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Press Release
The AIDS Memorial Quilt Kicks Off Two-Year Effort to Stage a 50-City National Tour With Display on Ellipse in Washington, D.C.

June 1, 2004

WHAT: For the first time since 1996, The NAMES Project Foundation returns to our nation's capital with a large, 1,000 block display of The AIDS Memorial Quilt, featuring 8,000 panels to be presented in Washington, D.C. for the first time. This three-day event will kick off a two-year effort to stage a 50-city national tour of The Quilt, culminating with a return of the entire AIDS Memorial Quilt to D.C. in June 2006. The June 2004 display is being presented in support of National HIV Testing Day and coincides with the opening weekend of The Smithsonian Folklife Festival.

WHEN: Opening ceremonies and guest remarks begin Friday, June 25 at 11:00 a.m. EDT, and will feature the unfolding of The Quilt and the traditional Reading of the Names.

WHERE: The Ellipse adjacent to the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

WHO: Established in 1987, The NAMES Project Foundation, Inc. is the international, non-governmental organization that is the sponsor of The AIDS Memorial Quilt. The mission of The NAMES Project Foundation is to preserve, care for and use The AIDS Memorial Quilt to foster healing, heighten awareness and inspire action in the struggle against HIV and AIDS. The national tour of The AIDS Memorial Quilt is supported by a charitable contribution from Bristol-Myers Squibb.

WHY: In 2003, more than three million people died of AIDS throughout the world, and an estimated five million people acquired HIV. The AIDS Memorial Quilt is a poignant memorial, a powerful tool for use in preventing new HIV infections, and the largest ongoing community arts project in the world. Each of the more than 44,000 colorful panels that make up The Quilt memorializes the life of a person lost to AIDS. More than 20 million people have seen The AIDS Memorial Quilt worldwide, and with national tours and displays of The Quilt, The NAMES Project Foundation has raised over $4.2 million for hundreds of AIDS service organizations while increasing awareness of the disease and the need for continued vigilance in the face of this pandemic.

For more information on The NAMES Project Foundation and The AIDS Memorial Quilt, please visit www.aidsquilt.org.

CONTACT:

Janece Shaffer, (404) 688-5500 ext. 223
Jada Harris, (404) 688-5500, ext. 227




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