First created almost 25 years ago, the AIDS Memorial Quilt, and it’s parent organization, The Names Project, have come to symbolize not only this country’s efforts to find a cure for HIV/AIDS, but also humanity’s tendency to move toward healing and wholeness even in the face of unspeakable tragedy. The AIDS Memorial Quilt, now made up of more than 40,000 individual panels, is the largest public art project in the world. And, in the spirit of the centuries-old tradition of quilting, it has brought together rich and poor, black and white, male and female, straight and gay, and every possible human demographic and iteration possible. In mid-November 2010, StoryCorps Atlanta set up shop at The Names Project/AIDS Memorial Quilt National Headquarters for a day of recording.
Executive Director Julie Rhoad and Director of Communications Janece Shaffer organized a very successful day of on-site recordings. Ms. Rhoad gave her staff the day off so that the daily grind of the small, not-so-sound-proof office space would not interfere with the recording quality. When asked why this partnership with StoryCorps was so important to her she said, “… like the stories found on The AIDS Memorial Quilt, the stories StoryCorps has recorded ask us to consider how the truth of a life is reflected in the larger permanent truths of existence that we all share.” (more…)