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Dawnette Davis is an Artist Who Has Become a Maker of Masks

Dawnette Davis is a retired teacher and Grand Rapids artist who makes hand-dyed silk garments and shawls. She sells her art at sales and shows around Minnesota. But Covid-19 has shut down many upcoming arts events. These days Dawnette is using some of her talent, some leftover cotton fabric, and her serging sewing machine to produce cloth facemasks. She talked with Heidi Holtan on the KAXE/KBXE Morning Show.

Dawnette started by making masks for her family. Many of them are in medical and law enforcement positions that put them on the front lines of the epidemic. Then she heard there was a need at North Homes Children and Family Services. Dawnette estimates she has gotten about 50 masks to North Homes, and has made about 100 altogether. Yesterday she donated a stack of masks for the staff at Northern Community Radio.

In addition to handwashing and physical distancing, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently recommended that all of us wear homemade facemasks when out and around other people. Dawnette said she has seen masks in many styles, and some made from bandanas – like a homer hankie or a Winnipeg Folk Festival bandana. “I think people are finding ways,” she said, “There are some really funny posts online too, where people are using bras or underwear… Sometimes it’s just good to laugh at these things too. People are being really creative about it. So if you want one, you can come up with a way.”


Heidi Holtan has worked at KAXE/KBXE for over 22 years. She currently helms the Morning Show as News and Public Affairs Director where she manages producers, hosts local interviews and programs, oversees and manages web stories and establishes focus areas of programming like phenology, clean energy, Indigenous voices, Strong Women, local foods, clean energy, economic development and more. Heidi is a regional correspondent for WDSE/WRPT's Duluth Public Television’s Almanac North. In 2018 Heidi received the “Building Bridges in Media” award from the Islamic Resource Group for her work on KAXE/KBXE hosting conversations about anti-Muslim movements in rural Minnesota. During the pandemic, Heidi hosted 14 months of a weekly statewide conversation on COVID-19 for the AMPERS network.