The 2012 Smithsonian Folklife Festival will commemorate the 25th anniversary of the AIDS Memorial Quilt with the program “Creativity and Crisis: Unfolding The AIDS Memorial Quilt.”  The program will use The Quilt as its anchor to explore the community crafts and performances that developed during the past 30 years in response to the devastating effects of HIV and AIDS.  The program will celebrate The Quilt’s artistry, and Festival visitors can learn about innovative and resourceful ways communities educate and cope with one of the most complex epidemics in modern history.  “Creativity and Crisis: Unfolding The AIDS Memorial Quilt” is produced in partnership with The Names Project Foundation.

The Festival will be held Wednesday, June 27, through Sunday, July 1, and Wednesday, July 4, through Sunday, July 8, outdoors on the National Mall between Seventh and 14th streets.  All events are free.  Festival hours are from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. each day with special evening events such as concerts and dance parties beginning at 6 p.m.  The Festival is co-sponsored by the National Park Service.

At the Festival, visitors will have the opportunity to help make panels that will be incorporated into The Quilt, to tell their own stories and to take part in rituals such as the reading of names and using the “lotus fold” to display and pack The Quilt each day.  The program will feature performances by artists in the theater, design, and music industries who have been affected by HIV and AIDS.  Festival visitors also will see how people are using traditional knowledge, skills, and expression to create vibrant AIDS-themed art to raise awareness about the disease.  For more information, please visit the Smithsonian Folklife Festival website.