Volunteers are needed to assist with the three-day exhibit of the AIDS Memorial Quilt coming to Coastal Carolina University April 1 to 3. It will be the largest independent display of the Quilt in the area this year.
Forty-five quilts, or 360 panels, each intentionally made to be the size of a grave, will be on display in Kimbel Arena from 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, April 1and Saturday, April 2 and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, April 3. It is free and open to the public.
Opening ceremonies will be Friday, April 1 at 9:30 a.m.; local and state dignitaries have been invited. Closing ceremonies Sunday at 3:30 p.m. will feature the presentation of new quilt panels to the project. At least three new local panels are being added, according to Susan Rivenburg, spokesperson with the Coastal AIDS Quilt Project that is co-sponsoring the CCU exhibition.
Twenty-six specific panels were requested for the local exhibit, including the eight panels presented at the 2003 display at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center and all the South and North Carolina portions of the Quilt.
"AIDS is becoming a major threat to the youth of the world," says Rivenburgh. "The crisis is not over and there is still no cure. We hope everyone who sees the display will have a better understanding of the dangers of HIV and AIDS. The Quilt is an educational tool, which emphasizes the great loss of too many innocent victims."
As of October 2004, the AIDS Memorial Quilt, founded 18 years ago, contained more than 5,683 blocks (blocks are the 12-foot square building blocks of the Quilt seen at displays). Most blocks are composed of eight separate panels, remembering the lives of eight individuals who died of AIDS. New panels are received each week at the Foundation office in Atlanta, Ga. The Quilt was founded in San Francisco in 1987.
Volunteers are needed to assist during the three-day event with monitoring the display and reading names during the display. To schedule volunteer hours call Dan Swarts at 357-6443.
For more information, call Matt Morrin, director of Coastal's Student Activities at 349-2303.