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Project creator Jesse Sprocket Displays one of her print block bandanas aimed at bringing awareness to displaced populations of the world.  
BWB NEWS 02/16/2023

Immigrant Aid Project: 2022 Civic Ignition Grantee Update!

One of our 2022 Civic Ignition Grant Recipients from the Multi-Regional Summit Gathering (MRS) in Northern California/Nevada is The Immigrant Aid Project from Reno, Nevada; USA.

At A Glance: 
– A fundraising project for displaced people from Afghanistan, Syria, and Ukraine through traditional printmaking. 
– 2 team members have instructed 75 participants on fabric block printing.
– 8 artists have contributed to designs, natural dyeing and block printing techniques to create art for the project
– Block prints are cultural motifs that offer participants a way to connect deeper to the culture and experiences of displaced people.
– Hundreds of stories were shared through a handmade craft bring awareness to the millions of people experiencing displacement from their homelands. 

Project leader Jesse Sprocket describes the project:
“In the Summer of 2022, Burners Without Borders awarded the Immigrant Aid Print Project the MRS Civic Ignition Grant to support the development of block printing & natural dye workshops that benefit refugee populations in Northern Nevada and beyond. Through my grant, I’ve been able to purchase many needed supplies including electric burners, inks, dyes, and brayers. The added supplies have helped me get more artists involved in the project. Since receiving the funding I have taught multiple classes at my micro-farm, at The Generator Maker Space, at the Sparks Library, and at the Urban Roots teaching farm. 

I’ve been able to activate the local artist community to help me teach classes and make art to sell to raise money for immigrants in Afghanistan, Syria, and Ukraine. We are also proud to practice ‘Leave No Trace’  (LNT) principles by using natural dyes created from plants. The leftover plant materials from my dye baths are then fed to my chickens and goats on my farm or composted at Urban Roots. 

The block printing workshops are hands-on and participatory. The classes are open to everyone, many of them were free and often included a scholarship option. Kids and people with disabilities were also able to participate making sure that radical inclusion was practiced. 

We had a team of about 10 people that ultimately helped with the development and execution of the project. With nearly 75 people in our community experiencing the project firsthand. 

Throughout our classes, people learned about immigrants, block printing, and natural dyes. All of the funds from the sale of the items we made went to immigrant advocacy groups and supplies to keep the project going. Participants walked away with a new skill, art they created and the knowledge that they had a hand in helping immigrants and refugees.

Our community now has a deeper understanding of the struggles of immigrants and refugees as well as a new love for natural dye processes and block printing. Something unexpected that arose for me was seeing how much the kids absolutely loved the artistic process and parents were proud that the classes help immigrants. A cute story I like to share is that during the Urban Roots Winter Market, I let kids dye their own bandanas and a little girl used purple cabbage to dye a bandana for her pet rabbit! This made us all smile! 

I hope to continue to expand the project, if you are interested in supporting this project or having a class facilitated in around Reno, NV please visit


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