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NAMES Project New York City Newsletter
Spring 1998
Articles:
12x12 Construction Comes to New York
100,000 Visitors - World AIDS Day
AIDS Walk, NAMES Project Walkers Wanted
Queens College World AIDS Day Display
The Power of the Quilt
Time to Catch-up on Panelmaking

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12x12 Construction Comes To New York (Spring 1998)
By John Lembo, Manhattan Borough Delegate

Last fall, I spent time at the NAMES Project workshop in Washington, DC learning to sew panels into 12ftx12ft sections. This was a great experience for me. We will soon begin sewing our first 12x12 here in New York City. Because of our participation, we will accomplish two important things. First, it will ease a substantial strain on San Francisco's backlog of Quilt manufacturing. Second, it will assure that all panels from the Metropolitan Area are sewn together which will make for New York local displays even more meaningful.

When I looked at 12x12's hanging on the wall, one thing is very evident - it's quite a job to sew those eight panels together. What I never realized until that afternoon is that there is quite a "science" to putting a 12x12 together, with everything from the weight of individual panels to color, layout, etc. being taken into account. In addition, a heavy-duty or industrial sewing machine and other special materials are required. Due to the generous donation last year by St. Michael's Episcopal Church, the Chapter has the industrial sewing machine, and now we have ample space to work donated by Rutger's Presbyterian Church. We are deeply grateful to each of these institutions for their support.

The steering committee of the New York City Chapter, and I in particular, are very anxious to begin this new phase of Quilt-related work and look forward to an increase in activity in panelmaking. With staff reductions in San Francisco, we hope that our Chapter can lend a large hand to our Bay Area colleagues.


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100,000 Visitors - World AIDS Day (Spring 1998)
By Jeff Bosacki

Another World AIDS Day has come and gone. The displays organized this year exceeded both participants and our own expectations and was one of the largest commemorative events of any AIDS-related organization in the five boroughs of New York City. The Quilt was on display in 70 schools and universities, federal and medical buildings, prisons, corporate offices and places of worship (listed below), and exceeded over 100,000 visitors during this five day event. It also became the 2nd largest fundraising event of the year raising over $7,500.

One of the venues Quilt was on display was at Fishkill Correctional Facility to over 200 inmates. The days activities included speakers from many outside HIV/AIDS organizations, and a presentation on the challenges Cuba has with HIV/AIDS. Wendy Rosario, PACE Coord. did a great job in coordinating the event. Quilt was also displayed at 25 Federal Plaza. Lynne Testa Coord. created an incredible day in the lobby despite great resistance from her administration. She already wants to know how many panels will fit next year. The opening ceremonies at The National Museum of the American Indian was conducted by an Indian chief with native chants and dances. These are only a few of the great events and efforts individuals made for this special day of remembrance.

This year our WAD97 Program included a Quilt 101 Sponsorship element. Anyone who gave more than $500 became an official sponsors of our school program. We are proud to announce that this years sponsors include: Beth Israel Medical Center, The Samuel's Center for Comprehensive Care, Queens College, and National Museum of the American Indian. Many other participants as well provided honorariums which made this years event a record breaking event. All honorariums will be used to fund our school Quilt program and enable us to bring the Quilt to students who want to be educated. We want to thank everyone for making this event so successful.

World AIDS Day displays 1997:

Bronx:
Bronx Borough President's Off., Lehman College Student Activities, Memorial Baptist Church, Monroe Campus Schools HS.

Brooklyn:
Abraham Lincoln HS, Brookdale Univ. Hospital Med. Ctr., Brooklyn College-Student Ctr., Brooklyn Technical HS, Edward R. Murrow HS, John Jay HS, Kings Co. Hospital Ctr., Kingsborough Comm. College-HELM Ctr., New Utrecht HS, Poly Prep HS, Pratt Chapel/Pratt Institute, Project Reach Youth, St. George's Episcopal Church.

Manhattan:
AIDS Interfaith New York, Ascension Roman Catholic Church, Baruch College-Student Life, Beth Israel Medical Ctr, Cabrini Medical Ctr., District Council 1707, HS Leadership & Public Service, Manh. Boro. President's Off., Manh. Ctr. for Science & Math HS, Marymount Manhattan College, McCann-Erickson, Nat. Museum of the American Indian, New York Public Library, NYU Ctr. For Health Promotion, Park West HS, Planned Parenthood of NYC, Rivington House, St. Michael's Episcopal Church, The Balm in Gilead, Inc., The Hewitt School, The Samuel's Ctr for Comprehensive Care, US Dept. of Health & Human Serv., Williams Institutional CME Church, YAI Nat Inst People with Disabilities.

Queens:
Catholic Medical Ctr., Elmhurst Hospital ID Clinic, Forest Hills HS, Hillcrest HS, John Downs HS, LaGuardia Community College, Phoenix House, Queens College Student, Union.

Staten Island:
Bethel United Methodist Church, College of Staten Island, SI HIV CARE Network, Sisters of Charity Health Care System, St. John's University, St. Vincent's Medical, Ctr. of Richmond, Wagner College Student Activities. OUTSIDE NYC: Bard College AIDS Committee, Byram Hills HS, Fishkill Correctional Facility-PACE, Beacon, NY; LAMBDA Law Students Assoc, CT; Inclusive Community UCC, Nutley; Trinity Episcopal Church, Ossising, NJ.


