Thursday, February 3, 2011
The AIDS Memorial Quilt
The AIDS Memorial Quilt is a memorial that was founded in 1987. It was started by a small group of strangers in San Fransisco that feared that the lives of their lost ones would be neglected by history. They wanted to create a memorial for those who had died of AIDS and also to help people understand the devastating impact of the disease.
The actual Quilt was conceived by Cleve Jones, long-time San Fransisco gay rights activist, in 1985. The inspiration for a quilt stemmed from posting placards with names of loved ones lost to AIDS on the wall of the San Fransisco Federal Building at the end of the 1985 march. When all the names were on the wall it looked like a patchwork quilt. From there Jones and his friends made one quilt and it spread from there.
The Quilt is a powerful tool for HIV prevention and the largest ongoing community arts project in the world. The Quilt contains more than 40,000 colorful panels. The Quilt is composed of "blocks" which are approximately twelve feet by twelve feet. Each block consists of eight individual three foot by six foot panels that are sewn together. These panels are created to memorialize the life of someone who was lost to AIDS. As this epidemic continues the Quilts continues to grow, spreading to more communities. The Quilt spreads a message of remembrance, awareness, and hope.