An Introduction to the NAMES Quilt

During the year 1987, the NAMES Quilt was brought to life. For one to understand the NAMES Quilt one must understand the pain that comes with NAMES. Resources, funding, and acknowledgment of an AIDS epidemic were not always seen as important as it is today.

The NAMES Quilt features patches that make a giant quilt. Each patch of the quilt, however, represents a  person who died due to AIDS. The idea of a quilt is a non-traditional memorial paying tribute to the people who are no longer here due to AIDS. 

I found it interesting that the NAMES Quilt remains the “largest community art project in the world”. The metaphor of a quilt is moving. The patches on a quilt are more than just patches, they are mothers, they are fathers, they are innocent sons and daughter. The patches on the quilt are more than just fabric; they are poets, they are teachers, they are culture. The NAMES quilt is more than just a quilt, it is a heart that still beats, it represents the never-ending legacy of people who battled with AIDS. It is a reminder to all of us that people with AIDS are just that, they are people. 

The idea of a single patch draws me in because each patch tells a story of someone, Each patch represents a name and with a mere name, we recognize that no two names hold the same story. The patches are incredibly vital and remind me that we at times dehumanize individuals who are different than us. The stigma that comes with AIDS is denied entry to the NAMES Quilt. The quilt raises a sense of humanity and gives NAMES to AIDS. 

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