I have been proud to volunteer and partner with New London’s Alliance for Living on a number of projects, but perhaps the most significant has been bringing the AIDS Memorial Quilt to the Connecticut College three times since my arrival in 2013. It is my goal to bring sections of the Quilt to the community every four years, so that every Connecticut College student has the opportunity to experience first-hand the love and lives of those touched by the ongoing AIDS epidemic.
Students in my course, Theater of the AIDS Epidemic, engage with the cultural history of HIV and AIDS, studying medical breakthroughs, political action, and key moments in popular culture. They also conduct interviews to enhance their understanding from both disciplinary and personal perspectives. The Quilt provides an unforgettable capstone to their learning.
In recognition of World AIDS Day, we have hosted more than 70 panels from the AIDS Memorial Quilt in Tansill Theater during each visit. Weighing 54 tons and composed of more than 48,000 panels dedicated to more than 94,000 individuals, The AIDS Memorial Quilt is the premier symbol of the AIDS pandemic and the largest ongoing piece of community folk art in the world.