Making a commemorative Quilt panel for someone who has died from AIDS has proven to be a powerful tool in engaging people to talk about HIV/AIDS. Many have learned about The AIDS Memorial Quilt at their school, church, organization, or business, and want to make a panel. We know the ability a workshop can provide on many levels. The making of a panel can be an important part of the healing process after losing someone to AIDS. However, this is only the beginning step. Completed panels viewed by others around the world are used successfully to increase greater HIV/AIDS awareness, and have become an effective education and prevention tool particularly for schools and places or worship.
When the Quilt first stated in 1987, individuals came to workshops to make a panel for someone they had just lost to AIDS. Today, with the dramatic decrease of AIDS deaths in the USA and Western world, many do not know someone who has died. However, in many parts of the world people live in fear of disclosing that a family member died from AIDS.
Anna's Workshop was created by AIDS Quilt Rhode Island, formerly The NAMES Project-Rhode Island, to assist particularly students and youth groups to learn more about HIV/AIDS through the process of making a panel. However, some do not know someone who has died or are shy about disclosing a person's name. One option can be to make a panel in memory of a famous person (Ryan White, Nkosi Johnson, Easy E, Arthur Ashe, Rock Hudson, etc.). However, others want to commemorate someone from their own community. Anna's Workshop developed a form filled out by someone who knew the person, a family member(s), friend, employer/employee, case manager, etc, to collect information about the person. For the first workshop, this person is invited and encouraged, but not required, to attend and share their personal thoughts about the person.
"In Memoriam" Profile Form:
IAPI's In Memoriam Profile Form is available to assist in collecting information to design a panel (click here to download). The form asks for their hobbies, interests, favorite things and places, cities they lived, dates of birth and death, and more, so the panel can truly tell the story about the person's life. It can be used by someone who knew the person, or to assist those who didn't know someone but want to make a panel.
Once a panel is complete, we encourage participants to display it where employees, clients, customers, etc. can see it. This can serve as a daily HIV/AIDS awareness reminder while honoring the person. Once a panelmaker and/or group feels it's time to turn in their panel, all USA panels are sent to The NAMES Project Foundation, located in Atlanta, GA. Panels made in foreign countries should turn them into their local Quilt Affiliate (if applicable), or you can contact Global Quilt for assistance.