Gloria Molina would have loved the quilt-making in her honor in Downtown LA

LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes hosted the launch of the Community Quilt of Hope in honor of Gloria Molina’s legacy on Wednesday, May 17, led by Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis and members of The East Los Angeles Stitchers, or TELAS, a community group Molina co-founded because of her love of quilting.

The Community Quilt of Hope is unfolding in an interactive space where guests are being asked to write or draw messages to Molina on a square of fabric, or “block,” expressing how the late Latina leader made a difference in their community. The blocks will be shown in gallery space at LA Plaza, a museum and cultural center at 501 North Main Street in Los Angeles. After 169 blocks are completed by guests, the blocks will be sewn together by members of TELAS and presented to Molina’s family.

LA County Supervisor Hilda Solis stands before a quilt made by Gloria Molina at an exhibit and altar for the groundbreaking former lawmaker at LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes in Los Angeles on Wednesday, May 17, 2023. Solis and other supervisors made squares for the Community Quilt of Hope in honor of Molina who was a quilter who co-founded The East Los Angeles Stitchers. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes in Los Angeles is honoring Gloria Molina with a Community Quilt of Hope as seen on Wednesday, May 17, 2023. Molina helped launch the cultural center and museum and co-founded The East Los Angeles Stitchers whose members will sew the completed quilt. LA County Sup. Hilda Solis holds her square. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes in Los Angeles is honoring Gloria Molina with a Community Quilt of Hope as seen on Wednesday, May 17, 2023. Molina helped launch the cultural center and museum and co-founded The East Los Angeles Stitchers whose members will sew the completed quilt. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

Leticia Rhi Buckley, CEO, of LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes, holds a press conference with LA County Supervisors Hilda Solis and Lindsey Horvath and Betty Palomino, of The East Los Angeles Stitchers, at LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes where they are honoring Gloria Molina with an exhibit, altar and community quilt in Los Angeles on Wednesday, May 17, 2023. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes in Los Angeles is honoring Gloria Molina with a Community Quilt of Hope as seen on Wednesday, May 17, 2023. Molina helped launch the cultural center and museum and co-founded The East Los Angeles Stitchers whose members will sew the completed quilt. LA County Sup. Lindsey Horvath holds her square. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

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Also on display at the venue is “Gloria Molina: Community Champion,” an exhibition open through August 16 that includes photographs and quilts assembled by Molina. In remembering her this week, many have described how she mentored Latinas, and women in general, who engaged in community activism or sought public office.

Molina left politics after term limits forced her off of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors in December, 2014, and she subsequently lost a race against the now-disgraced Jose Huizar for a seat on the Los Angeles City Council. She avidly pursued painting and quilting, and helped launch LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes, an anchor cultural institution focused on the Latino experience which provides a space to “share and preserve the stories of Mexicans, Mexican Americans, and Latinx people in Southern California.”

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