Five panels of the World AIDS Memorial quilt will be on display Nov. 29-Dec. 5 at Pulaski Technical College as part of the college's observance of World AIDS Day on Dec. 1.
The five panels are part of a 54-ton handmade tapestry that serves as a memorial to more than 90,000 people who have died of AIDS. The five panels will be on display from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. daily in the Campus Center Grand Hall. The display is open to the public at no charge.
In addition to the display, the PTC Cultural Diversity Committee is sponsoring an information fair and free HIV testing.
Events kick off at noon Thursday in the Campus Center foyer with a keynote address by Debra Patton, a black woman living with HIV. Ms. Patton, a graduate of Jacksonville High, serves as an HIV prevention consultant with Future Builders, headquartered in Wrightsville, Ark., where she helps develop HIV programs to help community residents become self-sufficient through education, resource mobilization and training.
The Arkansas AIDS Foundation, the Arkansas Health Department, Planned Parenthood, and a student organization, FRESH, will have information tables set up in the Grand Hall foyer from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Thursday and Friday. The Arkansas AIDS Foundation will offer free HIV testing from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Thursday in the Student Organization Room, located on the first floor of the Campus Center.
The AIDS Memorial Quilt display will continue through Wednesday, Dec. 5
The quilt began with a single 3 x 6 foot panel created in San Francisco in 1987. Today, the quilt is comprised of more than 47,000 individual 3 x 6 foot panels, each one commemorating the life of someone who has died of AIDS. The 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.
"These handmade blocks, created by friends and family, tell the stories of individuals who have lost their lives to AIDS," said Julie Rhoad, executive director of The NAMES Project Foundation, which is the custodian of the quilt. "We bring you their stories in the hope of inspiring compassion, healing and personal responsibility. We thank Pulaski Technical College for hosting this event, and we invite you all out to see what wonderful art we have created together as a nation."