World AIDS Day 2015

Valley organizations host annual observances

Photo by Fernando Hernández.

AIDS Quilt Songbook Returns to Phoenix for Benefit Concert

AIDS Quilt Songbook---from press realeaseFor the second consecutive year, selections from the AIDS Quilt Songbook will be presented in Phoenix ahead of World AIDS Day.

The benefit concert, entitled “Quilt Songs 2015: American Songs in the Age of AIDS,” will take place at 6 p.m. Nov. 29 at Central United Methodist Church’s Kendall Fellowship Hall, 1875 N. Central Ave. in Phoenix

Tickets, the proceeds from which benefit the Joshua Tree Feeding Program, are $10 in advance (click here) and $15 at the door.

The concert features performances by five professional classical and musical theater singers, including soprano Susan Hurley (Elbland Philharmonie, Opera in the Heights), tenor Brian Jeffers (Lyric Opera Theatre, ASU Symphony), soprano Jennifer Jones (Arizona Opera, Mittelsächsisches Theater), bass-baritone John Pierce Kraft (Opera Revolution, Lyric Opera Theatre), baritone Mario Vazquez Morillas (OperArte, Hermosillo Opera) and a guest appearance by cellist Ruth Wenger, and musical preparation and piano accompaniment by William Reber (ASU Professor Emeritus and former director of Lyric Opera Theatre).

According to a recent press release, the 90-minute performance will showcase songs by and about people facing HIV and a broad range of related struggles, triumphs, stigmas, medical treatments, survival, grief and transcendence throughout the 30-year history of AIDS.

This performance marks the Southwest premiere of several compositions added to the Songbook since the original 18 songs were first performed in Lincoln Center (NYC) in 1992. In addition, this concert features the world premiere performance of a chamber work by local composer Vassilios Miltiades Makavos, written especially for the 2015 AIDS Quilt Songbook in Phoenix.

The AIDS Quilt Songbook was conceived in 1991 as a musical parallel to The NAMES Project’s AIDS Memorial Quilt.

“Quilt Songs 2015: American Songs in the Age of AIDS”
6 p.m. Nov. 29
Central United Methodist Church’s Kendall Fellowship Hall
1875 N. Central Ave. in Phoenix.

AIDS Candlelight Vigil

Community to gather in honor of the lives lost

AIDS vigilIn honor of the lives lost to HIV/AIDS, a world AIDS Day candlelight vigil will take place Dec. 1 at the Parsons Center for Health and Wellness.

Attendees are invited to meet at the Phoenix Pride LGBT Center and walk together over to the Parsons Center for Health and Wellness.

World AIDS Day, according to an Aunt Rita’s press release, “is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for those living with HIV/AIDS and to commemorate those who have passed.”

The first World AIDS Day was held in 1988, and was the first-ever global health day. Worldwide, nearly 30 million people have died from AIDS since 1981, making it one of the most destructive pandemics in history.

AIDS Candlelight Vigil
6 p.m. Dec. 1
Phoenix Pride LGBT Center
802 N. Second Ave., Phoenix

Photo by Randy’s Vision Photography.

Photo by Randy’s Vision Photography.

AIDS Memorial Quilt 

The NAMES Project Foundation brings 15 panels to Phoenix for World AIDS Day

In honor of World AIDS Day, 15 panels of the AIDS Memorial Quilt will be on display at the Parsons Center for Health and Wellness Dec. 1-3.

Aunt Rita’s Foundation and the Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS, in partnership with COX Communications, present this free display of The NAMES Project Foundation.

The display will include 15 sections of the quilt, which consist of eight 3-by-6-foot panels, representing 120 lives, many from Arizona.

Two of the panels on display will represent trailblazers in the local community: Randy Schrock, co-founder of the original Aunt Rita’s Foundation, and Randy Gorbette, co-founder of Phoenix Shanti Group.

Additionally, Aunt Rita’s invites anyone interested in making a panel to add to the national quilt to deliver panels by the office (2700 N. Third St., #2012, in Phoenix) by Jan. 12, 2016.

For more information on panels, including instructions on how to construct them, visit or call 602-882-8675.

– Courtesy of Aunt Rita’s Foundation

AIDS Memorial Quilt display
7 a.m.-9 p.m. Dec. 1; 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Dec. 2; 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Dec. 3
The Parsons Center for Health and Wellness
1101 N. Central Ave., Phoenix