Attorney for Names Project Foundation Says Creator of AIDS Memorial Quilt Has Not Met Key Requirement for Return of Quilt Panels
An attorney for the Atlanta-based Names Project Foundation, which owns the AIDS Memorial Quilt, has said that Cleve Jones -- who started the quilt in 1987 and served as its spokesperson for 15 years -- has not met a key requirement to manage and exhibit a portion of the quilt in San Francisco, the San Francisco Chronicle reports (Buchanan, San Francisco Chronicle, 1/4). Jones and the Names Project Foundation in December 2005 reached an agreement on the issue. Under the agreement, Jones will receive 35 blocks of the quilt after he creates a San Francisco-based organization to oversee them (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 12/15/05). According to the settlement, Jones was required to establish a "501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that will have the name of San Francisco Bay Area Friends of the AIDS Memorial Quilt" by Dec. 31, 2006. The settlement stipulated that if the deadline was not met, "the foundation will be relieved of any obligation to supply blocks of the quilt to the nonprofit." Jones on Wednesday said that he established a not-for-profit by the deadline through the San Francisco-based Tides Center -- which oversees more than 200 projects. According to the Chronicle, the dispute arises from the Tide Center's Web site, which states that it is "legally and financially responsible for all Tides Center projects and activities" and that "[p]rojects are not separate entities or affiliated organizations -- projects are Tides Center." Angela Alioto, Jones' attorney, said that although Jones did not form an independent not-for-profit by the name stipulated in the settlement, the program at Tides under the required name meets the settlement criteria. However, a Names Foundation attorney Charles Thompson said, "I don't really know what Tides does, but when I look in federal and state records for a 501(c)(3) called what Cleve supposedly called it, it's not there." He added that if Jones does not meet the deadline, he will not receive the quilt. Thompson on Tuesday told Jones' attorneys that he has until Friday to prove he has held up his end of the settlement (San Francisco Chronicle, 1/4).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.