Fabric of Freedom
Celebrating Centuries of Freedom in the Gate City
Fabric of Freedom is a series of arts programs that celebrate the diversity and cultural history of Greensboro, host city for the National Folk Festival (2015-2017). Exhibits, music, dance, community events, and more will be presented in venues across the city throughout September.
Freedom movements and social justice activism are as integral to the “Gate City” as its railroads. Greensboro is named for Major General Nathanael Greene, who led American troops in a fight against the British at Guilford Courthouse in 1781. At the turn of the century, Quakers harbored the southern-most point of the Underground Railroad on the campus of present-day Guilford College. On February 1, 1960 four A&T students asked to be served at the Woolworth’s whites-only lunch counter. Beginning in the 1970s, the city has steadfastly welcomed new immigrants and refugees. Since the city’s earliest days, natives of Greensboro took history into their own hands.
Social justice activism continues to be alive and well. In 2014, the Greensboro City Council passed a resolution naming Greensboro a Welcoming City “that celebrates the growing diversity of its residents.” Today, individuals from over 140 countries live in Guilford County—making Greensboro an exceptionally diverse city. Students on Greensboro’s five college campuses are reigniting the Greensboro Four’s legacy through the Black Lives Matter movement and faith leaders from diverse communities have come together to oppose the recent HB2 legislation.
The Fabric of Freedom series is presented by ArtsGreensboro and funded by a National Endowment for the Arts “Our Town” grant and co-sponsored by the AJ Fletcher Foundation and Lincoln Financial. Programs will run throughout the 76th National Folk Festival and Greensboro’s 17DAYS Arts & Culture Festival (September 9 – 25).
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