Yale to Display Portion of AIDS Memorial Quilt And Host Related Programs

On Tuesday and Wednesday, Dec. 8 and 9, two 12-by-12-foot squares of the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt will be displayed at Yale University. A series of events, including talks, musical performances and prayer/meditation services, will be held in conjunction with the display, which is sponsored by the University Chaplain’s Office, the Office of New Haven Affairs, the Secretary’s Office and the health education department of Yale University Health Services.

The panels can be viewed 10 a.m.-10 p.m. on Tuesday and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on Wednesday in Battell Chapel, corner of Elm and College streets. The public is invited.

The quilt, begun 11 years ago by a small group of strangers, commemorates friends, lovers and family members who died of AIDS. The project today has over 41,000 individual 3-by-6-foot panels – each recalling the life of one person. The largest community art project in the world, it has been displayed in its entirety only five times, each time in Washington, D.C. It has grown too large to be displayed on the Mall any more.

Peter Hawkins, professor of religion and literature at the Divinity School, will give a slide lecture about the quilt. “The growing dimensions of the quilt, and the fact that it can barely be contained or experienced all at once, remind us of all we have lost,” he says. “But the individual panels themselves – snapshots of the soul – show what AIDS has been powerless to destroy: quirkiness, sensuality, humor, the bonds of relationship, the value of private life, of love.”

In addition to Hawkins’ lecture, other events being held in conjunction with the display include a conversation with representatives of local AIDS service organizations, a tea with a Yale AIDS physician and a Yale Glee Club performance of music on the themes of death and dying.

All events take place in Battell Chapel unless otherwise noted, and are free and open to the public.

Tuesday, Dec. 8

Noon: A brown bag luncheon conversation on the topic “AIDS and New Haven,” with Dominic Maldonado of the New Haven Health Department; Ellen Gabrielle of AIDS Project New Haven; Cindy Mercier of Caring Cuisine; Martha Dale of Leeway; Joyce Poole of AIDS Interfaith Network; and Sarah Caldwell of CARP Inc.

4 p.m.: Chaplain’s tea with Dr. Peter Selwyn, associate director of the Yale AIDS Program and associate professor of medicine, epidemiology and public health. Selwyn will discuss his recent book, “Surviving the Fall: The Personal Journey of an AIDS Doctor,” which describes his experiences as a physician in the early years of the AIDS epidemic.

10 p.m.: A candlelight vigil in Battell Chapel will follow prayer/meditation services. Christian: Candlelight prayer in Taize tradition at 9:07 p.m. in Dwight Chapel, 67 High St.; Jewish: Egalitarian minyan for ma’ariv at 9:30 p.m. in Slifka Center, 80 Wall St.; and Muslim: 9:15 p.m. in Bingham Hall Chapel 300 College St. Other services may be announced.

Wednesday, Dec. 9

4 p.m.: Slide lecture on “Naming Names: The AIDS Memorial Quilt” by Peter Hawkins. Music will be provided by the undergraduate vocal ensemble The New Blue.

5:30 p.m. A musical performance titled “In Time of AIDS” by the Yale Glee Club, directed by David Connell. The concert features a sequence of four movements for chorus and organ on secular humanist texts regarding death and dying by American composer Simon Sargon.

On both days, live music will be offered at the start of every hour for 10 or 15 minutes. Performers are undergraduate students and students at the School of Music and Divinity School, as well as Jean Webb, director of admissions at the Law School.

For further information on the event, call Cynthia Terry, associate University chaplain, at 432-1131.

Share this with Facebook Share this with Twitter Share this with LinkedIn Share this with Email Print this

Media Contact

Gila Reinstein: gila.reinstein@yale.edu, 203-432-1325