FedEx Custom Critical Newsroom
The 54-Ton, 1.3 Million-Square-Foot AIDS Memorial Quilt Begins Its Journey from Atlanta to Washington, D.C., for Two Major Events
Herculean task of bringing the world's largest living folk art to the nation's capital requires many hands, many hearts
ATLANTA, Ga., June 22, 2012 — Measuring 1.3 million square feet, more than 50 miles long, weighing 54 tons, and now too large to display all at once on the National Mall, The AIDS Memorial Quilt has left its home base at The NAMES Project Foundation to journey to Washington, D.C., for two high-visibility events over the next month, thanks to thousands of volunteers and key donations to help the massive tapestry reach its destination. The following is a snapshot of the work involved in bringing The Quilt to Washington:
- It has taken more than 9 months for all Quilt panels on loan to community groups nationwide for awareness and education efforts to be returned to The NAMES Project Foundation to be prepared and packed for the journey to Washington.
- Preparing and packing the more than 48,000 panels of The Quilt that represents more than 94,000 lives lost to AIDS has taken more than 17,000 hours of staff and volunteer time, from identifying blocks of panels for display all the way to packing and loading the trucks.
- It takes more than 200 crates to hold all the panels of The Quilt, and five trucks each way – all packed with the help of volunteers and ultimately loaded onto trucks by four NAMES Project staff members with the help of a forklift.
- FedEx Custom Critical donated the services of the lead truck, which will travel 610 miles to be able to deliver the first set of panels directly to the National Mall in Washington on Saturday, June 23 at 7:15 a.m., for the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, which is featuring "Creativity and Crisis: Unfolding The AIDS Memorial Quilt" from June 27 to July 8, 2012.
- Thanks to all the volunteer and staff hours and donations from FedEx and an anonymous donor, The Quilt will reach Washington to be on display in segments as follows:
- 8,000 panels of The Quilt will be unfolded and on display over the course of the 10 days of the Folklife Festival.
- About 35,200 will be unfolded over the four days – about 8,800 panels per day – on the National Mall between 8th and 14th Streets during "Quilt in the Capital," a series of events from July 21 to 25, 2012, which will take place while the AIDS 2012 international conference is in Washington.
- 4,800 panels of The Quilt will be on display "Quilt in the Capital" in more than 50 venues around the Washington metropolitan area.
FedEx also donated the services of the lead truck that will bring a majority of The Quilt panels to Washington for the second major event, Quilt In the Capital, and committed to a deep discount in the freight charges for the remaining trucks needed to transport The Quilt to and from Washington.
"This is simply an amazing way to bring increased awareness to this cause and to those who are suffering," said Virginia Albanese, president and CEO of FedEx Custom Critical. "I'm proud of the small role our company is able to play to help share the Quilt with people throughout the country."
For updates on Quilt activities in Washington, go to www.Quilt2012.org.
About The AIDS Memorial Quilt
The Quilt began with a single 3' x 6' foot panel created in San Francisco in 1987. Today, The Quilt is the largest piece of ongoing community art in the world. Its personally handmade panels come from every state in the nation, from every corner of the globe. Sections are continuously on display across the country in schools, churches, community centers, businesses, corporations and a variety of other institutional settings, all with the purpose of making the realities of HIV and AIDS real, human and immediate. To date, more than15 million people have seen The Quilt at tens of thousands of displays throughout the world.
Care and upkeep of The Quilt, deemed an American Treasure by Congress, relies on the generosity of donations. To donate, please go to www.AIDSquilt.org.
To download high-resolution photographic images of The AIDS Memorial Quilt, please go to www.AIDSquilt.org/about/medianewsroom