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AIDS Memorial Quilt Returns to Santa Barbara

In commemoration of AIDS Awareness month, a memorial quilt that bears the names of individuals who died of acquired immune deficiency syndrome will be displayed in the Anacapa Gallery at the Santa Barbara Courthouse from Monday, October 22, to Friday, October 26. Part of the Names Project Foundation, the AIDS Memorial Quilt was hand-sewn locally in the mid-‘90s and is made up of four 12x12-foot blocks and includes 24 individual panels. The last local public showing of the quilt occurred 20 years ago.

The campaign to display the quilt in Santa Barbara was named “Bringing the Boys Home,” to remember the lives of local men who died of AIDS complications in the 1980s and ‘90s. “Our goal is to remember the names of those lost, help survivors express their grief creatively, and focus public awareness on the recent rise in HIV infections in the Central Coast,” said Keith Coffman-Grey, president of the nonprofit Quilt Project Gold Coast. The disease continues to claim victims, said Mark Lager, vice president for the quilt project, and two panels were made for people who died in 2015. “we’re here to let people know, ‘You don’t want to get this disease,’” he said.

The “Bring Our Boys Home” AIDS Memorial Quilt blocks will be displayed regionally across the 805 area through the following dates:

October 19, Museum of Ventura County

October 28, Unitarian Universalist Church of Ventura

November 2, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church of Santa Paula

November 4, Universalist Unitarian Church of Santa Paula

November 11, Oxnard Our Redeemer Lutheran Church

November 29, California Lutheran University

December 1, Heritage Square World AIDS Day Vigil in Oxnard

December 2, All-Saints Episcopal Church of Oxnard

Contributions to offset the cost of the campaign, such as fabrics and other materials, are welcome by contacting Quilt Project Gold Coast at (805) 569-0561.

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