AIDS Quilt Songbook event, 2016

On Sunday, November 26, 2017, the Joshua Tree Feeding Center and the Parsons Center for Health and Wellness invite you to a benefit performance of the AIDS Quilt Songbook to launch a week of World AIDS Day commemorations.

Conceived in 1991 and premiered at Lincoln Center in New York City in 1992, the AIDS Quilt Songbook is an ongoing program, a song cycle composed by dozens of diverse composers and lyricists in response to the Names Project (the AIDS Quilt), panels of which will be displayed at the concert. The songs are all written by and about people living with HIV and reflect the myriad struggles, set-backs, and triumphs of the HIV community over the last thirty-six years. Many songs have been added to the Songbook since its premiere in 1992, reflecting the changes and challenges faced by the community. This benefit concert will feature songs from the 1990s as well as premiering new songs, including a newly commissioned song setting to music a poem by Peter Rodriguez [A&U, March 2016], a long-term HIV survivor himself and co-director of the Phoenix AIDS Candlelight Vigil and Vice-Chairman/Program Director of the Joshua Tree Feeding Program.

AIDS Quilt Songbook event, 2016

In recent years, folks at the AIDS Quilt Songbook have sought to incorporate music and lyrics composed by long-term survivors of HIV/AIDS, particularly those diagnosed before the advent of effective HAART. Susan Hurley, founder and artistic director of the AIDS Quilt Songbook, explains “[M]any people who lived through the epidemic’s early years are now seeing their lived experience erased and forgotten within their own lifetime. It’s so important to remember and honor what they experienced. For us as singers, our way of doing that is through our voices.”

For more information about this benefit concert, and to meet the artists involved, check out the group’s Facebook page at

AIDS Quilt Songbook 2017 benefit concert; Sunday, November 26th at 6:00 pm at the Parsons Center for Health and Wellness, 1101 N Central Avenue, Phoenix, Arizona 85004; A benefit to support the Joshua Tree Feeding Program; Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door.

For more information on the Joshua Tree Feeding Program, visit

Reporting by Hank Trout