Press Releases

Press Releases



WhenWeRise screen capAn evening with Cleve Jones, the creator of the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt and iconic leader for the LGBTQ+ community who also inspired the ABC groundbreaking Mini Series, When We Rise.

October 10, 2017 (Fort Lauderdale, FL)

In 2016, Cleve Jones wrote the best-selling book, When We Rise: My Life in the Movement, by which the acclaimed recent ABC TV mini-series When We Rise is inspired. This timely book chronicles the personal and political struggles and triumphs of a diverse family of LGBTQ+ men and women who helped pioneer one of the last legs of the U.S. Civil Rights movement.

Quilt and WhenWeRise imageThe creation of the AIDS Quilt is a strong representa on of the remarkable transformation that the community experienced which provided many positive changes in US history. The World AIDS Museum and Educational Center (WAM) is proud to lead the celebration of the AIDS Memorial Quilt’s 30th Anniversary with a new installment in its AIDS History Series, “An Evening with Cleve Jones”.

The WAM event will run from November 1st through the 10th and will include several large portions of the quilt that will be displayed at the Main Library in Fort Lauderdale, the African American Library, Dillard High School, Oakland Park Library, Wilton Manors City Hall, and other public venues.

The ten-day event will feature WAM’s latest addition to its educa onal repertoire, “An Evening with Cleve Jones”. This powerful and reminiscent presentation will be followed by a Q&A session and reception Friday, November 10th from 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. at the Sunshine Cathedral, 1480 SW 9th Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33315.

Castro Cleve JonesCleve Jones, an American AIDS and LGBTQ+ rights activist, developed the idea of the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt during a candlelight memorial for Harvey Milk in 1985. In 1987, he created the first quilt panel in honor of a close friend. Currently, at a total weight of 54 tons, the AIDS Memorial Quilt has grown to become the world’s largest community arts project, memorializing the lives of Americans who have died from AIDS.

At a time in 1987 when a deep, shamed secrecy shrouded the LGBTQ+ community, Jones led America in realizing that the deaths from those who died of AIDS deserved the same honor, respect, and recognition afforded to other human lives.

Although it seems difficult to imagine in 2017, people in 1987 suffered great difficulty and shame and would not want the reason for their deaths to be known to the public. In today’s society, it is now clear that the evolution of the LGBTQ+ community views itself in a NEW way. However,  Jones cautions that “Over the decades, we’ve made a lot of progress with a lot of issues, but it’s most important to realize that everything we’ve achieved and everything we’ve gained can be swept away in the blink of an eye. We need to be prepared to fight.”

The tragedy of AIDS allowed greater America to see the LGBTQ+ community in a deeper and broader way. The fight for recognition and respect finally gave us the opportunity to escape from a stereotype and deepen the reality of our portion of the population. It created a common denominator…the experience of living and dying. We all go through this and no one is to be excluded. Instead of being demoralized, we should all be memorialized!

Ticket information:

  • • Prices are: $30.00, $45.00 for VIP Tickets, and $20.00 for Students. VIP Tickets include preferred seating in the front of the room, recognition in the program, and a photograph with Cleve Jones.
  • • To purchase tickets for the event, please call 954-390-0550 or visit

For more informa on or to schedule interviews, please contact:

  • Hugh G. Beswick, CEO • World AIDS Museum and Educational Center • 1201 NE 26th Avenue, Wilton Manors, FL 33305 • 954-390-0550 (museum) • 412-523-5245 (mobile) •

Comments are closed.