The HWS community will commemorate an integral piece of LGBT history beginning at 6 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 15 by displaying a panel of the AIDS Memorial Quilt in the Davis Galley at Houghton House. The Pride Alliance will host this opening ceremony and reception with light food and drink in Davis Gallery at Houghton House. President Mark D. Gearan, Chaplain Lesley Adams, and Pride Alliance President Kelly Wendt ’14 will offer opening remarks.
Owned by the non-profit NAMES Project, the quilt began in 1987 to pay reverence to loved ones who died from the disease and was displayed for the first time on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
“We are bringing a piece of the quilt to HWS in order to bring awareness,” says Wendt who notes although AIDS/ HIV research has gained attention in the past 30 years it remains a world-wide problem worthy of attention.
“The quilt is a good reminder about how we have come so far, but also a reminder that the disease is still a problem,” she says.
Wendt and other members of HWS Pride Alliance advocated that part of the quilt be presented on campus. Its presence will serve to educate and inform the HWS community on the issue, she says.
“Many of my HWS classes taught me about the importance of this quilt to the LGBT community,” Wendt says. “The quilt is an important thing for the issue of student health in general, and will provide an example of the intersection between art and activism.”
Since 1987, the AIDS Memorial Quilt has traveled around in separate panels to various organizations and is composed of more than 48,000 panels commemorating 94,000 individuals.
At HWS, a piece of the quilt will be displayed from Friday, Nov. 15 to Thursday, Dec 5.