Beginning on November 30th, Rock it Red! St. Pete will present a public arts installation and other activities along Central Avenue, and on buildings and monuments through the city. Rock it RED! St. Pete will serve as a memorial to those who passed from HIV and AIDS related illnesses, and build awareness of the continued presence and need for HIV/AIDS testing and treatment.
Planned activities include:
· Wrapping 170 trees along Central Avenue from 16th to 31st streets with red fabric for three days; creating a conceptual 1.25 mile-long RED Ribbon in honor of World AIDS Day.
· On at least 50 of the 170 trees, visitors will be able to add names, messages or attach small pictures to the wraps
· The wraps will honor bay area and Florida loved ones remembered on the AIDS Quilt.
· Partners throughout St. Petersburg will turn their structures RED through lighting, balloons, streamers, or other means for the night on December 1.
· A candlelight vigil and remembrance program beginning at 7 p.m. will be held at the LGBT Welcome Center, 2227 Central Ave. on December 1.
· While the mile-long RED Ribbon will be a temporary art installation, it shall produce a piece of community-created folk art as 50 sections where memorials have been left will later be laced together producing an “AIDS Wall of Remembrance.”
Founder, artist, and organizer Jim Buresch states, “I still have a voice that I want heard, a vision realized and instead of going insane in the politics of HIV, I decided to use extremely large art installations as my method of activism. I don’t know if you classify it as conceptual or earth, it’s just my voice to me. Art has led many social awakenings, in fact, World AIDS Day started out as “A Day without Art.”
“It is estimated that nearly one percent of Americans are HIV positive, however nearly a quarter of them are not even aware that they carry the virus. Early detection is essential to slowing the potential development of AIDS and AIDS related illness.”
The St. Petersburg Arts Alliance is serving as the umbrella organization, collaborating with the St. Petersburg LGBT Welcome Center, the Grand Central District Association, and the United Nations Association – United States of America (UNA-USA) Tampa Bay Chapter.
The collaborative is seeking contributions and sponsorships to fund the installation. Donations may be made on the St. Petersburg Arts Alliance website or mailed to100 2nd Ave. North, #150, St. Petersburg, FL 33701. Proceeds will fund the arts installation and support the LGBT Welcome Center and the Arts Alliance programs.
Volunteers for the installation, and ambassadors are needed to assist visitors during the evening. Please contact Jim Buresch, firstname.lastname@example.org