June 17-22 | AIDS Memorial Quilt Exhibit

WNCAP will present portions of the famous AIDS Memorial Quilt from Monday, June 17 – Saturday, June 22 at the Asheville Masonic Temple (80 Broadway Street, Asheville, NC, 28801). The exhibit is free and open to the public from 10am-7pm. The exhibit coincides with the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, placing the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the broader context of the LGBTQ rights movement.

The AIDS Memorial Quilt began in June 1987 when a small group of activists gathered in San Francisco to document the lives they feared history would neglect. Their goal was to create a memorial for those who had died of AIDS-related causes, and to thereby help people understand the devastating impact of HIV/AIDS. This meeting of devoted friends and lovers served as the foundation of The NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt.

In 1987, 1,920 panels were first displayed in the nation’s capital during the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights, to highlight the scale of the epidemic. By 2016, the Quilt included more than 49,000 panels representing over 97,000 people and it continues to grow. It is a memorial to those lost, a tool for preventing new HIV infections, and the world’s largest ongoing community art project.

The WNCAP Quilt Exhibit includes over a dozen 12×12 foot blocks, each one made up of 6 or more individual panels. Many of the panels memorialize people from the local Western North Carolina area who passed away. Others are more far-flung, such as celebrity panels honoring Freddy Mercury, Liberace, Arthur Ashe, and Eazy-E, and two blocks made entirely of international panels. It is a solemn and moving exhibit, but also an inspiring display of the love and activism that was generated by the AIDS epidemic.

An opening reception for the Quilt exhibit will be held on Monday, June 17 at the Asheville Masonic Temple from 6pm-8pm. The reception will feature remarks from WNCAP Executive Director Antonio Del Toro, live music and light refreshments. There will also be a moving ceremony where several new panels will be inducted into the Quilt as a whole. The reception is free and open to the public.

For more information about the Quilt Exhibit and to request a specific Quilt panel for display, please contact Michael at mpoandl@wncap.org or call (828) 252-7489 ext. 318.

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