The North Shore Health Project is celebrating its 30th anniversary as a non-profit located in Gloucester. For 30 years we have offered support services to people with HIV/AIDS. While we have expanded our services to include hepatitis C and substance use disorder, we are returning to our roots: this request is to honor those people from Gloucester who lost their lives in the early days of the AIDS crisis. Many clients, long-term survivors all, remember those who died before there were any life-changing drugs invented. Conversations at our congregate meals and support groups always come back to reminiscing about those people, many founders of the HP, who are gone.
Our Awesome Project is to bring to Gloucester 3 panels from the AIDS Quilt to display at City Hall during the month of December 2019. The panels will hang for a month in Kyrouz Auditorium.
The Names Project "rents" the squares with very specific instructions on how to handle and display them. We have located 3 panels which are all Gloucester-specific; each one has at least one panel with a name from Gloucester. These names are friends, sons, daughters, mothers and fathers, people who were blindsided by a nameless disease which cut their lives short. These panels represent the early founders of the Health Project and are of major significance to the Gloucester community. There are 5,956 squares which make up the entire quilt.
I have met people whose lives have been ravaged; shunned, stigmatized, homeless, hungry for most of their lives, they are now living healthy lives thanks to life-saving drugs. Many of their friends and family members weren't so lucky. This project is an effort to offer anyone who wants to see these individual works of art up close, and in the city in which they lived and worked.
This display will be open to the public whenever City Hall is open. It is meant to be reflective and somber. We will host specific events as well.
Funded by Gloucester, MA (October 2019)