Pole-2-Polls brings alternative for artists, crafters to join resistance | Book Reviews + Features | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper
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Pole-2-Polls brings alternative for artists, crafters to join resistance 

Handmade signs encourage voter participation

A Pole-2-Polls Vote! sign - CP PHOTO BY LISA CUNNINGHAM
  • CP photo by Lisa Cunningham
  • A Pole-2-Polls Vote! sign

There are protests, walkouts, even hunger strikes against the current administration. And then there is a small group of Pittsburghers joining the resistance by spending occasional Saturday afternoons cutting letters out of fabric over snacks and laughter.  

It’s a way for people to make a difference in a quiet, crafty way.

Squirrel Hill textile artist Penny Mateer says Pole-2-Polls began in 2014 as a group of civic-minded individuals who first used repurposed knitting material from the popular Knit the Bridge project. This year, Pole-2-Polls is meeting at South Side’s Brew House Gallery. 

Fabric and stencils are provided; some participants cut out letters, others assemble. In the past, signs were made for telephone poles. This year’s products are “VOTE!” yard signs distributed throughout Pittsburgh to encourage people to show up.

Variations of the project exist in several other cities. About 100 people have joined locally so far. 

“Like many, I am very concerned about the lack of voter participation,” Mateer says. “We’ve found that people respond to our handmade signs and often remark that they can’t believe someone would take the time to make one.”

Can’t make the meet-up but want to join in? Pole-2-Polls’ website includes instructions on how to make your own signs. 

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POLE-TO-POLLS’ “MAKE A SIGN - TAKE A SIGN” 
11 a.m.-2 p.m. Sat., Aug. 4. The Brew House Association Gallery, 711 S. 21st St., South Side. Free. pole2polls.com



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