Alicia Titus Memorial Peace Fund sponsors quilt exhibit to promote peace

Kate Norman Springfield News Sun

Urbana University is kicking off its “Season for Nonviolence” event with an exhibit that uses quilts to promote peace and honors the memory of a local woman who died during the September 11 terrorist attacks.

The exhibit, sponsored by the Alicia Titus Memorial Peace Fund, is called “Peace Labyrinth: Quilting the Golden Rule.” It runs through the end of this month at the university’s Swedenborg Memorial Library and is open during regular library hours.

Brooke Tuttle (L), and  Julie McDaniel look at the “Peace Labyrinth: Quilting the Golden Rule” exhibit at Urbana University’s library.  Jeff Guerini,  Springfield News Sun

Brooke Tuttle (L), and Julie McDaniel look at the “Peace Labyrinth: Quilting the Golden Rule” exhibit at Urbana University’s library. Jeff Guerini,  Springfield News Sun

Urbana’s library is the first in a series of stops for the travelling exhibit.

The labyrinth consists of 17 quilts that represent different religions, created by artist Janet Bear McTavish, who donated the exhibit to the Dayton International Peace Museum.

John and Bev Titus founded the Alicia Titus Memorial Peace Fund to honor their daughter, who was a flight attendant on the United Airlines flight 175 that crashed into the South Tower of the World Trade Center.

“The thing that we try to do through Alicia’s peace fund is to provide programs that promote and create a culture of peace on campus as well as in our community,” Bev Titus said. “So (we’re) trying to provide a safe place for people from all backgrounds to talk about the things that make us unique as well as the things that bind us together, our commonalities.”

Bev Titus said she worked as a volunteer at the Dayton museum, saw the exhibit and called McTavish to see if they could get it to the Urbana library as part of the peace fund. Titus said it fit perfectly because McTavish told her the exhibit was inspired after the events of September 11 and she was wondering what she could do to help others heal.

“She just saw so much hatred and profiling and wanted to do something that was helpful,” Bev Titus said.

The quilts are lined up and form a tunnel for families to walk through. McTavish designed each quilt in a different style made of various textures and materials that represent each religion, said Julie McDaniel, director of the university’s library.

McDaniel said the exhibit is designed so visitors can walk through and read about each religion on the front of the quilts. As they walk out, they read each religion’s version of The Golden Rule on the back of the quilt but do not know which religion it belongs to.

“So you can see that all of us have the same idea that you should treat others the way you want to be treated,” McDaniel said.

Bev Titus said about 150 university students had visited the exhibit as of Thursday.

“The thing that we’re really excited about is the peace labyrinth; it’s a kickoff for the season of nonviolence for the U this year,” Titus said. “So we are engaging the students through this exhibit, and a lot of the profs are incorporating the exhibit into their lesson plans so that students can write about it or create art or anything that inspires them.”

Titus said the memorial fund is also sponsoring an interfaith panel that will appear in the Urbana library Tuesday from 7-8:30 p.m. She said the panel members will discuss their faith’s version of The Golden Rule and how they live it in their lives.

To learn more about the exhibit and for visiting details, please click here.


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