Medicine Wheel 2019, SUNDAY DECEMBER 1

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MWProductions’ 24 Hour Vigil – Day With(Out) Art -World AIDS Day

Gather at 11:00 pm On Saturday November 30 for a processional  walk to Fort Point Channel and the opening of the 28th annual Vigil

click here for schedule of events

December 1, 2019 24 hour Vigil!

Dear Friend,

For 28 years you have been helping us build a space to gather, reflect, remember and honor those we have loved and those we have lost on a Day with(Out ) Art.  This year we will be bringing 36 sections of the Names Memorial  AIDS Quilt consisting of panels made by family, friends and loved ones. You can sponsor a panel for a donation of $150

Begun in 1992 as a response to the enormity of loss due to the AIDS pandemic, the vigil has become an enduring testimony and gathering place for us to reflect, remember and celebrate the lives of loved ones. Although AIDS/HIV was the invitation to create this project, it became obvious over the years that people needed space to grieve about many things. Today the installation is an enduring testimony to all those who have gone before.

The quilt will serve as the backdrop for a new work “Constellation”.  To that end we are inviting people to send us photos and one or two sentences about people they have loved and lost. They may be gone but their light lives in each of us. We will print the photos on recycled plastic water bottles, filled with seawater, and suspend them from the grid of the Cyclorama, creating a constellation of stars.

Although raising money is the least desirable part of producing the Medicine Wheel Vigil, it is one of the most important.    Please consider making a donation. 

Medicine Wheel is an epic work of art created by Michael Dowling, Artistic Director of Medicine Wheel Productions.       Produced annually since 1992 in conjunction with World AIDS Day/ A Day With(Out) Art, “Medicine Wheel,”   is a 24-hour vigil with a major sculptural art installation rooted in the Celtic Medicine Wheel and the universal use of the circle as a gathering space to heal, reflect and remember.   For 28 years it has invited people  from every walk of life and every social class together to commemorate the tragedy of the AIDS epidemic, or any loss, in their own communities and worldwide. The primary visual component is the wheel itself: thirty-six pedestals and portable shrines arranged in a circle resembling Stonehenge or one of the  standing stone circles scattered thought the Celtic world.

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Dowling developed Medicine Wheel to be a part of A Day Without Art, the visual arts community’s annual response to the   AIDS crisis that flowered in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s in New York City and other artistic centers. While most activities  associated with A Day Without Art no longer take place, Medicine Wheel has grown in importance as Boston’s largest  annual observation of World AIDS Day.  Each year the installation is based around a different element: fire, water, earth or air.  This 28th  incarnation of the Medicine Wheel is a Water year and will focus on the power of art to heal, nurture, and transform.

This year we will have a series of water walks carrying salt water from Fort Point channel to the Cyclorama  every three hours.

As in years past, all are invited to leave personal mementos such as jewelry, letters, poems, photos and other items in Medicine Wheel.  Objects left are placed within the Wheel’s pedestals at the conclusion of the vigil, joining those left in previous years.

Medicine Wheel  Saturday November 30, doors open at 11:00 pm and for the full 24-hours of Sunday  December 1.


Boston Center for the Arts

Cyclorama Building

539 Tremont Street

Boston, Ma 02116


For more information about this year’s installation, please contact Michael Dowling at or 617.268.6700 x11.

Help us bring 35 SECTIONS Of the Names Project AIDS Memorial  Quilt to this year’s Wheel!  Each section costs $150.00, You can request the panel of someone you love and remember!

Please let us know if you would like to sponsor a specific panel of the quilt!

Quilt  copy


To sponsor a section of the quilt click below




 click here for more photos of past years



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