With the introduction of The Quilt in 1987, The NAMES Project Foundation redefined the tradition of quilt making in response to contemporary circumstances. During June 27 – July 1; July 4 – July 8, The Quilt will be part of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. This program will feature the remarkable artistry, inspiration, and impact of The AIDS Memorial Quilt and provide the public with an unparalleled opportunity to experience this highly charged symbol of the AIDS crisis and the largest community art project in the world.  Then, during July 21 – 24, The Quilt will blanket our Nation’s Capital.  In addition to a large display on The National Mall, Quilt will also be on display in some of the most popular tourist attractions and in unique locations throughout the community.  This will allow millions of visitors to see sections of The Quilt during their travels around Washington, D.C.

The Quilt is now an enormous 1.3 million square feet (50 miles) and 54 tons, making it no longer possible to display in a single location all at once.

In order to make all 48,000 panels available for the public to view in Washington, D.C. this summer, it will take more than 60 distinct displays in a number of locations over the course of 31 days:

  • 8,000 Quilt panels — 800 different panels per day — will be on display over the 10 days of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival as part of “Creativity and Crisis: Unfolding The AIDS Memorial Quilt” from June 27 to July 8
  • 4,800 Quilt panels will be featured in more than 50 venues throughout the capital region from July 21 to 24 during the international AIDS 2012 conference also taking place in Washington, D.C.
  • 35,200 panels — 8,800 different panels per day — will be on display, also July 21 to 24, on a portion of the National Mall, from 8th to 14th Streets

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About The Quilt

Established in 1987, The NAMES Project Foundation is the international NGO (non-governmental organization) that is the custodian of The AIDS Memorial Quilt, an official American treasure.

The mission of The NAMES Project Foundation is to preserve, care for and use The AIDS Memorial Quilt to foster healing, heighten awareness, and inspire action in the age of AIDS. Specifically, The NAMES Project works to display The Quilt in nearly 1,000 venues each year, to conserve and care for the aging 54-ton tapestry and it’s half a million piece archive, and to encourage and support the creation of new Quilt panels for this ever-evolving handmade memorial.

Weighing 54 tons and composed of more than 48,000 panels dedicated to more than 94,000 individuals, The AIDS Memorial Quilt is the premier symbol of the AIDS pandemic, our greatest HIV prevention education tool and the largest ongoing piece of community folk art in the world.

Throughout its 25 year history, The Quilt has been used to fight prejudice, raise awareness and funding, as a means to link hands with the global community in the fight against AIDS. Whether The Quilt is displayed as a single section in an elementary school or 1,000 of blocks on the national mall in Washington, it provides balm for the painful wounds of grief, pours oil into the waters made turbulent by controversy, opens eyes that refuse to see and enlists every person who experiences it to play a role in stopping the pandemic.

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