AIDS Task Force announces 25th anniversary events

Aids Task Force logo.

Press release from the AIDS Task Force:

AIDS Task Force announces 25th anniversary events

The AIDS Task Force of northeast Indiana announced today a commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the agency’s March 1985 founding. The seven-month series of art, theatre, music, and education events is a collaboration between the AIDS Task Force and local arts and education organizations.

The AIDS Task Force is the oldest AIDS Service Organization in the State of Indiana and serves 11 counties in northeast Indiana. It provides case management services for over 350 HIV positive individuals and offers prevention education programming to more than 8,000 residents annually.

The 25th anniversary commemoration includes 14 initial partner agencies and groups and will expand to other community groups throughout the October to May period. Arts and education groups have added an AIDS-related event to their seasons to mark the quarter century service of the AIDS Task Force in northeast Indiana. The first mention of the new disease by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention was made nearly 30 years ago in June 1981.

Among events to be undertaken during the period are plays, visual art exhibits, film, dance performances, lectures, panel discussions, and choral and instrumental music.

The AIDS Task Force is preparing a community resource packet to be available in October. The resource packet will provide community groups with ideas about how to mark the continuing presence of AIDS in northeast Indiana and the world. Packets will be mailed to many schools and churches and will be available by request from the AIDS Task Force office in mid October.

According to Gregory Manifold, executive director of the AIDS Task Force, “Many people think AIDS is no longer a problem. But this disease continues to infect new people, including too many young people. And far too many of those who are already HIV-positive face a daily challenge to ensure food, housing, and health care for themselves and their families. These anniversary events are a significant way to remind Fort Wayne and northeast Indiana residents that the struggle with AIDS is not over.”

Detailed information about 25th anniversary events is available at the AIDS Task Force web site, by clicking on 25th Anniversary.

AIDS Task Force, Inc.
25TH Anniversary Commemoration
Confirmed events

October 2009 to May 2010


Fort Wayne Civic Theatre
Quilt – A Musical Celebration (Rated PG)
October 2nd to 18th, 2009
Allen County Public Library – A Civic Off-Main Production
260.422.8641, Box office 260.424.5220, website

Few who have seen the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt can forget the experience or the emotions evoked by the patchwork of panels celebrating the memory of friends and family who died of this disease.  Written in the 1980s as the Quilt was getting started, this series of stories is threaded together by a volunteer’s experience while making a Quilt panel in memory of a friend.

Mini AIDS Quilt Exhibit
October 2nd – December 2nd, 2009
Artlink’s Push Pin Gallery (formerly the Hallway Gallery), 437 East Berry Street, Fort Wayne
260.424.7195, website

Artists created small unframed works that pertain to the subject of AIDS through artistic commentary or commemoration. For the public opening of the Mini AIDS Quilt Exhibit on October 2, Artlink and the Civic Theatre are partnering to include the cast and crew of Quilt – A Musical Celebration in the party that begins at 9:00 p.m. and lasts until 11:30.

Fort Wayne Ballet
Director’s Choice
October 2nd & 3rd, 8:p.m.
Arts United Center
260.484.9646, website

At this performance, Fort Wayne Ballet recognizes the anniversary of the AIDS Task Force and includes in its playbill a listing in memory of the dance talent that has been lost to AIDS.

21st Annual Gay Lesbian Dinner Dance
October 3rd
Grand Wayne Convention Center
260.744.1144 (AIDS Task Force office), website

The Dinner Dance Committee helps kick off 25th Anniversary events with a social event that includes a
patron reception hosted by Mayor Henry, an elegant dinner, both live and silent auctions, and an evening of
dancing. Special guest Billy Bean, the gay former major league baseball player, adds extra class to the
dinner dance and anniversary kickoff.

Omnibus Lecture Series – Andrew Sullivan, “Friendship: The Forgotten Relationship”
November 10th, 7:30 p.m.
Auer Performance Hall, Rhinehart Music Center
No tickets required. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., website

Andrew Sullivan is senior editor and blogger at The Atlantic and one of the most provocative political and
social commentators today. He uses his columns, online blog, and frequent television appearances to
question the present course of conservatism in America. He is the author of several books, including
Virtually Normal: An Argument About Homosexuality (1996).

IPFW Department of Theatre
The Yellow Boat (Fort Wayne Premier)
November 13th, 14th, 19th, 20th, 21st at 8:00 p.m., November 15th & 22nd at 2:00 p.m.
Studio Theatre in Kettler Hall
260.481.6551, Box office 260.481.6555, website

The Yellow Boat is based on the true story of a child born with hemophilia who died in 1987 of AIDS-related
complications. The boy’s buoyant imagination transforms his physical and emotional pain into a blaze of
colors and shapes as his fanciful drawings and paintings come to life in a glorious affirmation of a child’s life,
showing the strength and courage of all children.

