Change Reference Post #2: AIDS Memorial Quilt

The NAME project’s AIDS Memorial Quilt is supposedly the purportedly the largest piece of community art that exists in the world today. It was officially begun by Cleve Jones, Mike Smith, and volunteers Joseph Durant, Jack Caster, Gert McMullin, Ron Cordova, Larkin Mayo and Gary Yuschalkin San Francisco 1987 as an attempt to honor the lives of people lost during the AIDS epidemic (many of whom never received a funeral due to both the down-right refusal of funeral homes and cemeteries to manage the remnants of the deceased, as well as the enormous social stigma surrounding the whole commotion felt by family members).

The Quilt provided an opportunity for family members of those lost to AIDS to commemorate and celebrate their loved ones. It also served a larger purpose of visually displaying just how massive the entire epidemic was, and how many people it affected.

The Quilt itself continues to grow and currently consists of about 48,000 individually dedicated panels and supports AIDS service organizaitons through fundraising .

Usually each panel is created by family members or friends who lost someone close to aids and donated their panel to the NAMES project (each panel is about the size of a human grave). It should be noted that you don’t have to have known someone to create a panel for them, but you must have some sort of connection to them (i.e. Freddy Mercury, Rock Hudson, and Keith Harring dedicated panels).

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