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- Quilt Blocks
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Making a Panel
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- 1992 tour of Northland
Contacting the NZ Quilt Project
Displaying The New Zealand AIDS Memorial Quilt
The first Unfolding of the New Zealand AIDS Memorial Quilt
School displays in the North Island and the South Island
Public Displays in the North Island and the South Island
International Displays which include the New Zealand AIDS Memorial Quilt
The 1992 tour of Northland of the New Zealand AIDS Memorial Quilt
Now that The Quilt is housed at Te Papa in Wellington, most of the following is for historical information only.
The Quilt is normally displayed by request and is usually a Public Display or a school visit, although other more specialised visits can be arranged. When displayed, it is normally accompanied by a representative of The Quilt or the New Zealand AIDS Foundation who is familiar with The Quilt.
By clicking on the Public Displays or School Displays link on the left, you will see photos of various displays of The Quilt around New Zealand.
A successful visit means raising money for both your local support group(s) and The Quilt Project. This may be achieved by:
PlanningA Quilt visit is an adventurous undertaking, which will create an avenue for HIV education and awareness as well as generate dollars. Careful thought and planning are essential. This will help to keep finances under control, and also to attract and fully utilise energetic, dedicated volunteers. Advanced planning is also the only way to attract media attention.
By making the Quilt available to all sectors of your local community, you ensure the participation of the widest possible diversity of people both in the planning and in viewing the Quilt. One way to maximise the success of the Quilt visit is to form a Host Committee made up of representatives from each sector of the community it will visit. Whether or not the Quilt is visiting a marae, it is a good idea to include an advisor for local Maori protocol, particularly if you wish to welcome the Quilt with a Powhiri. Although we include relevant Maori protocol we are aware of, each region may vary slightly.
Although we expect one individual to retain overall responsibility and accountability for your Quilt visit, organisation and implementation can be spread among as many as is practical.
On receiving your block(s) remove from the bag and open up to see what it (they) actually look like.
To refold the quilt: (two people make it easier)
Displaying the QuiltAlthough displays vary in size and configuration, each one is a display of 12 feet by 12 feet blocks (normally 8 individual panels joined together) and may be held either indoors or outdoors. In the case of an outdoor venue, it is best to have an indoor venue on standby in the event of rain. When choosing a venue be respectful that for many people the Quilts must be honoured and treated like the dead.
Sometimes these blocks are presented in a hanging display by using the grommets that surround each block. Each block hung must either touch the ground or have a ribbon attached to the block which touches the ground, to maintain a grounding with the earth. More often they are laid out on the floor or ground with walkways between each block.
For Maori it is important for the blocks to be laid on a mat to form a protecting layer, as the dead would not be laid directly upon the ground or floor. For this reason and for protection of the Quilt we ask that tarpaulin (or similar) are placed underneath the blocks to protect them from possible damage, especially for outdoor displays. The grommets can be used to secure the blocks to the ground by using tent pegs or similar. Bricks or stones may be used if on tar seal.
To make sure that the Quilt is protected from harm, we ask that all displays are held away from food, drink and smoke. During candlelight ceremonies it is important not to allow candles to be near the Quilt, both for fire protection as well as damage from dripped wax.
A kawakawa leaf (the sign of death and mourning) or any greenery is to be placed on or around each block while they are on display. These should be renewed as required.
A bowl of water should be available for those who wish to cleanse themselves or ‘lift the tapu’ after being around the dead.
Other site considerations to keep in mind include the need for donations, sales and information areas, as well as “rest” areas for your volunteers.
Security of the Quilt is always a prime concern. For indoor displays we ask that it be a lockable site if the Quilt is to be housed there for a time. Outdoor displays must see the Quilt folded at the end of the day and laid out again the next.
Signature Panel:A tradition often seen at the conclusion of the opening ceremony is to invite those attending to sign a “Signature Panel”, starting with the dignitaries, unfolders and readers. This is a 6’ x 3’ blank panel (usually made of calico or some similar cheap, plain fabric) to which people sign their names using fabric felt tipped pens. This creates a register of the event which can be displayed in your area or sent back to the Project to be joined with other signature panels. When sewn together, they form blocks which are then used as protection (under or over as needed) for the Quilt.
Policy on Access to the Use of the Quilt by groups, organisations or individuals.The Quilt is a ‘national treasure’ and as such must be used in the most advantageous way for all. To be able to do this and to meet the increase in popularity and demand of the Quilt, the The Project has found it necessary to implement this policy.
As The Quilt is now permanently housed at Te Papa Tongarewea, the Museum of New Zealand, in Wellington, enquiries regarding displays of the blocks should be directed to them. The individual panels are still available from the Auckland office and all enquiries should be sent there (see link on the top left of this page).
The Unfolding CeremonyYou may decide that you wish to have an ‘Unveiling’ or ‘Unfolding’ ceremony as the beginning or focus point of your visit. Here are a few ideas as well as the protocol for unfolding the quilts.
From start to finish the ceremony should not last longer than 30-40 minutes no matter how much Quilt is involved. The number of unfolding teams can be adjusted to compensate and names can continue to be read after the Quilt is completely unfolded.
It is especially important to keep camera people and photographers to the sidelines during the unfolding and names reading part of the ceremony, so as not to detract from the overall effect.
It is very important that the ceremony not include political rhetoric, a particularly religious theme or long speeches. The strength of the Quilt and its message lies in the names; in making it a memorial that must stay above politics and personal biases.
An Unfolding Ceremony is an appropriate and excellent time for the presentation of locally made panels to the Project. This may or may not include a procession where people can hand in their own panel, perhaps making a short speech about the panel and/or person it represents.
Readers of the Names/Unfolders of the Quilt:
Being an unfolder is also considered a special privilege. The same mix of people may be considered. Two teams of 4 people will probably meet the needs of most ceremonies.
Both these groups of people must be available before the ceremony for practices.
The organising of and responsibility for coordinating these groups of people is easily handled by one person designated to do so. This job is a rough juggling act and inevitably requires lots of last minute running around.
Unfolding the Quilt:
The Closing CeremonyYou may wish to end your display with a formal ceremony. These are most effective when they are simple and uncluttered.
A gathering of all those involved in the Visit, plus any general public who happen to be around viewing the Quilt; perhaps holding hands in silence for a few moments, perhaps a prayer or blessing being given, perhaps those present being invited to share what being involved with the Quilt has meant to them, perhaps a song.
It is an important way to signify the end of your Visit and speed The Quilt on its way.
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