Posts Tagged ‘ARTAHA’

Welcome to the Artists Responding Blog

The arts have always played a critical role in examining challenging issues, exploring diverging perspectives, and communicating personal truths. In the thirty-year history of the AIDS epidemic, they have played an instrumental role in moving our collective dialog forward and inspiring individual and collective action. The Graying of AIDS is, at its core, a photojournalistic project that aspires to increase awareness and dialog around issues related to aging and HIV/AIDS; it is by no means the first body of creative work to address these concerns through the arts, and there is much to learn from those who have come before. Read More…

And The Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic, by Randy Shilts
suggested by Amy Justice, MD, PhD



“Probably the most moving thing I have ever read on HIV/AIDS was And the Band Played On, by Randy Shilts. Part of what made it moving for me is that he spent over a year writing it and refused to be tested for HIV until he finished Read More…

The Way We Live Now: American Plays & the AIDS crisis, edited by M. Elizabeth Osborn
suggested by Perry N. Halkitis, PhD, MS

I do not know an adult life without HIV. In 1981 I entered college, began my life as a gay man, and like the rest of the world, first became aware of the AIDS epidemic. The formative years of my young adulthood were colored by the devastation of AIDS and this was a time of great fear and anxiety for me and millions of gay men. When I reflect on the 1980’s my sense is that my body experienced one decade-long anxiety attack.

At the same time during this period, I had the opportunity to experience the reaction of our artistic community to the epidemic in the multitude of inspiring plays that were produced Read More…

Angels In America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes, by Tony Kushner
suggested by Sara M. Simons

I was born in 1981, the year generally considered to be the start of the AIDS epidemic. I have never lived in a world without AIDS, and yet the disease felt distant from my life growing up in suburban New England. Occasionally a work of art would penetrate this bubble — Read More…

Lonely Planet, a play by Steven Dietz
suggested by Seth Rozin

In 1996, I directed a production of Steven Dietz’ Lonely Planet for InterAct Theatre Company, an organization I founded in Philadelphia, and for which I have served as Artistic Director for 23 years now. Lonely Planet is a charming, funny and ultimately moving play about two gay friends: Carl, a flamboyant man with an unusually vivid imagination and multiple, ever-changing occupations; and Jody, a cautious and thoughtful man who has insulated himself in the map store he owns, afraid to venture out in the world and get tested for AIDS. Read More…

A Hundred Million Miracles, a song by Richard Rodgers (composer) and Oscar Hammerstein II (librettist/lyricist)
suggested by Bill Rydwels


A song from Flower Drum Song by Rodgers and Hammerstein has become a precious note to me on life and living it.  The song A Hundred Million Miracles (are happening every day) just seemed to fit into my life ever since I learned to live with HIV/AIDS and experienced a life filled with all the miracles I had been taking for granted and overlooked the 53 years I had lived before becoming truly aware of the world I lived in, partook of and assumed was due me. Read More…

Edie & Thea: A Very Long Engagement, a documentary film by Susan Muska and Gréta Ólafsdottir
suggested by Hilary Meyer


Edie and Thea: A Very Long Engagement portrays a love story, through photographs and interview clips, of a once young and now old lesbian couple. As I watched the documentary, I could easily imagine these women as my friends now — in groups or in pairs, on the beach or at a party, often laughing with a carefree air so common of people in their 20s and 30s. Unlike my contemporaries though, Edie Windsor and Thea Spyer met and fell in love in the closeted 1960s, and had to maintain an engagement for more than 40 years. Read More…

My Grandma Has AIDS: Annisha’s Story, by Valerie Reeder-Bey and Annisha Monic Wilburn
suggested by Anna Fowlkes

When I was first diagnosed, information about HIV was only provided by medical personnel. However, there was no information about HIV and aging from my health care providers or anyone else. The first information I received was when I participated in a mini-mester at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy. Age specific data was provided prior to personal stories of six infected persons who were over 50. The statistics made me aware that HIV and aging was a growing problem, and I decided to share what I learned with other older adults. Read More…

The Legends Ball, created by Oprah Winfrey
suggested by Dorcas Baker

As a nurse, I have been working in HIV for 19 years and I am still moved with compassion whenever I am engaged in care or conversation with an individual who has been living with HIV/AIDS, especially older adults. The most memorable event for me was finding a small cluster of older women who were living in isolation but were willing to come together to form a support group. It is not uncommon for older individuals living with HIV to keep their diagnosis a secret from their friends and families,   Read More…