The NAMES Project has announced it will move its headquarters and the AIDS Memorial Quilt from Midtown to a 2,500-square-foot storefront in Downtown this June.

The new location will serve as a visitor and education center, while the bulk of the 54-ton quilt will be stored in a warehouse space in Tucker.

The new Downtown space, located at 117 Luckie Street, will double The NAMES Project’s space for on-site programming, including panel-making workshops, HIV prevention eduction, artistic programs and for visitors to learn more about the 30-year history of The Quilt. The new location will be home to The AIDS Quilt Touch, a digital browser that enables exploration of The Quilt in its entirety on a tabletop digital browser and online via two interactive kiosks also located on-site.

The Quilt began in 1987 when a small group of strangers gathered in a San Francisco storefront to create a memorial for those who had died of the growing AIDS epidemic. They sewed panels in remembrance, in hopes that one day there would be a cure.

The Quilt is composed of 54 tons of 12-foot by 12-foot Quilt blocks. The organization ships more than 3,000 sections – or 25 tons – around the world for displays each year. Over the past 30 years, The Quilt has been seen by more than 22 million people around the world, and has raised more than $5 million for direct services for people with HIV/AIDS.

The Quilt was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in 1989, and remains the largest ongoing community art project in the world.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.