AIDS Quilt

Origins, social significance, artistry, purpose & criticism of communally-created quilt honoring AIDS victims. Outline.

The AIDS Quilt represents an unprecedented example of grass roots political organizing. The quilt, also known as the NAMES Project Quilt, makes both personal and private statements about mourning, community participation, and activism. The AIDS Quilt is unique among public monuments because it is a collaborative memorial, the organizers of which have vowed to continue the project for the duration of the AIDS epidemic.
A stunning feature of the AIDS Quilt is its explosive growth. The quilt was first publicly displayed in 1987, when it consisted of slightly less than 2,000 panels. At a public exhibition in 1990, the quilt comprised 10,000 panels. By 1992, the quilt included more than 20,000 panels, with an additional 4,000 panels brought to a demonstration in Washington: The steady rise in the number of panels over the past five years…