Best of: Quilt exhibit showcases men who lived with AIDS
In 1987, more than 40,000 Americans had died of AIDS-related illness. The gay and lesbian community grew frustrated with the Reagan administration’s slow response to a global health crisis. That year, at the National Gay and Lesbian March on Washington, there was a visual memorial to the lives lost — a giant quilt, larger than a football field. Each panel was prepared by loved ones from around the country to honor those lost to AIDS.
From now until July 10, 2022, a new exhibit at the Spurlock Museum in Urbana called ‘Sewn In Memory’ takes a look at some of those panels that came from Central Illinois. The exhibit also features interviews documenting the stories of the people behind quilt panels. They were farmers, sheriffs, educators, activists, fathers and sons. Illinois Public Media and journalism students from the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana worked together to create the videos. Our guests included a mother who made a quilt panel in memory of her son and the first chair of the Gay Community AIDS Project in Champaign.
This segment originally aired January 20, 2022.
Created AIDS quilt panel in honor of her son Greg Downey
First chair of the Gay Community AIDS Project in Champaign
Prepared for web by Owen Henderson
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