AIDS Memorial Quilt returns to Asheville

(Photo courtesy of Western North Carolina AIDS Project)

Starting this Monday, Nov. 25, the Western North Carolina AIDS Project will display the AIDS Memorial Quilt at the Renaissance Asheville Hotel, 31 Woodfin St. as part of the weeklong exhibit, Tapestry of Lives. The massive, handmade tapestry serves as a tribute to more than 94,000 individuals who lost their lives to AIDS.

“Each handmade quilt panel tells a personal story of person who has died from AIDS,” says Asheville’s Pam Siekman, World AIDS Day Chairperson and WNCAP Board President. “It is a poignant reminder that we must continue to expand our efforts of HIV education, prevention and advocacy.” 

The Asheville exhibit will display 160 panels of the 54-ton quilt — 18 of which have been requested by locals who have lost loved ones to AIDS. The quilt, which is returning for its fifth year in Asheville, is the largest exhibit of the AIDS Memorial Quilt in the state.

“The purpose of the exhibit … is to honor those who have been affected by HIV/AIDS, including the victims who have died, the doctors, nurses and other caregivers, the thousands of AIDS orphans across the globe and families and friends,” says Siekman.

The exhibit will be open to the public from Nov. 25 to Dec. 2 from 10 a.m -7 p.m., Monday through Saturday, closed Thanksgiving Day. A World AIDS Day event will be held Dec. 1, at the Renaissance Hotel from 7-9 p.m.

The World AIDS Day event on Dec. 1 includes performances by vocalist, Kat Williams; Jazz pianist and vocalist, Robert Thomas; and NC Stage. Five new panels, from WNCAP’s quilting group, are joining the AIDS Memorial Quilt through an induction ceremony followed by a candle lighting ceremony in remembrance of those lost.

In observance of World AIDS Day, the Fine Arts Theatre of Asheville is donating $1 to WNCAP for every ticket sold during the opening weekend of Dallas Buyer’s Club, starring Matthew McConaughey and Jennifer Garner, Nov. 22, 23, 24. Read the review of the film in the Xpress here:

To learn more about WNCAP and the most up-to-date details about the Quilt exhibit and World AIDS Day activities please visit or contact the WNCAP office at 828-252-7489. Age-appropriate HIV/AIDS educational materials are available at the exhibit, including information on how and where to go to be tested for HIV. Contact Michael Harney, WNCAP educator to schedule a youth education session during the Quilt exhibit, 828-252-7489. 


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About Lea McLellan
Lea McLellan is a freelance writer who likes to write stories about music, art, food, wellness and interesting locals doing interesting things.

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