Sections of the AIDS Memorial Quilt are displayed outside the Mayor’s balcony at City Hall on Monday, July 6, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Sections of the AIDS Memorial Quilt are displayed outside the Mayor’s balcony at City Hall on Monday, July 6, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Virtual exhibition of AIDS memorial quilt starting next month

The San Francisco-based National AIDS Memorial organization is hosting a 50-state AIDS Memorial Quilt virtual exhibition, which will run from Nov. 16 to March 31, 2021.

Organizers are inviting individuals, businesses, and nonprofits from around the country to host a display of sections of the quilt “that tell the stories of loved ones lost to AIDS from each state and U.S. territory.”

“During the darkest days of the AIDS crisis, the Quilt was a source of immense comfort, inspiration and used as a tool for social activism to open the eyes of the nation to injustice and to help survivors grieve and heal,” John Cunningham, executive director of the National AIDS Memorial, said in a news release. “We hope that the power and beauty of the Quilt can serve the same purpose for those who are experiencing loss and grief due to COVID-19.”

Applications must be received by Nov. 1 in order to qualify. In addition, participants are required to pay a $500 entry fee.

The exhibition is free to the public.

Proceeds from the exhibition will go directly to preserving the Memorial Quilt, which contains over 48,000 individual panels.

More than 700,000 people have died of AIDS since the start of the epidemic in the early 1980s. The National AIDS Memorial was founded in 1996, and remains the only federally designated AIDS Memorial in the U.S.

To sign up as a virtual display host, people can visit aidsmemorial.org/virtual2020.

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