ASHEVILLE — Local residents will be among those honored at an AIDS Memorial Quilt display hosted by the Western North Carolina AIDS Project (WNCAP) this year. The event, coinciding with the observance of World AIDS Day on Dec. 1, opened Nov. 23 and continues through Dec. 2.

Considered by many to be a “national treasure,” the AIDS Memorial Quilt is comprised of more than 44,000 individual panels honoring victims of HIV and AIDS. The Asheville exhibit, dubbed “A Tapestry of Lives,” includes 160 panels from the overall collection.

WNCAP reached out to the Western North Carolina community and asked citizens and supporters what panels they’d like to see. Special panels featured in the local exhibit include those made for Ryan White, the Indiana teenager after whom the Ryan White CARE Act is named; North Carolinian Marty Prairie, an HIV/AIDS educator and crusader; and Rudolf Nureyev, a Russian dancer who succumbed to AIDS-related complications in 1993.

Matt Comer previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015 and as a staff writer afterward in 2016.