-Minnesota State Arts Board - Minnesota North Star

Minnesota State Arts Board–A Creative Investment, Celebrating Ten Years of Legacy Art and Impact


Asian Women United of Minnesota

  Asian Women United of Minnesota  
  Minneapolis – Hennepin County  
  2018 Partners in Arts Participation grant – Minnesota State Arts Board  
  House of Peace residents  

Asian Women United of Minnesota (AWUM) is made up of women and men who believe in every woman's right to a life of peace, wholeness, and happiness, including a life free from emotional, physical, or sexual abuse. Their programs and expertise focus on Asian families; however, the mission of the organization includes serving all domestic violence victims.

These handmade SAORI weaving projects were made with residents of House of Peace, a battered women's shelter. The project brought a respite from stress and grief to a group of domestic abuse survivors who resided in the shelter. The women learned a new skill that yielded beautiful pieces of art and used their time together to share their stories and worries, which was an important component of their emotional healing process.

SAORI is a contemporary hand weaving method founded in 1969, practiced across Japan, in other Asian countries, as well as in many other countries around the world, including in the United States. In Zen vocabulary, SAORI is the combination of the words 'SAI' meaning everything has its own individual dignity, and 'ORI,' meaning weaving. SAORI weaving classes are offered by nearly a thousand organizations nationwide, including special education schools, women's shelters, high schools, adult education centers, and rehabilitation centers for people with disabilities.