Princeton Arts Council launches ‘Sew Many Masks’ program

Some of the homemade masks that were donated to the Pennington Quilt Works a few weeks ago.

In light of the new CDC recommendation that people should wear a non-surgical mask when they go out in public during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Arts Council of Princeton is launching a “Sew Many Masks” initiative.

The Arts Council is seeking community crafters to make and donate masks to the program. The masks will be distributed to people in the community for free. Details about dropping off masks or picking up free masks will be available on the Arts Council website.

Arts Council Interim Executive Director Jim Levine said the Arts Council of Princeton is uniquely qualified to spearhead the effort because the organization has years of experience teaching people to sew. “We think this is a great opportunity for people throughout Princeton to lend their time and skills to help each other out,” he said.

Other homemade mask initiatives include the Pennington Quilt Works homemade mask drive and the Mercer Mask Project.

New Jersey Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli has said people can wear cloth masks to cover their mouths and noses when they must go out, but that such masks are not a substitute for social distancing.

“A face covering lowers your chance of spreading the virus to others, but it is not a fail-safe measure to prevent you from getting sick. If you wear a mask, you are protecting others, and if others wear masks, they are protecting you,” she said at a press briefing Saturday.

“Social distancing is by far our best preventative measure. Wearing a simple cloth face covering when you are out is not in any way a replacement for social distancing to flatten the curve,” Persichilli said. “You must continue to keep at least 6-feet distance apart from others. Keep regularly washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Practice safe respiratory hygiene, and if you feel under the weather, even if you are convinced it is just your allergies acting up, stay indoors away from others.”

Visit the Arts Council of Princeton website or email acpsewmanymasks@gmail.com for more information. As of the time of this posting, the Arts Council website had not been updated yet, so we recommend that you check back later if you want to participate or receive a mask.