The AIDS Memorial Quilt returns to New York City for a two-day public display, featuring 260 12-foot-by-12-foot sections of this internationally celebrated, handmade tapestry. Presented as a gift to the city by Kiehl’s Since 1851, the Governor’s Island display will begin with a special opening ceremony/press opportunity at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 11. This opening dedication is a part of the fifth annual Kiehl’s LifeRide for amfAR, a charity motorcycle ride that raises funds and awareness for amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, which is dedicated to ending the global AIDS epidemic. LifeRide participants including: Kiehl’s USA President Chris Salgardo, amfAR CEO Kevin Robert Frost, Tyson Beckford, Gilles Marini, Teddy Sears, Melissa Sears, Grant Reynolds, Conrad Leach, Katee Sackhoff, Scott Niemeyer, Vanessa Marcil, will lead the deeply moving Quilt tradition of calling out the names, one at a time, of those remembered on the 54 -ton memorial. This program marks the first time in more than a decade that the City of New York has hosted The AIDS Memorial Quilt with a display of this magnitude.
Established in 1987, The NAMES Project Foundation is the non-profit organization that is the caretaker of The AIDS Memorial Quilt. The agency’s mission is to preserve care for and use the ever-growing AIDS Memorial Quilt to foster healing, heighten awareness and inspire action in the age of AIDS and beyond.
According to Julie Rhoad, CEO of The NAMES Project Foundation, the international caretaker of The Quilt, “The AIDS Memorial Quilt has a long and meaningful history with New York City as it was one of the very first communities to open its doors and hearts to host the earliest sections of The Quilt back in 1988. Since then, New York City has welcomed back thousands of blocks of this handmade American treasure–displaying them in schools and community centers, places of worship and corporations–and now it seems most fitting that one of the city’s oldest and most respected companies, Kiehl’s will host this large display as a gift to the city it has called home for 163 years.”
“It is our great honor to bring The AIDS Memorial Quilt to share with New York, at the conclusion of Kiehl’s milestone fifth LifeRide for amfAR,” said Chris Salgardo, President, Kiehl’s USA. “Kiehl’s has supported HIV/AIDS organizations since the beginning of the epidemic, and we want to continue the HIV/AIDS conversation with our hometown, and keep it at the forefront of our collective consciousness. Until we find a cure, we can remember those we’ve lost, and how far we’ve come.”
This public display reflects The NAMES Project and Kiehl’s shared commitment to honoring the tens of thousands remembered on The Quilt by allowing their stories and their legacy to inspire continued vigilance in the fight to end AIDS. For within the miles of fabric, the tens of thousands of names, the details – the family photograph, the faded Halloween costume, the travel souvenir, the handwritten note – that are the most visceral reminder that these were real people who lived real lives, were loved and lost. It is our greatest hope that these details, these hand-stitched love letters, created one three foot by six foot panel at a time by friends and family, will continue to inspire compassion and foster a new levels of advocacy necessary to bring about an end to AIDS.
“The AIDS Memorial Quilt is a prominent and moving symbol of the immense human tragedy of AIDS, in its many roles The Quilt not only educates and inspires, but also serves as a monument for those who have lost loved ones to the disease,” said amfAR CEO Kevin Robert Frost. “It also reaffirms our commitment to funding the innovative research that will ultimately deliver a cure so that one day, we will no longer have to sew another panel into The Quilt.”
In 1996 Kiehl’s made HIV/AIDS a key philanthropy. Over the past two decades, the fervent support of HIV/AIDS organizations has been at the heart of Kiehl’s efforts, leading to partnerships with organizations such as amfAR, The Magic Johnson Foundation for AIDS and Youth AIDS. Since 2001, Kiehl’s has raised approximately $3,000,000 for HIV/AIDS organizations and continues to do so.
Kiehl’s was founded as an old-world apothecary in New York’s East Village neighborhood. Its unique, extensive background represents a blend of cosmetic, pharmaceutical, herbal, and medicinal knowledge developed and advanced through the generations. In addition to Kiehl’s freestanding stores nationwide, Kiehl’s products are available at www.Kiehls.com, by mail order at 1-800-KIEHLS-2 as well as through select specialty retailers worldwide. For additional information on Kiehl’s since 1851, visit www.kiehls.com.
amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, is one of the world’s leading nonprofit organizations dedicated to the support of AIDS research, HIV prevention, treatment education, and the advocacy of sound AIDS-related public policy. Since 1985, amfAR has invested more than $388 million in its programs and has awarded more than 3,300 grants to research teams worldwide.
The Quilt display is free and open to the public and will be on view from 10 a.m. to 6:45 p.m. on August 11 and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 12. The display will feature more than 2,000 panels honoring over 5,014 individuals including many created by and for individuals who call New York home as well as panels created by leading fashion houses like Giorgio Armani, Anna Sui, Ralph Lauren and BCBG to honor those in the industry who were lost to the pandemic. In recognition of the annual Kiehl’s LifeRide for amfAR, a new panel for The Quilt created by Kiehl’s will also be unveiled and dedicated at this event. Additionally, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer will issue a proclamation declaring August 11th, 2014 Kiehl’s Liferide for amfAR Day.