AIDS Memorial Quilt Week 2 Events
The University of Wisconsin-Parkside Fine Arts Gallery exhibition of the Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt continues through Sunday, Nov. 4. Ten massive panels of the quilt are available for viewing Friday, Nov. 2, from 7 to 9 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 3, noon to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 4, from 1:30 to 5 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. The hours coincide with the staged readings of "Voices from the Quilt" Friday through Sunday and the "AIDS Quilt Songbook" Sunday at 3:30 p.m.
Playwright Dean Yohnk describes "Voices from the Quilt" as an original compilation of personal stories from individuals who created and donated AIDS Quilt panels to honor loved ones who have been lost to the disease. It also includes an historic reflection on the impact of the epidemic in the last 30 years, as well as stories of survivors.
"In 1993, I put together the first version of this script as a part of events related to a display of the quilt at Viterbo University in La Crosse. The piece included only stories from friends and loved ones honoring those who had died of the disease," Yohnk, who is dean of UW-Parkside's College of Arts and Humanities, told Kenosha News reporter Bill Ribbons. "Now, almost 20 years later, we can tell the stories of individuals who have survived HIV/AIDS. In this performance piece, I wanted to honor those who have succumbed to the disease as well as those who have survived against the odds."
Yohnk said this version was "significantly revised" with the help of senior theatre major Kevin Duffy and the ensemble.
"Voices from the Quilt" is approximately 60 minutes in length and is performed Friday through Sunday, Nov. 2-4, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 4, at 2 p.m. in Studio A of The Rita with an optional post-show discussion to follow. Admission is free and Donations Accepted for the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin.
Sunday, Nov. 4 at 3:30 p.m., the professional performance of the "AIDS Quilt Songbook" is presented in the Frances Bedford Concert Hall of The Rita. Featuring baritone Kurt Ollmann, who recorded the original performance of "Songbook" at its premiere, and guest artist tenor William Lavonis, this performance also spotlights UW-Parkside faculty members Ami Bouterse, soprano; Allison Hull, mezzo-soprano; Alvaro Garcia, viola; and Fumi Nishikiori, piano. New compositions include a piece by UW-Parkside alumnus Ayesu Lartey and a song by Indiana University South Bend Professor Jorge Muniz. Admission to this performance is free.
These inspiring productions are dedicated to all those individuals around the world whom we have lost to AIDS and to the survivors who continue to bravely live with HIV/AIDS.