AIDS Quilt

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The NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt, often abbreviated to AIDS Memorial Quilt or AIDS Quilt is the first of its kind as a continually growing monument created piecemeal by thousands of individuals, and today it constitutes the largest piece of community folk art in the world.


The AIDS Memorial Quilt was conceived in November of 1985 by long-time San Francisco gay rights activist Cleve Jones. Cleve created the first panel in memory of his friend Marvin Feldman. In June of 1987, Jones teamed up with Mike Smith, Gert McMullin and several others to formally organize the NAMES Project Foundation.

Public response to the Quilt was immediate. People in the U.S. cities most affected by AIDS — Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco — sent panels to the San Francisco workshop. Generous donors rapidly supplied sewing machines, equipment and other materials, and many volunteered tirelessly.

On October 11, 1987, the Quilt was displayed for the first time on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., during the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. It covered a space larger than a football field and included 1,920 panels.

Today, the AIDS Memorial Quilt is an epic 54-ton tapestry that includes nearly 50,000 panels dedicated to more than 105,000 individuals. It is the premiere symbol of the AIDS pandemic, a living memorial to a generation lost to AIDS and an important HIV prevention education tool. With hundreds of thousands of people contributing their talents to making the memorial panels, and tens of thousands of volunteers to help display it, the Quilt is considered the largest community arts project in history.[1]

Adding A Panel

The design can be vertical or horizontal, but the finished, hemmed panel must be 3 feet by 6 feet (90 cm x 180 cm) – no more and no less! The entire process, from receiving the panel to incorporating it into a 12-by-12 block in The AIDS Memorial Quilt, typically takes between 90 days and six months [2]


The IAGSDC AIDS Quilt panel was made by David Proszek of Times Squares in 1992. It was first presented at the 1992 Diamonds In The Desert Convention before being presented to the Names Project. It is found on block 2488, inscribed with names and remembrances of dancers who died of AIDS. This panel was also on display at the 2011 Gone With The Windmill Convention, as the Quilt was housed in Atlanta at that time.

Dancer Panels

Panels can be found within the AIDS Quilt for some square dancers and square dance clubs. An interactive website allows one to search for names and view the panels.
List of AIDS Quilt Names


See also:

Category:AIDS Quilts if we go this route
Memorial Panel Names
Memorial Panels
Memorial Project
Memorial Tip


  1. AIDS Memorial | Quilt History website  : accessed 19 Feb 2022
  2. AIDS Memorial | Make A Panel website : accessed 19 Feb 2022