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AIDS quilt

Sections of the internationally celebrated AIDS Memorial Quilt – the 54-ton, handmade tapestry that stands as a memorial to more than 700,000 lost to AIDS in the United States– will be on view on Dec. 1 at the Community Center in Yountville.

This free community display, from 1 to 4 p.m., of The AIDS Memorial Quilt is done in partnership with the Town of Yountville and LGBTQ Connection, a local not-for-profit organization, in commemoration of World AIDS Day.

The AIDS Memorial Quilt began with a single 3 x 6-foot panel created in San Francisco in 1987. Today, The Quilt is composed of more than 49,000 individual 3 x 6 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—creating this epic memorial, the largest piece of ongoing community art in the world.

Michael Berg, past president of the Board of Directors of The NAMES Project Foundation and Yountville resident explains, “We are thrilled to have the chance to display The AIDS Memorial Quilt in Yountville on World AIDS day with the community of Napa Valley. 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 responsibility for each other.”

“While there have been great strides in treatment and a great reduction in infections, we cannot let our guard down, he said. “Over 1 million people in the United States are currently living with HIV infection. We need to continue the message of safe sex, testing and access to treatment, just as much as we need to remember the names of the many people we have lost.”

Everyone of all ages is invited to experience the quilt in Napa County. There will be opportunities to join other volunteers in the reading of the names of people we have lost to AIDS during the display. We will also accept new AIDS Memorial Quilt panels or help you get started on making a new submission. Local resources for prevention, testing, treatment, and community support will be offered. Stories of how HIV and AIDS have impacted local people will also be part of this special afternoon.

For more information on the upcoming display in Yountville, call Michael Berg at (415) 515-4090. If you would like to read names or have names to add to our list, email fernando@lgbtqconnection.org or just show up at the event.

For information about Napa County’s LGBTQ Connection, visit www.lgbtqconnection.org or call (707) 251-9432. For more information on The NAMES Project and The AIDS Memorial Quilt, visit aidsquilt.org or call the national headquarters at (404) 688-5500.

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You can reach City Editor Kevin Courtney at kcourtney@napanews.com or at 707-256-2217.

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City Editor

Kevin has been city editor since September 2010. He joined the Register in 1973 as a reporter. He covered Napa City Hall and assorted other beats over the years. Kevin has been writing his Napa Journal column on Sundays since 1989.