American International College to Host the AIDS Memorial Quilt

Esther B. Griswold Theatre and Karen Sprague Cultural Arts Center at American International College

American International College (AIC) will host sections of the internationally celebrated AIDS Memorial Quilt, the 54 ½ -ton, handmade tapestry that stands as a memorial to more than 96,000 individuals lost to AIDS. In conjunction with its 30th anniversary, The Quilt will be on view at the Griswold Theatre Lobby and West Wing Gallery in the Karen Sprague Cultural Arts Center on the AIC campus from November 30 through December 3, 2017.

Officially beginning in 1987, The Quilt is a memorial to and celebration of the lives of people lost to AIDS. In the 1980s, many who died of AIDS-related causes did not receive funerals due to the social stigma attached to the disease and the refusal of many funeral homes and cemeteries to handle the deceased’s remains. Without the ability to hold memorial services or have access to burial sites, The Quilt was often the only opportunity family members, friends, and survivors had to remember and celebrate the lives of those they lost.

Today, The Quilt is maintained and displayed by The NAMES Project Foundation. Individual quilt panels are typically very personalized and are created by the loved ones of an individual who died of AIDS-related causes. By design, each panel is 3 feet by 6 feet, the size of a human grave. Panels are donated to The NAMES Project Foundation where they are grouped with other similar panels and assembled into 12′ by 12′ sections called blocks which are on view at local displays of The Quilt. There will be 20 blocks on display at AIC. The response to the announcement that the College will host The Quilt has been very positive, with requests from the Boston area, Cape Cod, and…

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