AIDS Memorial Quilt to receive a permanent home in San Francisco

The Quilt consists of more than 50,000 panels, each one created in memory of a life lost.

The AIDS Memorial Quilt laid out before the White House, stretching into the distance

The NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt, first conceived by artist Cleve Jones in 1985 to remember those lost to AIDS, will soon receive a permanent home in San Francisco.

Consisting of 50,000 panels and weighing an estimated 54 tons, it is a heartbreaking, essential, and incredibly important memorial to those lost too soon. Currently housed in storage in Atlanta, the quilt will be moved to San Francisco, where it will be placed under the permanent care of the National AIDS Memorial Grove.

The AIDS Memorial Quilt will then become a part of the Centre for Social Conscience to highlight the fight for human rights which took place during the epidemic.

The NAMES Project shared, “This decision has been part of the long-term planning. In doing so, [we hope to] secure not only the legacy of the quilt, but also its ability to teach for generations to come.”

Along with the Quilt itself, there is the archive consisting of more than 200,000 items, including “biographical records of the people listed on the Quilt panels, including correspondence, photographs, tributes, epitaphs, news clippings and artifacts submitted by panel makers to add context about the lives of the people memorialized in the quilt. The archive also includes correspondence, printed materials, photographs, audiovisual materials and administrative records that document the creation, marketing and exhibition of the Quilt.”

The archive will be preserved by the Library of Congress in Washington. 

Once the quilt and the archive have been transferred, the NAMES Project will cease to exist.

To mark World AIDS Day this year, GCN and HIV Ireland will present an evening of conversation between two legends of the LGBT+ community – Gareth Thomas and Panti Bliss.

Panti will host the trailblazing Gareth Thomas in an hour-long conversation exploring the power of visibility and representation to breakdown stigma around living with HIV and their shared leadership and advocacy for the LGBT+ community in their careers and lives.

You can buy tickets on Eventbrite now.

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