The World AIDS Museum and Educational Center, in partnership with the Westside Gazette, presents, Saving Grace, a new, multimedia exhibit confronting the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the Black community.
This exhibit opened with a reception April 28, 2016, at the Old Dillard Museum in Fort Lauderdale’s Sistrunk district. Five members of the Black HIV/AIDS Community were honored with the Saving Grace Award, sponsored by Vitas Healthcare. For pictures from that evening click here. Read Yolonda Reed’s article about the Saving Grace Award recipients in the Westside Gazette and see Phillip Valys’ essay on southflorida.com.
This highly successful and much anticipated exhibit moved from the Old Dillard Museum to the World AIDS Museum and Educational Center on May 4th! Come and bear witness: Hear stories in filmed interviews from nearly twenty members of the Black community who live with or are deeply affected by HIV. Take in noted San Francisco photographer, Duane Cramer’s, photographs and more stories of nearly forty other individuals. Some are famous, some are local; some infected, some affected. The exhibit also features HIV/AIDS-inspired poetry and art by local Black artists and writers, as well as a family tree illustrating the profound and far-reaching effects of HIV/AIDS on families.
Click here to read Westside Gazette publisher Bobby Henry’s letter South Florida Gay News to discussing how this partnership came about.
Chronology of AIDS (Ongoing)
The World AIDS Museum’s signature exhibit is the informative and artfully designed Chronology of AIDS. The exhibit presents the progression of the pandemic juxtaposed against key global events. It skillfully summarizes the political winds that have buffeted the world’s response to the pandemic, and respectfully honors those affected by the disease.
“A tour of the Chronology is a serious yet uplifting exposition of the pandemic’s nadir in the 1990s, to today’s promising eradication efforts and treatment breakthroughs.”
The exhibit unveils the impact on marginalized groups in the United States and to affected populations worldwide. A visit to the Museum is an accomplished multimedia experience rounded out with artwork, colorful graphics, audiovisual displays, and a trained docent who personalizes the tour.
Philadelphia artist Lois Wilson created this 12-piece exhibit as part of her work towards her doctoral degree in Art and Theology, which she received from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington D.C. She is the founder of ARTWELL, an organization that utilizes creative and performing arts as therapeutic outlets for individuals with HIV/AIDS.
During group storytelling and art-making sessions with persons living with HIV/AIDS, Lois began to take note of the profound and often inspirational messages that were shared within the group. Over time she had a notebook filled with the words of the HIV/AIDS community, accompanied by each person’s first name. This is how the material began in this piece and the window frames illustrate the natural barriers that separate all people, including those with HIV/AIDS. It took Wilson several years to complete the project, the final product of which is the 12 window-framed collages entitled “Through the Window: Insight into the Spirituality of HIV/AIDS.” Each collage contains a quote describing one individual’s experience with HIV/AIDS, surrounded by Wilson’s own artistic interpretation. Each piece is accompanied by a written reflection by Wilson, inspired by the courage, love and strength within the HIV/AIDS community. The exhibit has spent many years traveling the Northeast region, especially to many churches and faith communities. It has now found a permanent home at The World AIDS Museum.
Nov. 20, 2015 – Feb. 15, 2016
“Owning Up” is a multimedia depiction of ten young people describing what it is like to be either living with #HIV or affected by HIV today. In fact, two of these young people were born with the virus an have a unique perspective.
Today’s HIV/AIDS epidemic is a far different beast than it was 30 years ago. Medical advances have led to better treatment and prevention, yet there are still 36 million people living with HIV. In fact, the rate of infection has been on the rise and one of the largest groups seeing an increased infection rate is young people aged 18 and 24.
There are 3.3 million young persons worldwide with HIV and in the U.S., an estimated 76,400 young people ages 13-24 have HIV. Three-quarters of those are not suppressed by medication and 63% are not even receiving medical care.
Closer to home, the number of HIV cases has increased by a staggering 23% inFlorida this year, with over 3,500 new cases in the state of Florida and roughly 1,100 (annualized) in Broward County alone.
A unique art project for the Transgender community, Heels and Ties to Heaven is a multimedia exhibit that features artfully crafted shoes of everyday people and video in remembrance of those affected by HIV/AIDS. It calls attention to the similarities of the HIV-positive and Transgender communities.
Being a person in the Transgender community is about accepting who you are, both on the inside and the outside, and about celebrating your individuality. Each shoe expresses individuality and style, just as any shoe would for any person. Similar to The AIDS Memorial Quilt, each of the shoes featured is dedicated to someone in the Transgender community who passed away because of AIDS. For those who transitioned from female-to-male, beautifully crafted ties are featured as well.
Along with love, acceptance and fulfillment, this community also experiences hatred, misunderstanding and stigma. These negative experiences are shared by both the Transgender and HIV-positive communities. By drawing attention to this, it is hoped that the communities can find greater understanding, acceptance and strength.
The Michael David Slotsky Memorial Stamp Collection
Jan. 12, 2016 –
Myron Slotsky has been a stamp collector all his life. He passed his love of stamp collecting on to his son, Michael David. It was a hobby that father and son enjoyed doing together. After Michael became HIV positive, his father Myron became an activist to learn more about HIV. Michael passed away due to AIDS complications on Sept. 19th 1993. He was 29 years old.
Myron continued his stamp collecting and HIV activism and, in honor of his son, created a unique stamp collection covering every subject and topic on HIV/AIDS over the past 35 years! This incredibly comprehensive collection also includes cover envelopes from all over the world that were stamped on World AIDS Day.
This exhibit is a personal and powerful testimonial and we are grateful to Mr. Slotsky for donating it to the museum.