DIFFA: Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS
Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS (DIFFA) raises and grants funds to organizations that fight HIV/AIDS. DIFFA is one of the country’s largest supporters of direct care for people living with or affected by HIV/AIDS, of preventive education programs for those at risk, and of public policy efforts about HIV/AIDS. Supporters of DIFFA come from all fields of fine design and the visual arts, including architecture, fashion design, interior design, photography, and consumer product design, among other design fields.
For Art Lives, POBA’s tribute to a generation of artists lost to AIDS, DIFFA has nominated three exceptionally talented artists who died from AIDS and whose works involved design in an interesting variety of genres: Ken Kendrick, award-winning graphic designer and former art director for New York Times Sunday Magazine; Patrick Kelly, American-born, Paris-based clothing designer par excellence; and Jim Terrell, architect and designer of some of America’s most memorable commercial and personal spaces. Through DIFFA’s nominations, we are able to see and remember the talent, passion and timeless accomplishments of these designer artists lost to us from AIDS and to learn a bit more about what shaped their vision and their lives.
LifeBEAT – Music Fights HIV/AIDS is the leading national nonprofit focused on educating America’s youth (aged 13-29) about HIV/AIDS and STD prevention. For 22 years, LifeBEAT has mobilized the music industry‘s resources to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS and STDs through live music events, and via broadcast, digital, social, and print platforms. LifeBEAT also provides quality of life services and support for people living with HIV/AIDS and their families. LifeBEAT programs are funded through proceeds from special events, cause-related marketing projects, and voluntary contributions from individuals, corporations, and foundations and are themselves are award-winning – its recent KYSS (Know Your Status Stage) campaign won a prestigious Effie Award (Gold) for marketing and advertising in June 2015.
For Art Lives, POBA’s tribute to a generation of artists lost to AIDS, LifeBeat has nominated two exceptionally talented music icons – from the performance and the production sides of the music industry spectrum – who died from AIDS: Sylvester, the ferociously flamboyant, cross-dressing, and cross-genre vocalist who took the 70s by storm in disco, then moved back to his roots in gospel and soul; and Mel Cheren, the innovative record executive who helped start the Paradise Garage, a focal point of the downtown Manhattan gay disco scene in the 1970s and ’80s,and the man who invented the 12 inch vinyl single record for his label, West End music. Here, however, LifeBeat brings us another side of Cheren – his remarkable artistry as a painter.
Through LifeBEAT’s nominations, we are able to see and remember the talent, passion and timeless accomplishments of these masters of music lost to us from AIDS and to learn a bit more about what shaped their vision and their lives.
Visual AIDS utilizes art to fight AIDS by provoking dialogue, supporting HIV+ artists, and preserving a legacy, because AIDS is not over. Founded in 1988, Visual AIDS is the only contemporary arts organization fully committed to raising AIDS awareness and creating dialogue around HIV issues today, by producing and presenting visual art projects, exhibitions, public forums and publications – while assisting artists living with HIV/AIDS. Visual AIDS is committed to preserving and honoring the diversity and the works of artists with HIV/AIDS and the artistic contributions of the AIDS movement.
For Art Lives, POBA’s tribute to a generation of artists lost to AIDS, Visual AIDS has nominated two exceptionally talented artists lost to AIDS. Both artists created powerful works that mix their distinct cultural heritages with subject matter that influenced and intrigued them during their lifetime. Both artists also use their cultural material to make powerful contemporary statements, especially about gay life. Martin Wong draws largely on traditional Chinese artistic imagery and calligraphy, but delivers his visionary realism with irony, wit, and a distinctive juxtaposition of old and new. Nicolas Mouffarege was an art critic, curator and painter. In his own works, he interwove images and alphabets from his native Egypt and Lebanon with those from his time in Paris and New York to create complex works – most notably, his unique embroidered paintings.
Through Visual AIDS’s nominations, we are able to see and remember the talent, passion and timeless accomplishments of these master artists lost to us from AIDS and to learn a bit more about what shaped their vision and their lives.