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Day With(out) Art at the Michigan State University Museum


On Dec. 1, Michigan State University Museum joins thousands of individuals and educational, health, and cultural organizations around the world to mark World AIDS Day. In observance of the day, the MSU Museum will display two NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt blocks.

Established in 1987, The NAMES Project Foundation – the international caretaker of The Quilt -- works to preserve, care for and use The AIDS Memorial Quilt to foster healing, advance social justice and inspire action. The Quilt began in San Francisco 30 years ago with a single 3 x 6 foot panel and today this epic tapestry of hope and love includes more than 49,000 panels. These panels have come from every state in the nation and have been created by friends, lovers and family members in an attempt to transform loss and heartbreak into hope and healing.

By revealing the humanity behind the statistics, The AIDS Memorial Quilt helps teach compassion, triumphs over taboo, stigma and phobia; and inspires individuals to take direct responsibility for their own well-being and that of their family, friends, and community.

Julie Rhoad, Executive Director of The NAMES Project Foundation explains, “We are eager to share The AIDS Memorial Quilt with your community for it is unlike any memorial ever created. With teddy bears and Boy Scout badges, love letters and photographs, this American treasure was created by the people for real people who were loved and lost to AIDS. We thank the MSU Museum for their visionary efforts in hosting this event and invite you to see what wonderful healing art we have created together as a nation.”

Sections are continuously on display across the country in schools, places of worship, community centers, businesses, corporations and a variety of other institutional settings all in the hope of making the realities of HIV and AIDS real, human and immediate. To date, more than 18 million people have seen The AIDS Memorial Quilt at tens of thousands of display throughout the world. For more information on The NAMES Project and The AIDS Memorial Quilt, please visit aidsquilt.org.

The Michigan State University Museum has become known as a center of quilt-related scholarly and educational activities, including the Quilt Index (quiltindex.org), an online tool for centralized public access to quilt and quilt-related materials. Thousands of museums and galleries have joined forces with World AIDS Day, creating a national movement on Dec. 1 called Day With(out) Art, featuring special displays. Typically, museums drape an object on display to symbolize the impact, loss and mourning from the AIDS crisis.

View blocks from The AIDS Memorial Quilt in the MSU Museum's Entry Hall Dec. 1 – 11.