Aids Memorial Quilt Essay Research Paper The

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Aids Memorial Quilt Essay, Research Paper The AIDS Memorial Quilt The AIDS memorial quilt also known as the NAMES project is the largest on-going community art project in the world. Today the quilt is comprised of over 41,000 colorful panels in remembrance of someone who has been lost in the fight against AIDS. Each panel is three feet by six feet, the size of a human grave. The size of each panel is just one of the many testimonies to emotions of sorrow, anger, love and hope that go into the making of each panel. The mission of the AIDS memorial quilt is to help bring an end to AIDS through its set goals. These goals are to provide a creative means for remembrance and healing, illustrate the enormity of the AIDS epidemic, increase public awareness to the AIDS epidemic,

assist with the prevention of HIV through education and to raise funds for AIDS service organizations within various communities. The idea to remember those who had lost their lives to started in the summer of 1987. A small group of strangers gathered in San Francisco to document the lives they feared that would be forgotten by history. Their goal was to create a memorial for those who had dies of AIDS and to thereby help other people understand the devastating impact of that the disease had had on society. The meeting in San Francisco of devoted friends and lovers was the foundation of the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial. This was just the beginning of an idea that would grow to include the whole world in its efforts to preserve the names and memory of those who had died of AIDS.

The idea for a quilt started in 1985 with a long-time gay rights activist named Cleve Jones. After the assassinations of two San Francisco officials who were gay, Jones helped organize the annual candlelight march honoring these two men. While planning the march, it was brought to his attention that the number of AIDS deaths in San Francisco had surpassed the 1000 mark. He asked that along with the usual candles, each person write the name of their friends and loved ones that had died of AIDS on a placard. At the end of the march, Jones and others began taping the placard to the walls of the San Francisco Federal Building. While standing back looking at the wall, Jones saw that all the placards looked like a patchwork quilt. The NAMES Project Foundation coordinates and displays

the quilt, which has become a powerful visual reminder of the AIDS epidemic. Jones wanted the quilt to be a larger memorial than the placards on the Federal Building, but he had no idea the extend that the quilt would go to when he started the project. He made the first panel in memory of Marvin Feldman, a friend of his. In 1987, he teamed up with several other people to formally organize the NAMES Project Foundation. The response given to the quilt was immediate and people from the most affected cities in that were the most affected by AIDS sent panels to the workshop in San Francisco so that their family, friends and lovers could also be remembered. Others began to send donations in the form of money and equipment such as sewing machines that were desperately needed. The most

responsive people were lesbian, gay and bisexual people living in San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles. The quilt began to become better known and as more people learned of the project, more people got involved. Only two years after the idea of the quilt sparked in Cleve Jones’s head, the NAMES Project had its first showing at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. It was shown at the same time as the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. Half a million people visited the 1,920 panels that were displayed there that weekend. This response led the NAMES organizers to take the quilt on a four-month national tour that covered twenty cities in 1988. The tour raised $500,000, which was donated to hundreds of AIDS service organizations in various communities. In