Creativity and Crisis

Chili Crane, Manager, Avondale Estates, Georgia
Chili Crane, the current warehouse manager for The Quilt, has worked with The NAMES Project Foundation for the past seven years. Crane first volunteered to help with the “shake and bake” of The Quilt when it was displayed in Washington, D.C. “Shake and bake” is the process of shaking the grass and dirt off each block onto cloth after it is displayed. Crane recently started work on a Quilt panel in memory of his friend who passed away a few years ago.

Brad Gammell, Chapter Program Coordinator, Quilt Display Co-Manager, Atlanta, Georgia and Wilton Manors, Florida
Brad Gammell became involved with The AIDS Memorial Quilt in 1987 when he helped with its first display in Washington, D.C. Since then, he has volunteered as The Quilt’s display coordinator. His responsibilities include inventorying Quilt blocks, training staff and volunteers on unfolding and folding The Quilt, informing panel makers on the location of panels, providing emotional support for grieving visitors, and ensuring The Quilt’s continued care. He currently works with an HIV/AIDS food bank in Florida, and continues his time with The NAMES Project Foundation by leading panel-making workshops and directing Quilt displays across the United States. Gammell has contributed four panels to The Quilt.

Deneice Garland, Display Assistant, Hand Maiden/Quilt Repairer, Bowie, Maryland
Deneice Garland has been a warehouse coordinator for The NAMES Project Foundation in Atlanta, Georgia, for ten years. She is now an honored “hand maiden” for The Quilt, making repairs and improvements when it returns from displays around the U.S. She recently moved to the Washington, D.C., area in January 2012 and will assist with Quilt maintenance during this year’s Folklife Festival.

Sheila Hamilton, Display Assistant, Atlanta, Georgia
Sheila Hamilton is relatively new to The AIDS Memorial Quilt, as the 2012 Smithsonian Folklife Festival marks her first involvement with the display of The Quilt. She comes to the project through her long-time friendship with Chili Crane, the warehouse manager of The NAMES Project Foundation. At the Festival, Sheila will be assisting with the placement of Quilt patches, the unfolding of The Quilt each morning, and the folding at the end of each day.

Kelly Hart, Display Assistant, San Francisco, California
Kelly Hart has volunteered with The Quilt for six years, helping to coordinate displays for state fairs, Gay Pride events, and other activities in the California area. A San Francisco native, he has lost close friends to AIDS and has been HIV-positive for almost two decades. Kelly is an ordained minister, a position that has endowed him with the ability to offer spiritual help to those struggling with the realities sparked by the AIDS pandemic. He has close ties to Quilt co-founders Mike Smith and Cleve Jones.

Joanie Juster, Reader Coordinator, San Francisco, California
As a panel maker, volunteer, and coordinator for the reading of names, Joanie Juster has been a dedicated supporter with The NAMES Project Foundation since 1988. Juster first became involved in Quilt displays after losing many friends to AIDS. When she made her first panel she commented,“I couldn’t just turn in my panel and give the volunteers more work. I had to stay and help sew the panels together for the display, I just had to.” For more than two decades, she has managed the stage where people read the names of those who have passed away from AIDS. She states, “Each of us involved in The Quilt feels it is our duty and our privilege to remember their names.”

Will Roczkos, Panel Maker, Display Assistant, Atlanta, Georgia
Will Roczkos has volunteered with The NAMES Project Foundation for nearly ten years.
Originally from Germany, he has made two panels with the help of others, and one panel by himself.

Roddy Williams, Project Manager, Atlanta, Georgia
Roddy Williams is the director of operations at The NAMES Project Foundation and has been working with The AIDS Memorial Quilt since 2003, when he began volunteering for the foundation. In 2006, Williams became more emotionally involved with The AIDS Memorial Quilt when he lost one of his best friends to AIDS and became a panel maker himself. As the director of operations, Williams receives and sends out Quilt sections to exhibitions all over the world, accepts new panels, talks directly with the panel makers, and coordinates donations to the foundation.