues, and misogyny in art institutions. Hartney’s interest in using art to address social issues began during her graduate studies in art therapy at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she was an Albert Schweitzer Fellow.

In 2016 Hartney founded the Women’s Health Collective, an art collective dedicated to utilizing creative approaches to raise awareness about women’s health issues by linking artists, writers, musicians, and activists to work collaboratively on socially engaged projects.

Ameri Klafeta, Director of Women’s and Reproductive Rights Project

Ameri Klafeta is the Director of the WRRP. In the role, she works to expand access to comprehensive reproductive healthcare and improve gender equality. She joined the ACLU in 2018, helping lead the effort to draft and secure passage of the Illinois Reproductive Health Act and repeal the Parental Notice of Abortion Act in 2021. She previously practices law at Eimer Shahl LLP, where she spent over a decade litigating in state and federal courts across the country.

Ms. Klafeta is a 2002 University of Chicago Law School graduate, where she was inducted into the Order of the Coif.  She also received a BBA from the University of Michigan with distinction. After law school, she clerked for the Hon. Mary M. Schroeder on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. She is active with the American Constitution Society and the League of Women Voters.

ACLU of Illinois

The ACLU of Illinois has been the principal protector of constitutional rights in the state since its founding in 1926.

The ACLU of Illinois (ACLU), and its affiliated Roger Baldwin Foundation (RBF), are non-partisan, non-profit organizations dedicated to protecting the liberties guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, the state Constitution, and state/federal human rights laws. The ACLU accomplishes its goals through litigating, lobbying and educating the public on a broad array of civil liberties issues.


September 23, 2022
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
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Juli Lowe


21c Museum Hotel Chicago
55 E Ontario
Chicago, IL 60611
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