World AIDS Day is a time to remember those lost, to celebrate and support the resilience of those living with HIV/AIDS, and to honor the courage and activism of those who continue to lead the fight to end AIDS.
The evening will begin at the Center with display of two large panels (12 x 24 feet) of the AIDS National Memorial Quilt. The Center is honored to welcome Dr. Darrell Wheeler, President of State University of New York at New Paltz who will discuss the history, significance and impact of AIDS. Ms. Donna Ricard, of the Hudson Valley Community Services will provide information about the future of treatments, the cultural environment and continuing stigma of HIV/AIDS. The program will also feature music performed by The Key of Q, a capella singers.
The commemoration will continue with a candlelight walk to the historic Old Dutch Church and remembrance service by Reverend Beckie Hickok of the Old Dutch Church and Reverend Bob Janis of the Unitarian Universalist Church.
Since the first cases of AIDS were reported in the US over 40 years ago, more than 32 million people have died from AIDS-related illnesses; more than 700,00 in the US. Today, HIV is on the rise, particularly among young people and communities of color. Quilt displays help to raise awareness about HIV/ AIDS and to educate the community about resources available.
The Quilt was displayed for the first time on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., during the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights in October 1987. It covered a space larger than a football field and included 1,920 panels. Today, the Quilt is an epic 54-ton tapestry that includes nearly 50,000 panels dedicated to more than 110,000 individuals. It is considered to be the largest community arts project in history with hundreds of thousands of people contributing their talents to making the memorial panels.
The Hudson Valley LGBTQ+ Center is located at 300 Wall St., Kingston, NY. This event is free and all are welcome. Center doors open at 5pm
For further information contact Peter Criswell, Executive Director, Hudson Valley LGBTQ Community Center, 845.331.5300.