Entrepreneurial law professor Elizabeth Townsend Gard has unleashed a grassroots “army” of law students studying the roles of creativity and law in stoking the transformation of quilting from a folk-art craft into a multibillion-dollar industry.
On Tuesday, Townsend Gard’s Entrepreneurship and the Law class at Tulane Law School launched a research-based audio podcast called “Just Wanna Quilt,” a series of in-depth interviews with quilters and quilt-industry entrepreneurs discussing their creative passion and challenges, alongside the history and art behind the craft.
The podcast is hosted by Townsend Gard, an intellectual property law professor whose interest in quilting led her to interview nearly 75 quilters, artists, designers, historians, inventors, collectors and fabric-makers around the country who make up the $3.7 billion quilting industry. She hopes to complete 200 interviews in the next year.
“By engaging and immersing them in the practicalities of getting a Podcast, a business, or even a project up and running, they see firsthand the struggles and energy it takes, and helps them be more empathetic to their clients.”
Elizabeth Townsend Gard
“Law school is a balance between doctrinal courses and opportunities for experiential learning,” Townsend Gard said. “By engaging and immersing students in the practicalities of getting a podcast, a business or even a project up and running, they see firsthand the struggles and energy it takes, and it helps them be more empathetic to their clients.”
Students have taken their roles in the project seriously; some work to promote the event via social media and other channels, some handle the technology efforts and others have done the research necessary to legally launch the project.
“Having the opportunity to really feel what it is like to be an entrepreneur — the pressures, the details and of course, the legal issues that arise — has made me think about the role of an attorney with entrepreneurs in a much more complex way,” said second-year law student Corrie Dutton.
The podcast will air here on iTunes. It will feature two interviews, twice a week, Monday and Wednesday. A second season will begin in June.