The AIDS Memorial Quilt

The NAMES Project

On display at the Center for Civil and Human Rights from May 12 to May 20, 2018

Nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize and recognized as an American Treasure by the United States Congress, The AIDS Memorial Quilt (The Quilt) is arguably our Nation’s most democratic monument – created literally by the people for the people.

The Quilt is both a memorial and profound cultural document that connects the human histories of the epidemic to the scientific advancements and medical responses, and chronicles society’s triumphs, struggles, reactions and attitudes toward one of the most complex human disease epidemics in history.

The History of the AIDS Memorial Quilt

In June of 1987 a group of strangers gathered to remember the names and lives of their loved ones they feared history would forget – and with that seemingly simple act of love and defiance, the first panels of The AIDS Memorial Quilt were created and The NAMES Project founded.

That same year those first memorials began to travel the Nation and in October of 1987 they along with 1960 other panels traveled to Washington, D.C. where they made their first appearance on The National Mall and made it impossible for the world to dismiss or deny AIDS. In the years since that first display, The Quilt has grown from 40 panels to 49,000 and the names contained in its stitches for 2,000 to 104,000.

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