About the Series

In 2011, thirty years since its founding, The Kentucky Quilt Project, Inc., has created another “first” – a nine-part documentary series titled Why Quilts Matter: History, Art & Politics. The series takes a fresh look at quilts and spreads the word about their unique position at the center of a startlingly broad grid of topics, ranging from women’s studies to the contemporary art market.

YouTube Visit Why Quilts Matter: History, Art & Politics on our YouTube channel


Executive Producer and Host for the series, Shelly Zegart, a co-founder of The Kentucky Quilt Project, Inc., The Alliance for American Quilts, and an expert at the forefront of quilt study for over three decades, has created the first series for television to show the world that quilts are bigger than people think. Using hundreds of examples from quilt makers past and present, Zegart introduces viewers to a group of enlightened academics, savvy dealers, and passionate quilt makers who share their personal stories, experiences and opinions.

“The making of this documentary has been an extraordinary experience and one that I am very proud to bring to the public,” explains Zegart. “Quilts are our windows into the history, art and politics of this country. However, the subject of quilts and the people who make them is frequently misunderstood as they have long been relegated to discussions of grandma’s patterns and fabric history. The nine episodes of Why Quilts Matter: History, Art & Politics spotlight both the passion and the differing points of view surrounding the quilt and its culture.”

Written by Ann E. Berman, author and former art world journalist, and produced by Doug Jefferson, founder of Focal Point Productions, Why Quilts Matter: History, Art & Politics was independently produced and funded.

Shelly Zegart

Shelly Zegart, executive producer and host, was a founding director of The Kentucky Quilt Project, Inc. (1981), the first state documentation project — a model used around the world, and The Alliance for American Quilts (1993). She curates exhibitions, lectures and writes on all aspects of quilt history and aesthetics. Exhibition projects include Mosaic Textiles: In Search of the Hexagon, Rouen, France (2003) and antique quilt exhibitions curated for the Great International Quilt Festival in Tokyo (2005, 2007, 2008). Her book, American Quilt Collections: Antique Quilt Masterpieces was published by Nihon Vogue in Tokyo (1998). Her article “Myth and Methodology: Shelly Zegart Unpicks African American Quilt Scholarship” was published in Selvedge Magazine, London, England, (2008). She bought and sold fine quilts for more than 30 years, building many significant public and private collections.  A member of Appraisers Association of America, Zegart appraises public and private quilt collections. Her personal collection was acquired and exhibited by The Art Institute of Chicago (2002).  For the past two and a half years Zegart has been working on producing the documentary series, Why Quilts Matter: History, Art and Politics.  Zegart holds a B.A. in education from the University of Michigan.

Ann E. Berman

Ann E. Berman is an author and retired art world journalist. After earning an M.A. in American material culture and museum curatorship from the University of Pennsylvania, she became a paintings specialist at Christie’s in New York, and a member of the American Society of Appraisers. Since then, she has written for many periodicals including Architectural Digest, Forbes, Martha Stewart Living, Town & Country, and the Leisure and Arts page of the Wall Street Journal. She was also a longtime contributing editor at Art & Auction and a contributing writer at Traditional Home. Her book credits include the catalogue raisonnee for the artist Reynolds Beal (1989), Living with Quilts for Phyllis George (1998), Buying and Wearing Classic Vintage Clothes with Tiffany Dubin (2000) and Good Things from Tag Sales and Flea Markets for Martha Stewart (2002). Berman has appeared on Conseulo Mack Wealth Track on PBS and contributed numerous interviews to HGTV On the Radio. She is currently president of the Mandell and Madeleine Berman Foundation and a board member of the Jewish Home Lifecare System and the Smithsonian Archives of American Art.

Doug Jefferson

Doug Jefferson is the founder of Focal Point Productions.  For more than 20 years, Focal Point has been a full service film, video and multimedia company striving to make their clients/partners successful through outstanding and innovative communication in all audio and video media.  Besides being an owner and overseeing all the creative material that his company produces, Doug is also a director and editor.  He has produced videos for Grammy-winning artists as well as TV programming for MTV Networks and CMT (Country Music Television).  His company also specializes in healthcare, producing marketing, training and awareness pieces for hospitals and healthcare networks all over the country.


Series Team

Executive Producer
The Kentucky Quilt Project, Inc.
Shelly Zegart

Doug Jefferson

Contributing Producer
Stephen Kertis

Shelly Zegart

Doug Jefferson

Contributing Editor
Stephen Kertis

Ann E.Berman

Alan Miller

Additional Camera
Drew Osborn
Shawn Jenkins

Production Coordinator
Tori Thompson

Production Assistant
Eric Stemen

Makeup Artists
Joanne Wolf
Kim McDonough

Legal Advisor
Kyle Citrynell

Logo Design
Emily Ahlvin

DVD Package Design
Kathleen Lang Design

Post Production Facility
Focal Point Productions

Image Management
Lisa Veigl Swikert

Image Research Assistant
Heather Fox

Website and Technical Assistance
Ekaterina Balaban
Web Design Labs, LLC

Karen S. Musgrave

Administrative Support
Kathleen M. Lang
Mary Ellen Furlong

Presenting Station
Kentucky Educational Television

Dr. Linda Elisabeth Beattie
Dr. Carol Ely
Dr. Marcie Cohen Ferris
Craig Cornwell
Dr. William Ferris
Dr. James Grubola
Kay Grubola
Dr. Bernard Herman
Gill Holland
Michelle Jones
Rod Lich
Susan Parrett
Kenny Zegart

Music Licensing
FirstCom Music