Metro Weekly

AIDS Quilt's Double Duty

The quilt honoring victims of HIV/AIDS returns, with high-tech enhancements, but the same sober sentiments

The quilt display will also feature a technology tent, where the NAMES Project, with Microsoft Research, will feature an interactive tabletop surface, while another feature will be an interactive timeline of HIV/AIDS and the history of the quilt. Both the mobile application and the technology tent will be operational during the Folklife Festival and when the quilt makes its second summer visit, July 21 to 25, for AIDS 2012.

During the AIDS 2012 installation, some portions of the quilt will be displayed on the National Mall, while others will be exhibited in buildings throughout the metro area.

”I think the most significant thing is that, wherever you go in D.C., you won’t be far from the quilt,” Rhoad says. ”Hopefully, people will be reminded of the priority that is HIV/AIDS – or what should be a priority.”

Rhoad says that the presence of the quilt, which serves as both ”the largest piece of ongoing community art in the world,” and, more importantly, the ”conscience of the epidemic,” will help accomplish the goal of the NAMES Project Foundation, which is to heighten awareness and prompt people to take action in the struggle against HIV/AIDS.

”We make the case that this is about people,” Rhoad says. ”This is not about statistics. This is about who we are as a country, and how we will take care of our fellow people.”

For details of the AIDS Memorial Quilt’s upcoming displays, visit

This is the third in a series of articles leading up to the XIX International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2012), to be held in Washington July 22 to 27. For more information about the conference, visit

John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at