The AIDS Memorial Quilt comes to Hamilton
The AIDS Memorial Quilt is the project of the San Francisco-based NAMESProject Foundation. The foundation and Quilt were started in 1987 by gayrights activist Cleve Jones and a group of volunteers who created the Quilt asa tribute to friends and loved ones who had succumbed to AIDS.
The Quilt was first displayed to the public later that year on the CapitolMall. At that time, there were 1,920 panels and the Quilt was a little largerthan a football field. Today, the Quilt consists of over 43,000 panels andcovers over 16 football fields.
The AIDS Memorial Quilt serves both as a symbol of remembrance and healing andas a tool to raise public awareness of AIDS in an effort to help bring an endto the epidemic. The most recent statistics from the U.S. Centers for DiseaseControl and Prevention (CDC) indicate that AIDS is the second leading cause ofdeath among Americans ages 25-44 and that 1 in 300 Americans is infected withHIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has proclaimed AIDS the world'sfastest-spreading epidemic and estimates that by the year 2000, the cumulativetotal of HIV infections in men, women and children around the world will be30-40 million. Women will account for half the infections and 90 percent ofall HIV infections will occur in developing countries.
The Quilt display at Hamilton has been coordinated with the Syracuse NAMESProject chapter. There are 48 NAMES Project chapters in the United States,each working in its community to encourage HIV-prevention education, facilitatepanel making and to raise money for local AIDS organizations.
In 1989, the Quilt was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. In that same year,Common Threads: Stories From the Quilt won the Academy Award as thebest feature length documentary film.
Please contact Jean Baiardi at 859-0127 for further details.