Hannah Brancato, left, and Rebecca Nagle, co-founders of Force: Upsetting Rape Culture.
Hannah Brancato, left, and Rebecca Nagle, co-founders of Force: Upsetting Rape Culture. (Kenneth K. Lam / Baltimore Sun)

This weekend, a massive quilt, made up of more than 3,000 squares telling the stories of survivors of sexual abuse, will be going on display at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The work of an advocacy group started by two Baltimore-based women, the Monument Quilt will remain on display through Sunday; speeches, talks, workshops and other events are also scheduled for the site.

What: The Monument Quilt, a project of the Baltimore-based advocacy group Force: Upsetting Rape Culture, is made up of more than 3,000 squares, each telling a story, each created “by survivors of sexual and intimate partner violence and our allies, written, painted, and stitched onto red fabric,” according to the group’s website. Begun in 2013, parts of the quilt have been exhibited in Baltimore; Towson; Annapolis and Fort Meade; as well as Houston; San Francisco; New York; Chicago; Pittsburgh; Baton Rouge, La.; Des Moines, Iowa; Mexico City and more than 20 other cities. This weekend’s visit to the National Mall is the only time the full quilt is scheduled to be on display.


Where: On the National Mall in Washington, D.C., between Madison Drive N.W. and Jefferson Drive S.W., and 12th and 14th streets N.W. A main stage has been set up near 12th Street N.W., with other tents scattered throughout the display, all hosting discussions, workshops, information sessions and other activities throughout the weekend.

Quilt project covers city blocks to present stories from survivors of sexual assault

Spread around her, across three blocks of North Avenue, were more than 1,000 other stories painted and written on the red cloth and sewn together in the Monument Quilt.

When: The display opens officially at 4 p.m. May 31, then opens again at 9 a.m. June 1-2.

How to get there, and where to park: The closest D.C. Metro stop is Smithsonian Station, at Independence Avenue and 12th Street S.W., on the Silver, Blue or Orange lines. There is paid parking along the National Mall.

About Force: Upsetting Rape Culture: Describing itself as “a creative activist collaboration to upset the culture of rape and promote a culture of consent,” Force uses large-scale public art projects to focus attention on its mission. The group was founded in 2010 by Baltimore artists Hannah Brancato and Rebecca Nagle.