San Francisco's Castro neighborhood

Ted Muldoon

Sights & Sounds is your weekly guide to the Bay Area arts scene through the eyes and ears of local artists. Our guest is Donna Sachet: drag entertainer, San Francisco personality and creator of the annual Songs of the Season benefit cabaret.

photo: Courtesy of The NAMES Project

The AIDS quilt has come home for a visit.

Considered by organizers to be the largest participatory art project in the world, the AIDS Memorial Quilt began spontaneously on San Francisco’s Market Street a generation ago, when gay rights activist Cleve Jones asked people to create quilt panels memorializing loved ones who had died of AIDS-related causes.

That was in 1987; today, over 91,000 individuals have been memorialized on more than 5,800 quilt panels, each the symbolic size of a coffin (3 X 6 ft.).