On June 2, 2022, the Chicago community gathered together to celebrate the grand opening of the AIDS Garden Chicago, the city’s first public monument to the early years of the AIDS epidemic. Located just west of the Belmont Rocks, a historic gathering spot for the queer community, this garden serves as both a memorial site for the victims of the AIDS crisis and a communal space for Chicagoans to gather and enjoy the lakefront.
Anchoring the 2.5 acre “park with a purpose” is artist Keith Haring’s 30 foot ‘Self-Portrait,’ which was first introduced to the lakefront in 2019. Throughout the garden are QR codes that allow visitors to access the stories and personal experiences of the HIV/AIDS crisis.
Governor JB Pritzker, Mayor Lori Lightfoot and other elected officials and advocates joined in commemorating the space.
The AIDS Garden Chicago is now open to the public. To learn more, visit https://www.aidsgardenchicago.org/.