FAIRBANKS - Portions of a huge quilt made to honor those who died of AIDS went on display Thursday at the Wood Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
Established in 1988, the AIDS Memorial Quilt, a project of The NAMES Project Foundation, contains more than 91,000 names on nearly 9,000 squares, each measuring 12 square feet. Fifteen squares are being displayed at the Wood Center as part of UAF's World AIDS Day Celebration, and will be up for public viewing through Sunday night. Each square contains eight panels made by family and friends honoring their loved ones who have died of AIDS.
The squares on display at UAF contain many panels honoring Alaskans. On average, a new panel is added to the quilt every day of the year. The quilt display is part of the three-day event hosted by the UAF Student Activities Office in conjunction with UAF's Social Work Department and the Interior AIDS Association.
Juan Cruz with the Student Activities Office spearheaded getting the quilt squares to UAF for the event.
"It's important to see how many people are affected by AIDS," Cruz said, adding that people need to get a sense that it's happening and that it's everywhere. "(The quilt) makes it more of a reality."
In addition to the quilt, Selina Moose of Anchorage, a National Native American AIDS Preservation Center board member, will speak in the Wood Center Ballroom Saturday at 1 p.m. The Interior AIDS Association will be holding a candlelight vigil outside the Wood Center at 3 p.m. Saturday.