Every other Friday afternoon at 2 p.m., Ohio University’s LGBT Center hosts biweekly Crafternoons. “All are welcome,” says Jason Hernández, who volunteers to instruct sewing at the Crafternoon events.
Originally called “Knitting with Nancy” and hosted by Nancy Baur, Crafternoons now offer various artistries. Knitting, coloring, poster making and painting are among the activities one may find at the event.
“Now that we’ve refocused our Crafternoons to doing something that has more of a purpose, it’s a good way to help the community any way we see fit,” said Morgan Morgan, a senior Communications Assistant at the LGBT Center.
During Trans Empowerment Week last year, attendees of the Crafternoon wrote letters to the imprisoned African American woman and transgender activist CeCe McDonald. McDonald pleaded guilty to second degree manslaughter after using deadly force to defend herself after a transphpobic and racist assault. McDonald was released from prison last month after serving 19 months of her 41-month sentence.
On National Coming Out Day attendees of Crafternoon painted a door in honor of the cause. National Coming Out Day was founded in honor of the celebration of the second gay march in Washington, D.C. Celebrated on Oct. 11, National Coming Out Day is a time to raise awareness and to publicize gay pride.
“You forget how therapeutic it can be to come in and embrace the creative side of your brain,” said Justin Rudnick, who was attending his second Crafternoon.
The previous Crafternoon consisted of creating posters for the One Billion Rising flash mob event, a movement to end violence against women. One billion represents the statistic that one in three women will be raped or beaten in her lifetime. This Crafternoon entertained the same activity, but this time the posters were for the upcoming Survivor Walk. Survivors of abuse like racism, sexism, sexual assault and discrimination come together with allies to show support in the community.
Crafternoons welcome all walks of life, all colors and all sexual and gender orientations. Crafternoons bring the community together and support various campus events.
Crafternoons are “a time to unwind during the day without having to pay for anything,” Morgan said. “It offers a nice break from a hectic week.”
“The LGBT Center is for anyone on the sexuality spectrum and anyone on the gender spectrum,” Hernández said.