AIDS Memorial Quilt Returns to National Mall

Quilt displayed as part of Folklife Festival

For the first time since 1996, the AIDS Memorial Quilt is on display at the National Mall.

Started 25 years ago and stretching 50 miles in length, the quilt is made of 48,000 3-foot by 6-foot panels, each one serving as a symbol of a life lost to HIV or AIDS.

"The AIDS Memorial Quilt is a memorial for people who have died of HIV- and AIDS-related issues,” said Jada Harris, of The Names Project.

It's in D.C. as part of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival that runs through July 8. “It's the largest piece of community folk art in the world,” Harris said.

The quilt is so large it had to be divided into sections, which can be seen throughout D.C. “At the end there will be over a thousand blocks in rotation,” Harris said.

Need to find a loved one’s panel? There's an app for that and a digital media center on the mall.

Each of the 94,000 names displayed on the quilt will be read aloud by a volunteer over the course of the festival.

Anyone can make a panel. The Names Project Foundation supplies everything you need to do it free.

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