By Christine Clark
LA JOLLA–World AIDS Day will be recognized by the University of California, San Diego with several events and programs, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Dec. 1, including a public viewing of portions of the AIDS Memorial Quilt. Portions will be displayed in the Price Center East Ballroom, the lobby of the UC San Diego Medical Center in Hillcrest and the lobby of the UC San Diego Thornton Hospital in La Jolla. The AIDS Memorial Quilt, a powerful educational tool for preventing new HIV infections, is the largest ongoing community arts project in the world.
The World AIDS Day theme at UC San Diego for the year is “Act Aware.” In conjunction with the AIDS Quilt display, UC San Diego will sponsor a number of other events in recognition of World AIDS Day. All events are free and open to the public.
The UC San Diego display will showcase sections of the quilt that have emerged from San Diego organizations and individuals as they have responded to the AIDS crisis, from the early years of the epidemic through the present day.
On display with the quilt will be Jae Hansen’s photography exhibit, “Survivors”, a moving photo series that showcases long-term survivors of HIV and AIDS––those who have surpassed a 10 year mark since their original diagnosis and are considered survivors of the epidemic disease. Additionally, a collection of essays regarding the impact of HIV/AIDS, from a contest held at UC San Diego, will be on display.
On Dec. 1, a morning candlelight vigil will be held at 7 a.m. at the Price Center East Ballroom for private reflection and remembrance, taking place concurrently will be Sound and Silence: A Listener’s Reflection on the Quilt. The series includes numerous musical performances by UC San Diego affiliates beginning at the top of each hour, followed by silence for reflections on the quilt at the end of each hour. Among the performers will be the UC San Diego Gospel Choir at 3 p.m. and UC San Diego’s award winning a capella group the Tritones at 6 p.m. Other performances will be staged throughout the day in the Price Center East Plaza from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., beginning on the half hour throughout the day, including a performance by the Butterworth Dance Company at 1:45 p.m.
At 10 a.m. in the Cross Cultural Center’s Comunidad Room, Allen McCutchan, MD, from UC San Diego’s AIDS Research Institute will present on his work in Ethiopia for the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). At 11 a.m., the UC San Diego chapter of Universities Allied for Essential Medicines will present on global access to antiretrovirals and the patenting, licensing and intellectual property barriers to affordable medicines in the developing world.
There will be a performance piece by members of the UC San Diego community beginning at noon in four campus locations that will pay tribute to those who have died from AIDS. Processing from these key campus locations, participants will converge at 12:10 p.m. in front of the Geisel Library at the Silent Tree, part of Terry Allen’s 1986 installation Trees, which is part of the campus’s Stuart Collection. The Silent Tree will display names of people who have died from AIDS or who are living with and affected by HIV. The tree will also feature a written reflection regarding the impact of HIV/AIDS. Students of Michael Trigilio, UC San Diego visual arts professor, have programmed both the literary tree and the music tree of the Trees installation, with sound performances specifically designed for World AIDS Day.
As part of the same performance, at 12:10 p.m. Scott Paulson, University Carillonneur, will play original music especially written for the day. Concurrently, members of the university community will participate in a “die-in.” As the carillon plays, participants in the die-in will drop to the ground, “dead” for the length of the performance. This performance vividly showcases the reality of death for the majority of HIV infected individuals in the world who lack access to medication.
Immediately following the “die-in,” participants will proceed to the Triton Steps for a 12:20 p.m. performance by Eric Geiger, a lecturer in the Department of Theatre and Dance.
Red ribbons and condom “roses” will be distributed at UC San Diego’s Library Walk throughout the day, in addition to prevention information and other educational materials by many organizations and groups.
Throughout the day at the Cross Cultural Center Art Space, members of the UC San Diego community will have original art works and pieces inspired by reflection on World AIDS Day on display. Concurrently, the video wall of The Loft will showcase a curated series of short films that document the artistic and visual impact of HIV/AIDS impact throughout the world.
These events are co-sponsored by a number of organizations and departments at UC San Diego, including the LGBT Resource Center, Student Health Services, Student Health Advocates, Associated Students (AS), the LGBT Staff and Faculty Association, the AIDS Research Institute, the Visual Arts Department, the Department of Theatre and Dance, the HIV Neurobehavrioral Research Center (HNRC), the Anti Viral Research Center (AVRC), Arusha Project, the Owen Clinic, Health and Safety, University Centers, Face AIDS, Housing Dining and Hospitality, Counseling and Psychological Services, the UC San Diego Bookstore, the Student Sustainability Collective, Amnesty International, Equal Opportunity/Staff Affirmative Action, the UC San Diego Libraries, the Women’s Center, the Cross Cultural Center and many committed individuals throughout the university community.