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Utah State University to host AIDS Memorial Quilt

Utah State University will host the AIDS Memorial Quilt and various other activities to commemorate World AIDS Day and raise awareness in the community over the upcoming weeks. Activities include a presentation from Kate Kendall, executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, a community discussion from AIDS activists Wayne and Sandra Schow, and a candlelight vigil.

“There are so many people in this area that are affected by HIV and AIDS and are completely disconnected,” said Sara Jordan,  event co-organizer and an instructor for the English Department. “There is so much room to grow in this community as far as awareness and resources are concerned.”

Jordan and several others began planning for the event last spring and have reached out to community members who have a vested interest in the programs, including the Center for Women and Gender and the USU Access and Diversity Center to include student involvement.

The lineup of events includes interfaith services on Nov. 27 and Dec. 1.

The AIDS Memorial Quilt will be on display from Nov. 28 through Dec. 1 in the Student Building on the USU campus. The quilt is a patchwork of individual panels to celebrate the lives of those who died from the disease. The idea for the quilt was conceived by Cleve Jones in 1985 and was begun in 1987. The quilt was made in memoriam of those who died from AIDS. Because funerals were often forgone for AIDS victims, due to stigma and the refusal of funeral homes to host AIDS victims, it was frequently the only way for people to be remembered.

“We’re so excited to have the quilt in Logan and hope it engenders a dialogue in the community,” Jordan said.

In addition to the events, the Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art will drape the art work, Untitled (Sante Fe Trail), 1989, by Carlos Almaraz, and install a text panel about World AIDS Day, Dec. 1, next to the work.

“The art community has been impacted so hard by AIDS and I think it is so important to remind everyone,” said Deb Banerjee, the museum curator of exhibitions and programs. “This is the perfect forum to discuss the effects the disease has had.”

The USU student body is increasingly diverse and providing a space to recognize, celebrate and discuss that diversity should be an ongoing process, Jordan said.

“I love Utah State. There are so many great people here and I just want to see it grow and see everyone challenged just a little. I’d like to make everyone stop and think for just a minute. I hope our events help create a conversation,” Jordan said.

You Should Go

  • Nov. 28-Dec. 1: AIDS Memorial Quilt Display, TSC Ballroom
  • Tuesday, Nov. 29: Kate Kendall and Emily Holmes, TSC Ballroom, 7 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 30: Then & Now: The Face of HIV/AIDS – A panel discussion with Wayne and Sandra Schow and others, TSC Ballroom, 3 p.m.
  • Thursday, Dec. 1: World AIDS Day on the Patio, USU TSC Patio, 10 a.m.
  • Thursday, Dec. 1: World AIDS Day Interfaith Service and Candlelight Vigil, St. John’s Episcopal, 85 E. 100 North, Logan, 7 p.m.

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