NAMES Project Foundation
The NAMES Project Foundation is the custodian of The AIDS Memorial Quilt, the largest ongoing community arts project in the world. As such, it seeks to preserve, care for, and use The AIDS Memorial Quilt in order to foster healing, heighten awareness, and inspire action in the struggle against HIV and AIDS. Virtually every one of the more than 40,000 panels that make up The Quilt memorializes the life of a person lost to AIDS, and there is absolutely no cost for a panel maker to add a panel. The NAMES Project provides opportunities to display The Quilt to show the humanity behind the statistics and inspire personal involvement in combating the AIDS epidemic. It regularly partners with and assists community, faith-based, academic, and workplace organizations. Through its National Youth Education Program, the NAMES project delivers tailored HIV prevention curricula that aim to effect change in risk-taking behaviors among youth. The program particularly targets youth of color, young women, and GLBT youth in under-served urban and rural communities. Throughout its history, The AIDS Memorial Quilt has been used as a tool to fight prejudice, to raise awareness and funding, to link hands with the global community in the fight against AIDS, and to engage in HIV/AIDS prevention education. In its earliest days, The Quilt was used as a tool for activism - an embodiment of anger and grief at the senseless loss of lives to AIDS. As the face of AIDS has changed and the number of panels has increased, the people they remember have become increasingly diverse. In these many roles, this vast accumulation of sentiment and artistry has functioned as an eloquent expression of life and love, a tool for education and prevention of a deadly disease, and a unique reminder that peaceful social demonstration can indeed affect public policy and spearhead social change.