OMSI showcases AIDS Memorial Quilt

Exhibits

OMSI showcases AIDS Memorial Quilt in partnership with the National AIDS Memorial and Cascade AIDS Project

Media Contact: Annemarie Eayrs
AEayrs@omsi.edu | (503) 797-4510

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

[PORTLAND, OR – January 2, 2024] – The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) is proud to display twelve blocks of the AIDS Memorial Quilt in an exhibit opening on January 5, 2024.

Considered the largest community arts project in history, the AIDS Memorial Quilt was conceived in 1985 by human rights activist Cleve Jones as a way of memorializing those who had died of AIDS, helping others understand the devastating impact of the disease, and documenting the many lives he feared history would forget.

“The issues our nation has faced in the past two years—a raging pandemic with hundreds of thousands of lives lost, social injustice, health inequity, stigma, bigotry and fear—are also the issues faced throughout four decades of the AIDS pandemic,” says John Cunningham, CEO of the National AIDS Memorial. “The Quilt is a powerful teaching tool that shares the story of HIV/AIDS, the lives lost, and the hope, healing, activism and remembrance that it inspires.”

It has been more than four decades since the first cases of AIDS were first reported in the United States. During that four decade span, more than 700,000 lives have been lost in this country to HIV/AIDS, with still no cure. Today, HIV is on the rise, particularly among young people, communities of color, and in Southern states. Quilt displays are used to raise greater awareness about the story of AIDS, and prevention, treatments and resources available within the community.

“The fight against HIV/AIDS continues and remains a vital part of public health,” shares Glenford Kennedy, Public Programs Coordinator at OMSI. “We hope viewing this powerful artwork inspires visitors to educate themselves about the AIDS pandemic and enact positive change in advocating for greater healthcare access for all.”

Jim Clay from the Cascade AIDS Project adds, “It’s been said before that the pain of grieving is the price we pay for having been loved. The Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt puts into fabric the pain that we feel for the love that has blessed our lives. Cascade AIDS Project is exceedingly proud and humbled to co-sponsor with OMSI the return of the Quilt to our community.”

OMSI, in partnership with the national AIDS Memorial and the Cascade AIDS Project, is proud to display twelve blocks from the Quilt that speak to the impact of the disease and the stories behind the statistics. The featured blocks will include panels with special connections to Portland or the Pacific Northwest and panels from the POC-focused project Call My Name. Learn more about the exhibit, including which panels will be on display, a www.omsi.edu/exhibits/aids-memorial-quilt/

The AIDS Memorial Quilt exhibit is free and open to the public in OMSI’s auditorium from January 5 through February 19, 2024.

Museum Hours of Operation
Tuesday–Friday & Sunday: 9:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
Saturday: 9:30 a.m.–7:00 p.m.
Monday: Closed

About OMSI
Founded in 1944, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) is one of the nation’s leading science museums and a trusted educational resource for communities throughout Oregon and the region. Through museum exhibitions, public programs, outdoor programs, traveling exhibitions, digital learning, and learning research and design, OMSI nourishes a lifelong love of science, curiosity and learning among its diverse audiences. The upcoming OMSI District – a collaboration of local, Tribal and regional government entities, nonprofits and businesses – will be a one-of-a-kind neighborhood with innovation, culture and science learning at its heart. OMSI is located at 1945 S.E. Water Avenue, Portland, OR, 97214. For general information, call 503.797.4000 or visit omsi.edu. Connect with the museum on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

About the National AIDS Memorial
By sharing the story of the struggle against HIV/AIDS, we remember, in perpetuity, the lives lost, we offer healing and hope to survivors, and we inspire new generations of activists in the fight against stigma, denial, and hate for a just future. Through unique storytelling programs, like Surviving Voices and Q&AIDS, the National AIDS Memorial both ensures that the vast, diverse stories of surviving voices from the crisis years are captured and curated and documents how people from different generations have experienced and been affected by HIV/AIDS, encouraging communication between them. Learn more.

About the Cascade AIDS Project
Founded in 1983 and incorporated in 1985 as the Cascade AIDS Project, CAP is the oldest and largest community-based provider of HIV services, housing, education and advocacy in Oregon and Southwest Washington. We promote well-being and advance equity by providing inclusive health and wellness services for LGBTQ+ people, people affected by HIV, and all those seeking compassionate care. When the need for affordable, accessible, and culturally affirming primary care services was identified as a community need, we responded by opening Prism Health in 2017. And in 2022, Our House of Portland joined the CAP family to further expand our service offerings and allow us to offer a full lifecycle of care to our community. To learn more about CAP, please visit www.capnw.org.

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