NEW YORK — Tuesday, December 1 is World AIDS Day, dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection. The theme for 2009 is "Universal Access and Human Rights" and people everywhere will be wearing red to show their support. Raising money, increasing awareness, fighting prejudice, and improving education are just some of the ways to observe the day; those in the art community will honor the annual A Day With(out) Art.
A Day With(out) Art began on December 1, 1989 as the national day of action and mourning in response to the AIDS crisis. To make the public aware that AIDS can touch everyone, and inspire positive action, some 800 U.S. art and AIDS groups participated in the first A Day With(out) Art, shutting down museums, sending staff to volunteer at AIDS services, or sponsoring special exhibitions of work about AIDS. Since then, A Day With(out) Art has grown into a collaborative project in which thousands of national and international museums, galleries, art centers, AIDS Service Organizations, libraries, high schools and colleges take part.
This year, art museums including the Getty and the Metropolitan Museum of Art are shrouding various works of art in their collections "to reflect our sense of loss and to increase awareness of the global devastation that continues to be wrought by the disease."
For more information, please visit www.worldAIDSday.org
[Image: The Red Ribbon is the global symbol for solidarity with HIV-positive people and those living with AIDS.]