LifeWorks Erie Collects Family Pictures and Stories For Perry 200 Quilt Project

LifeWorks Erie is requesting family picture submissions from all ethnic groups in Erie for their Ethnic Threads project, a grant project supported by the Perry 200 Commemoration.

LifeWorks Erie, in collaboration with artist Deborah Sementelli, will create a quilt comprised of squares of family photographs that will display a representation of the ethnic heritage of the people of Erie. The quilt will be accompanied with audio recordings of memories related to the photographs. The quilt, with the audio recordings, will be donated to a public space in Erie for viewing by all Erie area residents and visitors.

This project will celebrate the diversity and ethnicity of the Erie community and all of the immigrants who helped to make Erie the city it is today. Perry 200, as the commemoration of the Battle of Lake Erie, inspires one to think of this happening as a seminal event. Because of the battle that was waged, and the ripple of consequences, Erie became an attractive port where immigrants were drawn to in order to make a living and settle into American family life.

Photograph submissions can be made in a number of ways:

  • Submit your photographs in person at 406 Peach Street and have the memories related to the photographs will be recorded while you are dropping them off.
  • Submit your photographs through the mail to 406 Peach Street Erie PA 16507 and include written memories related to the photographs that will be read and recorded by LifeWorks Erie staff and volunteers.
  • Email the pictures to with the subject line “Perry 200 Quilt Submission” and include memories related to the pictures in the body of your email. The memories will be read and recorded by LifeWorks Erie staff and volunteers.

In addition to photograph submissions, LifeWorks Erie is also looking for volunteer quilters interested in assisting Deborah Sementelli in the creation and assembly of the quilt. Please contact Tessa Ryker at 814-453-5072 or via email at with questions or to volunteer your time.

Due to the size of the quilt, photograph submissions are limited to 100 people. Be sure to submit early to be included in the quilt. Photographs will be included based on the order they are received. Photographs will be returned to the owner after they are copied for the quilting process.

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