AIDS Memorial Quilt Display
Twenty panels of the AIDS Memorial Quilt, the largest ongoing community art project in the world, are coming to the Bell Memorial Union on Oct. 19 and 20. They will be on display from 9 am until 7 pm each day.
Begun in 1987, the AIDS Memorial Quilt is both a memorial to those who have died of AIDS and a powerful tool for use in preventing new HIV infections. The Names Project Foundation is the custodian of the quilt and oversees its display around the country and the world.
Pedro Douglas, director of Student Health Service at CSU, Chico, helped bring the quilt to the University of Connecticut when he worked there and knew that he wanted to bring it to Chico. He and student interns have taken two years obtaining local support, applying to the Names Project, and organizing the venue and the activities associated with the display.
“I don’t think anyone can walk in the room where the quilt is and not be humbled by the experience,” said Douglas. “I know that when I first saw it, I didn’t know as much as I do now about AIDS and its victims. Each panel represents a person who has died, his or her life and the people who loved him or her; it was a humbling experience. I walked out of the room a changed person.”
Douglas stresses the importance of educating people about AIDS. “AIDS cases were on the decline for awhile,” said Douglas, “but in the past few years, there has been an increase in cases, especially among women and minority women.”
Douglas said that the main reason he is doing this is to raise awareness about HIV and AIDS and who is affected. “I want to help change the face of AIDS,” he said.
If you would like to volunteer to read quilt names during the display, contact Lauren Lee at Student Health Service, x6070.