In 1997, the Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt moved from San Francisco, California to Washington, D.C., and in 2001, the Quilt moved from Washington, D.C. to Atlanta, Georgia. In 2019, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced that the Quilt would return to San Francisco where the National AIDS Memorial became its permanent caretaker and steward. At that time, the Quilt’s archival collection of 200,000 objects, documents, cards and letters were transferred to the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. While in Atlanta, the Quilt’s main offices moved: from a location on 14th Street in Midtown to its final showroom location in downtown Atlanta, 117 Luckie Street (2017–2020), not far from the National Center for Civil and Human Rights. As Atlanta resident Floyd Taylor told the Atlanta Journal Constitution in 2017 of the Luckie Street location, “It’s a perfect location… The messages portrayed in the quilt and in the Center for Civil and Human Rights graphically show the the struggles and deaths that have occurred as people continue to fight for equality.” In its roughly nineteen years in Atlanta, much of the 54 tons of quilt blocks were housed in a warehouse in Tucker, Georgia. Some 50 panels remain in Atlanta to commemorate the Quilt’s long residence in the city and to serve as a reminder of the ongoing pandemic.
National AIDS Memorial. https://www.aidsmemorial.org/quilt
Poole, Sheila M. “AIDS Memorial Quilt finds new downtown home.” Atlanta Journal Constitution. April 9, 2017. https://www.ajc.com/lifestyles/aids-memorial-quilt-finds-new-downtown-home/aiEybBKb1uAm9L1jc3USiO/
Wheatley, Thomas. “The AIDS Memorial Quilt remains a powerful symbol.” Atlanta Magazine. October 9, 2020. https://www.atlantamagazine.com/news-culture-articles/pride-the-aids-memorial-quilt-remains-a-powerful-symbol/
From February–June 2017, Matthew Terrell’s controversial public art installation “Atlanta’s HIV+ Population Now” was displayed nearby the Luckie Street showroom on the grounds of the National Center for Human Rights.
“The lives that are remembered in this quilt and the people who created the panels had lives well beyond the age of AIDS. The stories we tell are both intimate and personal expressions of love and life.”Julie Rhoad, former President and CEO Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt
Image Credit: NAMES Project showroom photograph by Eric Solomon, May 2019. Courtesy of Eric Solomon, 2021.