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AIDS Walk - NAMES Project Walkers Wanted!! (Spring 1998)
By Ben McLaughlin

For the sixth year, NAMES Project NYC will walk as a team in GMHC's annual Walkathon on Sunday, May 17, 1998. We invite you to participate with us this year. Two years ago, GMHC changed the way they distribute funds and created the Community Coalition Initiative (CCI). For the third time, the Chapter will be participating with this special program. This initiative gives us the chance to share in the proceeds of the Walk. Officially recognized 501(c)(3) AIDS Service Organizations (ASOs) in New York City may share in the money raised. Walkers may register with an "official team" and then all money raised will directly benefit that team. If you would like to help us raise much needed funds through the AIDS Walk, we invite you to "Join The Team."

It's easy to do. When you register for the Walk, note on your registration card that you are part of NAMES Project NYC, Team No. #0036. If you would like a registration card sent to you, call our voicemail machine (212-226-2292) and leave your name, address and phone, and we will mail you one. If you normally walk with another team (a group from your church, office or school) that is not an official 501(c)(3) ASO, you can register as a member of The NAMES Project NYC and still walk with your team. Or, if you want to "make new friends and keep the old," you may walk with us!

The simple act of walking 10K in May has become a fun way of raising funds for our organization. In a time of cutbacks and regrouping, I hope you will consider becoming part of our team and help us to secure a future for the Quilt.


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Queens College World AIDS Day Display (Spring 1998)
By Elsy Guibert

On December 1, 1997, after weeks of planning activities in the borough of Queens, schools, churches and public offices scheduled to display Quilt open their doors to the public and their visitors. Queens College, in Flushing, hosted the largest display this year of the Quilt in New York City to remember those who have died from AIDS.

It was a beautiful site for a display. The wooden floors were dustless and shiny, with ceilings tall enough to accommodate the 32 sections of the Quilt on display. Two sides of the room were complete with windows, giving a breathtaking view of the city. Visitors faces were somber as they looked at pictures and panels of the once healthy, young people represented on the Quilt. Many viewer found it difficult to hold on to their tears and were comforted by Quilt monitors.

Emily Carrow, PhD, Research Assoc. at the Center for Molecular & Cellular Biology and spokesperson for Dr. Luc Montaigner, who was not able to attend, spoke at opening ceremonies. She gave a thorough update on the present world statistics recently reported by the United Nations AIDS (UNAIDS). Her words strongly supported the fact that AIDS education is still needed to help reduce the growing HIV infection statistics.

It appeared to me that as viewers patiently strolled through the Quilts and read the inscriptions on each panel, that they became personally aware of the many losses. The display achieved its goal in raising greater awareness about HIV/AIDS. The Chapter wishes to thank the Queens College's host committee for bring the Quilt to Queens.


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The Power Of The Quilt (Spring 1998)
By Pat-Eliana-Zcharya Morgan

The first time I saw the Quilt was during its first display in Washington, DC on October 11, 1987. After witnessing 1920 panels bearing the names of decreased, I knew what direction my life needed to take.

I attended an orientation for a workshop that was forming at the Lesbian and Gay Community Center in February 1988, where Cleve Jones showed a video of the first unfolding at dawn. When the lights came on, there wasn't a dry eye to be found. That night I became a Quilt volunteer.

Over the next ten years I continue to work with the Quilt at displays, both local and national, with the NYC Chapter High School Quilt Program and as a maker of over 80 panels. Volunteering with The NAMES Project is the work I am most proud of.

When the suggestions for the name of the newsletter came to our Chapter, we had to decide what described our guiding force best. We choose "The Power of the Quilt" because it explained what fuels our motivation.

The Quilt has been viewed by millions throughout the world and very few leave untouched by its subtle, yet tremendous power to educate, to heal and to provide a creative means for individuals to find a direction for their lives when they are lost.

We dedicate our new name to everyone who has been touched by "The Power of the Quilt."


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Time To Catch-Up On Panelmaking (Spring 1998)
By John Lembo, Manhattan Borough Delegate

I made my first panel about ten years ago, when I knew only four people who had succumbed to AIDS. At that time, I recall thinking that I would see to it that they and any friends who might be taken in the future would have a panel in their memory. Like so many good intentions, I never saw it through. What became an extensive list of friends and acquaintances added up to quite a few panels. I tried to keep up with the task, but it became overwhelming, to say the least. Now that the "rush" to make panels seems to have quieted down, I've decided it's time to keep that promise. After speaking with panelmakers and volunteers, I have found that I'm not alone in this situation. With the Quilt currently representing less than 25% of AIDS-related deaths in the United States, panelmaking is far from over.

What has changed for me is my attitude towards those deaths which occurred several years ago. Making a panel immediately or soon after someone's death is a great form of grief therapy. But I also have a desire to memorialize those individuals who have been gone for some years now and who are not represented as part of the Quilt. Regardless of how long someone's been gone, it's not too late to make him or her a panel. Although you might have already come to terms with your grief, their memories live on. I, for one, feel quite strongly about honoring that long-ago promise I made to myself and those lost individuals.

So many people seem to think that panelmaking stopped at the 1996 display in DC. This is simply not the case. No matter how large the Quilt is, or might grow to be, panelmaking must continue. I urge anyone wishing to put a panel together to contact us for assistance. We are now in a position to offer "by appointment" panelmaking assistance at several sites around the City and hope that we can help anyone in this area.


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