Sections of the internationally celebrated AIDS Memorial Quilt — the 54 ½-ton, handmade tapestry that stands as a memorial to more than 96,000 individuals lost to AIDS — will be on view 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 2, through Friday, Dec. 6, at Mohawk Valley Community College in the lobby of Payne Hall at the Utica Campus and in the Plumley Complex Atrium at the Rome Campus. This free display of The AIDS Memorial Quilt, which is being hosted by MVCC’s LGBTQ+ Committee and sponsored by MVCC’s Student Government, will include panels honoring local individuals whose relatives requested they be included.
Established in 1987, The NAMES Project Foundation is the international organization that is the custodian of The AIDS Memorial Quilt. The Quilt began with a single 3 x 6 foot panel created in San Francisco in 1987. Today, The Quilt is composed of more than 49,000 individual 3 x 6 foot panels, each one commemorating the life of someone who has died of AIDS. These panels come from every state in the nation, every corner of the globe, and have been sewn by hundreds of thousands of friends, lovers, and family members into this epic memorial, the largest piece of ongoing community art in the world.
In a war against a disease that has no cure, The Quilt has evolved as our most potent tool in the effort to educate against the lethal threat of AIDS. By revealing the humanity behind the statistics, The Quilt helps teach compassion, triumphs over taboo, stigma and phobia; and inspires individuals to take direct responsibility for their own well-being and that of their family, friends, and community.
“We are eager to share The AIDS Memorial Quilt with your community for it is unlike any memorial ever created,” says Julie Rhoad, executive director of The NAMES Project Foundation. “With teddy bears and Boy Scout badges, love letters and photographs, this American treasure was created by the people for real people who were loved and lost to AIDS. We thank MVCC for their visionary efforts in hosting this event and invite you to see what wonderful healing art we have created together as a nation.”