Allen County Public Library
Facing HIV/AIDS photography exhibit
November 21st – January 10th (apx.)
Jeffrey Krull Gallery, Downtown Public Library
260.421.1252, website

The Library hosts the 2005 AIDS Task Force exhibit featuring John Gevers’ remarkable photos of people
living with HIV and AIDS in northeast Indiana. The exhibit includes narratives of the subjects’ own stories
and new media additions to the portraits. The subjects of this exhibit continue to reduce stigma with their
brave stories.

World AIDS Day/Red Ribbon Day
Various activities throughout the day
December 1st
260.744.1144, website

Under consideration for World AIDS Day are a kickoff breakfast, events for middle and high school students,
an acting troupe, an evening concert performance of various arts groups, and a red ribbon campaign.
Check the AIDS Task Force web site regularly for updated information.

Fort Wayne Museum of Art
Keith Haring banner
December 1st – January 12th
On the Museum’s outside wall
260.422.6467, website

Since the Museum of Art is under construction during much of the 25th Anniversary period, it will display a banner (apx. 14′ x 21′) for six weeks, beginning with an unveiling on World AIDS Day. The banner will
feature Keith Haring artwork that will draw attention and awareness to the mission of AIDS Task Force and
the losses suffered in the visual arts community due to AIDS.

Fort Wayne Dance Collective
Nuts and Crackers Performance
December 11th & 12th at 7:00 p.m., December 13th at 2:00 p.m.
Elliot Studio Theatre, 437 East Berry Street, Fort Wayne
260.424.6574, website

As part of the performance, Dance Collective restages The Green Isle in the Sea, a theatre/dance piece
based on the James Thurber tale of the same name. The piece was created for Dance Collective in 1985 by
Jim Tyler, a dancer, choreographer, and performer from San Francisco who died of AIDS-related
complications in 1989.


First Presbyterian Theater
The Way We Live Now: 20 Years Later (Rated R)
January 8th, 9th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 22nd & 23rd, Friday and Saturday at 8:00 p.m., Sunday at 2:00 p.m.
FPT, located in First Presbyterian Church at the corner of Wayne and Ewing
260.422.6329, website

Compiled in the late 1980s, these three short works from Lanford Wilson, Terrance McNally, and Susan
Sontag were their way to cope with an epidemic that was destroying their community. First Presbyterian
Theater presents this collection to honor the ones who have been lost and to examine just how far society
has actually come.

Arena Dinner Theatre
The Normal Heart (Rated R), a staged reading
March 27th, 8:00 p.m.
Arena Dinner Theatre, 719 Rockhill Street
Box office, 260.424.5622, website

A searing drama about public and private indifference to the AIDS plague and one man’s lonely fight to
awaken the world to the crisis. The play follows Ned Weeks, a gay activist enraged at the indifference of
public officials and the gay community. While trying to save the world from itself, he confronts the personal
toll of AIDS when his lover dies of the disease.

Fort Wayne Philharmonic
Classical Companions Series
April 13th, 7:00 p.m.
Rhinehart Recital Hall, IPFW
260.481.0770, Box office 260.481.0777, website

This event combines a lecture and ensembles from the Fort Wayne Philharmonic to explore the impact of AIDS on classical music.

Fort Wayne Philharmonic
Masterworks Concert
April 17th, 8:00 p.m.
Embassy Theatre
260.481.0770, Box office 260.481.0777, website

During this Masterworks Concert, the Fort Wayne Philharmonic helps raise community awareness about
HIV and AIDS through the use of red ribbons and the inclusion of information in programs.

Fort Wayne Museum of Art
AIDS Then and Now: A Conversation of the Last 25 Years
April 22, 6:30 p.m.
Fort Wayne Museum of Art Auditorium
260.422.6467, website

Times have changed, but the past lingers. Join the discussion as members of our community reflect on the
impact of AIDS in Fort Wayne over the last 25 years—and recall a time before the disease was in our lives.

14th Annual AIDS Walk
Vive le Rouge! (Long Live Red!)
May 1st
Headwaters Park

A newly convened steering committee builds on the successes of past AIDS Walks to reinvent this culmination of the 25th Anniversary activities. The committee renamed the walk Vive le Rouge! to capture the spirit of the original Red Ribbon campaigns of the 1980s and to express hope for long lives for those with AIDS. Artists, actors, musicians, participants, and audiences from events throughout the 25th Anniversary join others from the community at Headwaters Park on May 1 to close the public commemoration of the Anniversary. These multiple anniversary teams and teams and individuals from throughout northeast Indiana also raise critical financial support for the continuing work of the Task Force. Among additions to the new AIDS Walk are a bike ride, a move from morning to afternoon, delicious food from area restaurants, and some wonderful bands entertaining into the evening. Check the AIDS Task Force web site regularly for updated information.


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