Calendar of Events
Sewn in Memory: AIDS Quilt Panels from Central Illinois
600 S. Gregory St.
Urbana, Illinois 61801
The AIDS Memorial Quilt began as a grassroots effort in 1985, by the activist Cleve Jones and others in his circle who wanted to document the lives of friends who had died of AIDS, and who they feared history would neglect. Their project was called the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt. On October 11, 1987, the quilt was displayed for the first time on the National Mall in Washington, DC, during the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. It was larger than a football field and included 1,920 panels. By 1988, there were 6,000 panels. Today, the National AIDS Memorial is the keeper of the more than 50,000 quilt panels, commemorating 105,000 individuals who died of AIDS. In all, more than 700,000 lives in the US have been lost to AIDS and more than 1.1 million people live with HIV.
We are honored to be showcasing some of these quilt panels in our new exhibit, Sewn in Memory: AIDS Quilt Panels from Central Illinois. The exhibit features over a dozen panels originally made in the 1980s and early 1990s for the AIDS Memorial Quilt by residents of Central Illinois. Each of the panels in the exhibit commemorates a person who died of AIDS, or of an AIDS-related ailment.