Yesterday, the AIDS Memorial Quilt returned to NYC for the first time since 2002. You can see the 2,000+ panels on Governors Island until 4 p.m. today.
The quilt, which honors over 5,000 individuals, is being displayed there as part of the 5th annual Kiehl's LifeRide for amfAR. Julie Rhoad, CEO of The NAMES Project Foundation, the international caretaker of The Quilt, said in a statement, "The AIDS Memorial Quilt has a long and meaningful history with New York City as it was one of the very first communities to open its doors and hearts to host the earliest sections of The Quilt back in 1988. Since then, New York City has welcomed back thousands of blocks of this handmade American treasure—displaying them in schools and community centers, places of worship and corporations—and now it seems most fitting that one of the city's oldest and most respected companies, Kiehl's will host this large display as a gift to the city it has called home for 163 years."
A press release notes:
This public display reflects The NAMES Project and Kiehl's shared commitment to honoring the tens of thousands remembered on The Quilt by allowing their stories and their legacy to inspire continued vigilance in the fight to end AIDS. For within the miles of fabric, the tens of thousands of names, the details - the family photograph, the faded Halloween costume, the travel souvenir, the handwritten note - that are the most visceral reminder that these were real people who lived real lives, were loved and lost. It is our greatest hope that these details, these hand-stitched love letters, created one three foot by six foot panel at a time by friends and family, will continue to inspire compassion and foster a new levels of advocacy necessary to bring about an end to AIDS.
amfAR CEO Kevin Robert Frost said, "The AIDS Memorial Quilt is a prominent and moving symbol of the immense human tragedy of AIDS, in its many roles The Quilt not only educates and inspires, but also serves as a monument for those who have lost loved ones to the diseas. It also reaffirms our commitment to funding the innovative research that will ultimately deliver a cure so that one day, we will no longer have to sew another panel into The Quilt."