(West Palm Beach, Fla.) – On Friday, September 10th, the Armory Art Center will welcome Madeleine Fugate and her COVID Memorial Quilt to West Palm Beach. Since April of 2020, the eighth grader from California has been sewing together quilt squares from all over the country memorializing those we have lost to the COVID-19 virus.
“We’re thrilled to have Madeleine and her mother, Katherine Fugate, join us for the opening of this unique exhibit,” said Dr. Tom Pearson, CEO of the Armory Art Center. “Thanks to the generous support of Jupiter Medical Center, we hope that everyone in our community will come to see this special work and experience the healing it can provide.”
Every year, seventh grade global studies students at Madeleine’s school, The Buckley School in Sherman Oaks, California, create community action projects. Madeleine chose to make a COVID Memorial Quilt as a way to publicly grieve, honor and recognize all those who have died. The COVID Memorial Quilt has now become a global project of hope and healing.
Madeleine’s mother, Katherine Fugate, worked on the AIDS Memorial Quilt and she shared with Madeleine how healing that was at the time. She had lost people she loved, and no one was honoring them. That was 35 years ago, and now people are dying again from another virus in another pandemic, and we are in pain again. Madeleine wanted to help.
Madeleine also consulted with Michael Bongiorni, Interim Director, Quilt Operations, National AIDS Memorial. He said, “Quilts show people care. The tradition of a quilt is very American. It’s a tradition that shows compassion and remembrance. As activists, we can all join together to show love in a time of darkness.”
There are currently fourteen panels on exhibit across the country with seven more in production. Eleven panels will be on display at the Armory. Other panels have or will travel to places like the California Science Center, the International Quilt Museum at University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and Washington, D.C. Madeleine will continue to accept squares until every person lost to the COVID-19 pandemic has been memorialized. For information on how to submit a quilt square go to www.covidquilt2020.com.