Talking Towel Project

Description: YMCA staff and members in Gloucester, MA responded to interviews about serving community through work and what defines community. Twenty quotes from their interviews were chosen and embroidered onto 200 towels, which are circulated in the regular towel service at the YMCA. YMCA staff and members see the ideas and thoughts of the community as they hand out or receive a towel. The Talking Towel Project uses the community created by the YMCA to bring attention to the connections between people in everyday life, and to explore people’s definitions of community and attitudes toward living on Cape Ann. Through working with the Y staff, this project also investigates how what we spend most of our time doing—work—is a defining aspect of who we are, and how in our work lives we are constantly touching other people’s lives.