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SF’s Biggest AIDS Quilt Display Ever is Coming (June 11-12)

Massive AIDS quilt display at Golden Gate Park is largest in U.S. in over 10 years
By - posted 6/12/2022 No Comment

The National AIDS Memorial will mark the 35th anniversary of the AIDS Memorial Quilt with an historic outdoor display in Golden Gate Park that will feature nearly 3,000 hand-stitched panels of the Quilt.

The display will be the largest display of the Quilt in the U.S. in over a decade and the largest-ever AIDS quilt display in San Francisco history.

The free public event will take place on June 11 & 12 from 10 am – 5 pm each day in Robin Williams Meadow and in the National AIDS Memorial Grove. An opening ceremony and traditional Quilt unfolding will start at 9:30 am on the 11th, followed by the continuous reading of names of lives lost to AIDS aloud by volunteers, dignitaries, and the public on both days.

35th Anniversary AIDS Memorial Quilt Display
Saturday + Sunday, June 11-12, 2022 | 10a-5p
Robin Williams Meadow + AIDS Memorial Grove, Golden Gate Park, SF

  • Opening Ceremony – 9:30am, Saturday, June 11, 2022
  • Map of AIDS Memorial Quilt display
  • Volunteer (signups begin 4/8/22)

The two-day 35th Anniversary event, presented by Gilead Sciences, will feature 350 12’x12’ blocks of the Quilt laid out on the ground, each consisting of eight 3’x 6’ individually sewn panels that honor and remember the names and stories of loved ones lost to AIDS.

Outdoor displays of the Quilt are very rare, requiring hundreds of volunteers who can be trained in emergency rain fold procedures that can protect the entire Quilt from inclement weather in under 45 seconds. Extensive preparations are required to provide visitors with detailed maps of the names and locations of each panel, much like a cemetery directory.

Rescheduled from 2022 Due to the Pandemic
The display was originally scheduled to take place in April 2020 to coincide with the 150th Anniversary of Golden Gate Park, but was postponed more than two years due to the pandemic. The original version of this event was scheduled to have 1,920 panels, approximately the same size and shape as the first major quilt display that took place in Washington D.D. in 1987. The updated display will now be about 1/3rd larger than originally planned.

Visitors will be able to walk through the display to experience each panel, remember the names, and see first-hand the stories sewn into each of them. Featured Quilt blocks will include many of the original panels made during the darkest days of the pandemic and panels made in recent years, a solemn reminder that the AIDS crisis is still not over.

There will be panel-making workshops, community information booths, stories behind the Quilt, displays of memorabilia, and the ability for the public to share their personal Quilt stories.

More than 100 new panels will be seen for the first time at the San Francisco display.  Many of them were made through the Memorial’s Call My Name panel-making program, which helps raise greater awareness about the impact of HIV/AIDS in communities of color, particularly in the South, where HIV rates are on the rise.