The cross-country journey of the AIDS Memorial Quilt made a stop at UNC Wilmington and the surrounding area.
The AIDS Memorial Quilt was in Wilmington starting Nov. 30 and was in the area till Dec. 15. The quilt was brought by the Frank Harr and The NAMES Project. Over 30 panels of the quilt were displayed in Wilmington, with each display commemorated by speakers, social gatherings and educational workshops.
Three panels of The AIDS Quilt were in the Randall Library Atrium and additional panels were displayed in the Cultural Arts Building in the Mezzanine Gallery. The panels were displayed from Nov. 30 to Dec. 15 in 2019.
Along with some panels of the quilt being on display on campus, there were additional panels open to the public in the Wilmington community. Panels were displayed at Cameron Art Museum, New Hanover Regional Medical Center, Thalian Hall Center for the Performing Arts, Temple of Israel, St. Jude’s Metropolitan Community Church, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, St. Stephen A.M.E. Church, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Wilmington and Hannah Block Historic USO Community Arts Center.
The AIDS Memorial Quilt was first displayed in October of 1987 as a memorial for people that had died from the epidemic disease. The goal was to document an important part of LGBTQ+ history that many feared many would be pushed away. The quilt was also made to demonstrate the impact of the disease through its immense size. It has around 50,000 sections that are each 3 feet by 6 feet. This massive quilt represents 105,000 lives that have lost the battle of AIDS and serves as a reminder to spread information, awareness and support.
Though the displays have left Wilmington, portions of the quilts are still on display in North Carolina at the International Civil Rights Center & Museum in Greensboro until Jan. 15. For more information about the AIDS Memorial Quilt and the NAMES Project, visit https://aidsmemorial.org/theaidsquilt/.