The National AIDS Memorial will mark the 35th anniversary of the AIDS Memorial Quilt with an historic outdoor display. More than 3,000 panels of the Quilt will be displayed on June 11 & 12 in Golden Gate Park’s Robin Williams Meadow. The free public event is the largest Quilt display in over a decade and the largest-ever in San Francisco history. After 35 years, the Quilt remains a powerful symbol of hope and resilience. It’s an important teaching tool to heal the nation from recent tragedies. The new Quilt panels will be revealed, a reminder that the fight for a cure is not over as HIV cases are on the rise among communities of color. Also The National AIDS Memorial will announce new Quilt programs to raise greater awareness about health and social justice issues and take action against stigma.
The first panels of the Quilt were created in June of 1987 when a group of strangers, led by gay rights activist Cleve Jones, gathered in a San Francisco storefront to document the lives they feared history would forget. This meeting of devoted friends, lovers and activists would serve as the foundation for The NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt. Each panel created was the size of a human grave and they saw the Quilt as an activist tool to push the government into taking action to end the epidemic. Today, the Quilt is the largest community arts project in the world, consisting of 50,000 panels, weighs 54 tons and includes the names of 110,000 loved ones who have died of AIDS. In 2020, the Quilt became part of the National AIDS Memorial.
Touchpoints during the two-day event include thousands of visitors coming together to view the thousands of names and stories stitched into the panels as they are laid out in the meadow. There will be panel-making workshops, social media storytelling, and a community village with 25 community-based organizations providing public information. To learn more visit www.aidsmemorial.org/quilt35
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