(SARASOTA, FLA. DECEMBER 1, 2021) – CAN Community Health and Sarasota Art Museum presented a powerful, thought-provoking and memorable evening in the museum’s galleries and courtyard this evening in observance of World AIDS Day and Day With(out) Art, an international day of action and mourning in response to the AIDS crisis.
Striking visuals entertained and informed visitors
Described by Sarasota Art Museum Executive Director Virginia Shearer as “an evening of contemplation, community and care,” the event showcased the Museum’s installation of visual art by Felix Gonzalez-Torres (1957-1996) and a tribute to the National AIDS Quilt display that was originally created on the National Mall lawn.
CAN Community Health’s informative and striking “Faces of HIV” display panels allowed visitors and invited guests to gain a better understanding of the timeline of the HIV epidemic, and a “Patient Tribute” video made a power emotional connection in memory of a well known and beloved CAN patient.
Live presentations and performances infused the evening with joy and hopefulness
Following introductions by Ms. Shearer and CAN Community Health Interim President & CEO Rishi Patel, AIDS activist Jon Arterton, currently conductor of St. Petersburg’s One City Chorus, gave a moving speech about his and others’ activism and advocacy in the early days of the HIV epidemic. Mr. Arterton followed up the speech with a vocal performance alongside his husband, James Mack.
A live performance by Diversity: The Voices of Sarasota, under the direction of Chris Romeo, included songs by Christina Aquilera, Lady Goga and Josh Groban.