A huge patterned quilt is soon going to be displayed on campus in remembrance of victims of AIDS and spreading awareness about the disease.
It is the 3rd year that the Names Project ‘s ‘One World, Many Voices, One Quilt,’ will be displayed on the SOU campus. The giant SOU quilt, which is 12×12 feet, will be on campus from Nov. 24 to Dec. 3 and a celebration will be held Dec. 1. The national quilt is over 1,293,000 square feet long and hasn’t been shown all together since 1996, because the quilt is too large.
Grace Weil has been working on the project for seven months and is glad a lot of people are paying attention to the cause.
“This is a really dark time of year and it’s important for us to remember the people who have passed away, but it is also really important for us to celebrate the life that we still have,” Weil said.
The candlelight vigil and celebration will be held on World AIDS Day, Weil wanted to make it a celebration of life. The vigil will be led by Janelle Wilson, which will start at 5 p.m. Afterwards Rev. Shepard from United Church of Christ will speak. There will also be performances by the Rouge Valley Ensemble, NASU singers and drummers and Dulcet.
“I really worked at this of making it a celebration of life evening as well as remembering our past,” Weil said.
Three panels of the quilt was made by Hands Around Quilting Group from The First Methodist Church and has been held on display ever since.
“It symbolizes hope for future generations,” Kitty Calhoun said who helped out with the project since the beginning.
All of the Rocky Horror Picture Show proceeds went to the Quilt celebration, as well as man other donations including a generous $500 from the Abdel-Ellis Center. Various other campus organizations such as the Health and Wellness Center also went to the cause.
“It was a wonderful contribution,” said Calhoun.
Katherine Gohring, a QRC volunteer, helped table for the quilt and kept an eye on it.
“I think it’s really amazing, I have done some study of the quilt and to have part of it here is a really unique experience,” Gohring said.
According to Weil some people have certain stereotypes about the disease and she says the rising age group being affected by AIDS are females between the ages of 18-25.
“It’s scary, it’s really terrifying and having a tool like the AIDS quilt, to bring that home, to make that emotional impact is a really good way of reaching people,” Weil said.
Gohring thinks it’s important to take notice of the disease that claims a lot of lives each year.
“It is really important for us to understand that this is an epidemic and sometimes it takes a personal view to truly understand how much impact AIDS has had on our community,” Gohring said.
There will also be two art projects going on while the quilt is displayed. Students can make collages out of magazines, which will be put in the library. There will also be construction papers, in which students can make their own paper quilt square, which will be stitched together with ribbon.
Weil said the main point of the quilt is to bring awareness and hopes that one-day a cure could be found.
“I’ve known people who have lived 15 or more years fighting this disease and that needs to be acknowledged, that there has been strides made even if it’s not a perfect world, it’s better than it could be,” Weil said.
For more information on the quilt check out: http://www.aidsquilt.org
“It symbolizes hope for future generations,” Calhoun said.