AIDS Memorial Quilt coming to York in June

Katherine Ranzenberger
  • The AIDS Memorial Quilt started in 1987 with a single 3-by-6-foot panel in San Francisco.

Remembering more than 94,000 people who have died because of AIDS is part of educating the public on the effects of the disease.

Family First Health, WellSpan Health and York College are working together to bring the AIDS Memorial Quilt to York City this summer. The groups hope to get community members involved in choosing which panels of the quilt come to York for the display at Marketview Arts, 37 W. Philadelphia St.

“In York County alone, 92 people died from HIV in 2014, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health,” said Kate Harmon, marketing and outreach coordinator for Family First Health. “Statewide, the number stood at 4,320. While the HIV/AIDS crisis of the 1980s is over, HIV is still ever present in our population, though the use of medication helps make it a manageable chronic disease.”

The groups are bringing 12 panels to York from the more than 48,000 panels currently in the quilt. Harmon said she hopes to get community requests on specific panels by May 1.

Harmon said Family First Health is looking for central Pennsylvania connections to the quilt, including people from York, Hanover, Gettysburg, Lancaster and Harrisburg.

The memorial quilt will be in York from June 23-25. Harmon said the quilt will be here just in time for National HIV Testing Day on June 27.

“The entire thing will be a big production with much more information coming out as planning continues,” she said.

The AIDS Memorial Quilt started in 1987 with a single 3-by-6-foot panel in San Francisco, according to the quilt’s website. Today, more than 48,000 panels representing more than 94,000 people from around the world have been sewn together to remember the people who have died from the disease.

“These panels come from every state in the nation, every corner of the globe,” the site reads. “They have been sewn by hundreds of thousands of friends, lovers and family members into this epic memorial, the largest piece of ongoing community art in the world.”

To request a specific panel, contact Kate Harmon by phone at 717-801-4855 or by email at