WNCAP
Contact: Pam Siekman, 254-3259; pamsiekman@earthlink.net
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

AIDS Memorial Quilt Returns to Asheville
 
(Note:  For downloadable photos from the 2009 Quilt Exhibit, visit 
 
Asheville, NC - The Western North Carolina AIDS Project (WNCAP) announced today that sections of the AIDS Memorial Quilt will be on exhibit in Pack Place as part of planned World AIDS Day activities beginning on Monday, November 22 and continuing through December 2.  This is the third year WNCAP is hosting this meaningful and well-attended exhibit.
 
WNCAP provided an opportunity for WNC residents to request specific panels of the Quilt and the response was overwhelming.  Mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, partners and friends sent in requests for panels that memorialize their loved ones. Some have not seen their loved ones’ panels in many years. 
The Quilt originated in June of 1987 when a small group of strangers gathered in a San Francisco storefront to document the lives they feared history would forget.  Their goals were to create a memorial for those who had died of AIDS and help people understand the devastating impact of the disease.  The Quilt now contains over 47,000 panels commemorating the lives of 91,000 individuals.  It has been viewed by over 18 million people at thousands of displays worldwide.  
 
The Washington, D.C. displays of October 1987, 1988, 1989, 1992 and 1996 are the only ones to have featured the Quilt in its entirety. 
 
The Asheville exhibit is entitled “A Tapestry of Lives” and will be comprised of 144 panels.  The exhibit will be at Pack Place in downtown Asheville, open to the public Monday - Saturday from 10:00-6:00, and from 10:00-5:00 on Sunday (closed for Thanksgiving).  There is no charge for admission. 
 
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.  
 
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.  Several new panels created for local residents by a WNCAP Quilting Group will be added to the Quilt at this time, during a special induction ceremony.
 
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.
 
Local musicians James Barr, classical guitarist, and Robert Thomas, pianist and vocalist, will be performing at special times during the exhibit. 
 
For more information and a complete schedule of events associated with the Quilt exhibit, please visit www.WNCAP.org or call 828-252-7489.
 
WNCAP is an AIDS service organization whose mission is to provide HIV-related services to residents in eighteen counties of WNC, through supportive services for those living with HIV/AIDS and prevention education for all.
 
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Western North Carolina AIDS Project • 554 Fairview Rd. • Asheville, NC 28803
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