AIDS MEMORIAL QUILT RETURNS TO ASHEVILLE
Note: Photos are available from 2008 Quilt Exhibit. Interviews are available with people who have requested panels for this year’s exhibit. Contact Pam Siekman for both.
Asheville NC, 11/18/09 – The Western North Carolina AIDS Project (WNCAP) announced today that sections of the AIDS Memorial Quilt will be on exhibit as part of planned World AIDS Day activities beginning on Monday, November 23 and continuing through December 2.
This year WNCAP reached out to the WNC community, providing an opportunity for residents to request specific panels of the Quilt. The response was overwhelming – mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, partners and friends sent in requests for quilt panels that memorialize their loved ones. Many of those will be included in the display.
Other special panels featured this year include quilts made for Ryan White, the Indiana teenager for whom the nation’s largest federally funded program for people living with HIV/AIDS was named (the Ryan White Care Act); Marty Prairie, a North Carolinian who was known as an educator and crusader on behalf of those with HIV/AIDS -- not only in North Carolina and the United States, but around the world; and Rudolf Nureyev, the Russian dancer who died from AIDS-related complications in 1993 and is remembered for his enduring contribution to the world of dance.
Several new panels created for local residents will also be inducted as part of this year’s activities.
The AIDS Memorial Quilt, a “National Treasure,” is now made up of more than 44,000 panels. The Asheville exhibit is entitled “A Tapestry of Lives” and will be comprised of 160 panels. The exhibit will be at Pack Place in downtown Asheville, open to the public Monday - Saturday from 10:00-7:00, and from 10:00-5:00 on Sundays (closed for Thanksgiving). There is no charge for admission.
A highlight of the weeklong exhibit will be the Candlelight Memorial Vigil which will be held on World AIDS Day, December 1, at 7 pm in the lower promenade of Pack Place. Surrounded by memories displayed on Quilt panels, participants will be invited to gather for a non-denominational memorial vigil. The vocal group Pastyme will contribute to the sentiment of the evening, which is designed to remember those who have lost the battle of their life to AIDS and encourage us to look forward to a world without this tragic disease.
Special activities taking place during this year’s exhibit are focused on HIV and AIDS prevention education. WNCAP Educators will be on hand to deliver “age appropriate” discussions and updates on HIV / AIDS.
There will also be special music each evening by local musicians lending their voice and talent to the fight against AIDS. Musicians include classical guitarist James Barr; piano & vocal performers Robert Thomas, Honey, Roberto Hess, Greg Lathrop, Regina Loveday, and Kate Steinbeck.
The exhibit is intended to honor and pay tribute to those who have been affected by HIV/AIDS, including those who have died, the doctors, the nurses, the caregivers, the thousands of AIDS orphans around the globe, and family and friends of those who have been affected. The Quilt also carries the message of education and hope.
For more information and a complete schedule of events associated with the Quilt exhibit, please visit www.WNCAP.org or call 828-252-7489.
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