This weekend, San Francisco will host the largest outdoor display of the AIDS Memorial Quilt in a decade.
More than 3,000 hand-stitched panels of the quilt will be displayed in Golden Gate Park’s Robin Williams Meadow on Saturday and Sunday, June 11-12, marking the quilt’s 35th anniversary.
The free event features hundreds of new panels that will be shown to the public for the first time. These include many from the memorial’s “Call My Name” panel-making program, which aims to draw attention to the disproportionate impact of HIV/AIDS within communities of color, especially Black Americans.
The quilt is now considered the largest community arts project globally. It consists of more than 54 tons of fabric, with over 50,000 individually sewn panels and over 110,000 names memorialized.
“The Quilt is an important reminder that the HIV/AIDS crisis is still not over and there is much work to be done, particularly in communities of color, where HIV is on the rise in many parts of the country,” said AIDS Memorial CEO John Cunningham in a news release.
About 350 12-by-12 blocks will be placed on the ground to honor the names and stories of the people lost to the virus. Each block will have eight panels, with each panel representing the length and width of a grave. Visitors will be able to walk through the display to experience different panels and see stories stitched into each of them.
The event will be the largest-ever display of the quilt in San Francisco and the largest display anywhere since 2012, when it was on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
The AIDS Memorial Quilt will be on display Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. A traditional unfolding of the quilt will start at 10 a.m. after the opening ceremony on Saturday, and the names of those lost will be read aloud over the two days.
More information about the event can be found online.