Aids: Gay Life And The Aids Memorial Quilt

836 words - 4 pages

Birthed in June of 1987 by a group of strangers with the mission to document and make aware to others the devastation and loss caused by AIDS, the AIDS Memorial Quilt, once a small-scale project in San Francisco, is now a powerful visual construction representing the AIDS pandemic, inclusive of over 48,000 individual 3-by-6-foot memorial panels commemorating the lives lost to AIDS ("AIDS Memorial Quilt: The NAMES Project Foundation"). Conception of the Quilt's idea occurred in November of 1985 by San Francisco gay rights activist Cleve Jones after learning of the many who had died of AIDS planning the annual candlelit march in honor of San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk and Mayor George ...view middle of the document...

By October of 1988, a total of 8,288 panels made up the size of the Quilt which was displayed once again in Washington D.C. on The Ellipse in front of the White House. The year 1989 saw the beginning of a second tour, bringing the Quilt to an additional 19 cities located in the United States and Canada and raising almost a quarter of a million dollars to be donated again to AIDS service organizations. That same year, the Quilt again was showcased in Washington D.C. to commemorate the lives lost and the devastation caused by AIDS. The public response proved so great the in January of 1993, the NAMES Project was invited to appear in President Clinton's inaugural parade. The Quilt's last display in its entirety occurred in October of 1996 in Washington D.C., spanning the entire National Mall. Then, on June 26 of 2004, in observance of National HIV Testing Day, 1,000 newly received blocks were again displayed on The Ellipse in Washington D.C. Currently, an abundant of chapters within the NAMES Project and independent Quilt affiliates exist throughout the world. Since its original display, the NAMES Project Foundation has successfully raised over $3 million for AIDS service organizations across the North American landscape. In my midterm essay submitted last week, I spoke of the way in which art has a powerful capacity to invoke greater awareness, new thinking and...

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