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Patchwork for a cure - AIDS quilt on view Dec. 1-3

As part of the international commemoration of World AIDS Day, December 1, sections of the internationally celebrated AIDS memorial Quilt – the 54-ton, handmade tapestry that stands as a memorial to more than 90,000 individuals lost to AIDS – will be on view December 1-3 at Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School, 357 Clermont Avenue. This free display of The AIDS Memorial Quilt is being hosted by Bishop Loughlin Campus Ministry and visitors may attend December 2 from 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Julie Rhoad, executive director of the NAMES Project Foundation, explains: “The quilt transforms statistics into souls, loss into hope, and indifference into understanding. That is why this World AIDS Day – December 1, 2008 – the NAMES Project Foundation has partnered with hundreds of organizations around the country to try and get every 12 foot by 12 block of Quilt – almost 6,000 blocks – on display. We are so grateful that Bishop Loughlin is part of this ambitious grassroots effort to raise awareness and saving lives.”

Established in 1987, The NAMES Project Foundation is the International organization that is the custodian of The AIDS Memorial Quilt. The AIDS Memorial Quilt began with a single 3x6 foot panel created in San Francisco in 1987. Today, The quilt is composed of more than 47,000 individual 3x6 foot panels, each one commemorating the life of someone who has died of AIDS. These panels come from every state in the nation, every corner of the globe and they have been sewn by hundreds of thousands of friends, lovers and family members into this epic memorial, the largest piece of ongoing community art in the world.

In a war against a disease that has no cure, The AIDS Memorial Quilt has evolved as the most potent tool in the effort to educate against the lethal threat of AIDS. By revealing the humanity behind the statistics, The AIDS Memorial Quilt helps teach compassion, triumphs over taboos, stigma and phobia; and inspires individuals to take direct responsibility for their own actions on their own well-being and that of their family, friends and community.

Julie Rhoad adds, “We are thrilled to have the chance to share sections of The Quilt with your community. These handmade blocks, created by friends and family, tell the stories of individuals who have lost their lives to AIDS. We bring you their stories in the hope of inspiring compassion, healing and personal responsibility. We thank Bishop Loughlin for hosting this event and we invite you all out to see what wonderful art we have created together as a nation.”

For more on the World AIDS Day display in Brooklyn, call 718-857-2700 extension 2257. For more on The NAMES Project and the AIDS Memorial Quilt, visit www.aidsquilt.org or call the national headquarters at 404-688-5500.

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