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- The AIDS Memorial Quilt
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Organized by the Names Project Foundation, the Bucknell AIDS Committee, and the Samek Art Gallery
December 1 – December 7, 2010
In 1985, political activist, Cleve Jones, was among those planning the annual candlelight march to honor the memory of San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone, both assassinated in 1978. While planning the march, Jones learned that more than 1,000 San Franciscans had been lost to AIDS. In their honor, he asked his fellow marchers to write the names of those friends and loved one on placards and carried them in the march. For the first time, numbers became NAMES.
In June of 1987, a small group of strangers gathered in a San Francisco storefront to document the lives they feared history would neglect. Their goal was to create a memorial for those who had died of AIDS, and to thereby help people understand the devastating impact of the disease. This meeting of devoted friends and lovers served as the foundation of the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt.
Today the Quilt is a powerful visual reminder of the AIDS pandemic.
Each "block" (or section) of The AIDS Memorial Quilt measures approximately twelve feet square, and a typical block consists of eight individual three foot by six foot panels sewn together. More than 44,000 memorial panels -- most commemorating the life of someone who has died of AIDS -- have been sewn together by friends, lovers and family members.
As the epidemic continues claiming lives around the world and here in the United States, the Quilt continues to grow and to reach more communities with its messages of remembrance, awareness and hope.