Painted quilt squares grace countryside

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MANCHESTER, Ohio – Those who take to the road in southern Ohio this summer might be pleasantly surprised by colorful quilt squares dotting the countryside.

The quilt squares are painted on barns in Adams County as part of the Adams County Sampler project, an innovative tool designed to move travelers through the countryside while highlighting Appalachian heritage.

Community goal. The Adams County Sampler is a project of a community-based committee of visual artists, quilters, business and property owners working with Planning Adams County’s Tomorrow (PACT).

The goal of the project is to increase the positive awareness of Appalachian culture and strategically position the county as a tourist destination.

The project began with seed money from the Ohio Arts Council’s Appalachian program and also receives funding from the Adams County Chamber of Commerce.

Adding squares. The initial plan was to create 20 quilts in Adams County but the project has grown significantly.

Plans are in the works for quilt barns in neighboring Brown, Pike, Monroe, and Hocking counties.

“Just think, we could have an interconnecting clothesline of quilts throughout Appalachian Ohio,” said Donna Sue Groves, the arts council’s southern Ohio field representative, in hopes that the project will catch on in all 29 Appalachian counties.

Partnering up. PACT has developed a partnership with the Ohio Audubon Society and the Nature Conservancy to broaden the project’s reach.

The quilt barns are a part of the new Appalachian Discovery Birding and Heritage Trail.

Combining both cultural and ecological tourism will help to foster economic growth in these Appalachian communities.

The partnership also leverages state, foundation and private funds for the maximum benefit.

For more information call Donna Sue Groves at 937-549-2131 or e-mail dsgroves@bright.net.

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