Peace Paper Project Returns to WSU Tri-Cities

The Peace Paper Project is an international community-arts initiative that utilizes traditional papermaking as a form of trauma therapy, social engagement, and community activism.

WSU Tri-Cities is proud to host the second annual visit of the Peace Paper Project the week of Oct. 7, 2019.

Master papermaker Drew Matott will hold a public lecture from 3:10 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 9 in the East Auditorium. His lecture is part of the WSU Common Reading Program, and this year’s book Refuge: Rethinking Refugee Policy in a Changing World. There is no cost to attend and will be available to view via Zoom.

Matott and Stephen DeSantis will lead several free workshops and sessions with the following student and campus groups during the week:

  • Veteran students are invited to make paper out of their old military uniforms from 1 to 5 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 7.
  • Student Leaders will recycle WSU Tri-Cities t-shirts on Tuesday, Oct. 8. from 3 to 5 p.m.
  • Members of the DREAMers club will recycle migrant farming clothing and other fabric-based items into paper from 1 to 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 9.

Matott will also work with a variety of classes and other student groups at various times throughout the week as a means to show how the traditional art of hand papermaking is accomplished and is used as a therapeutic practice

Making a Positive Difference


Drew Matott, director of the Peace Paper Project, brought the program to WSU Tri-Cities in 2018 where he worked with veterans, students of migrant farm working backgrounds and others who have dealt with trauma and loss, while also providing a positive outlet for those who want to learn a new craft. The project provides individuals a way to express and process their memories and experiences by means of hand papermaking and by preserving it in a physical work of art, he said.

“These workshops have been extremely wonderful and rewarding,” Matott said. “At first, people are hesitant and not sure what to do. Once they start cutting up the materials, it starts to transform. The first one is the scariest. The second one is much easier. And then finally, the material just becomes pulp.”

Matott has worked with thousands of people around the world, both those who are in the process of coping with trauma and also as a means to teach people how to earn a living from hand papermaking in poverty-stricken regions.

“The goal with the Peace Paper Project is to use papermaking to have a positive influence on people’s lives,” he said. “Whether it be helping people process things that are traumatic, or working with individuals in an effort to improve their lives, our goal is to make a positive difference.” Read more…

Watch WSU Tri-Cities Students Make Paper

For more information about the Peace Paper Project’s visit to WSU Tri-Cities, contact Jana Kay Lunstad, Director of Enrollment & Campus Registrar.