World AIDS Day Focus Shifts From Personal to Political


In the past three years, the theme for World AIDS Day has gone from “Live and Let Live” to “Have You Heard Me Today?” to “Keep the Promise,” suggesting a refocus from the personal to the political. A fitting set of speakers, then, guides the dialogue at the annual December 1 observation at the cathedral. United Nations secretary-general Kofi Annan keynotes the evening, which also features a Roberta Flack musical performance and appearances by actress Julia Ormond and 1999 Miss Universe Mpule Kwelagobe of Botswana, who both use their visibility as platforms for raising AIDS awareness—something still sorely needed as we risk becoming a theocracy with abstinence the only “acceptable” form of disease prevention. To reinforce the not-one-day-only mission of World AIDS Day organizers, a fundraising discussion five days later examines the artistic and activist legacy of New York painter Frank Moore. Since Moore’s death in 2002, his vibrant, dynamic art has largely been viewed through the lens of his AIDS activism; a slide display of his work will be followed by a discussion from a panel of five artists, including costume designer Marc Happel (Kiki & Herb) and sculptor (and former Moore assistant) Michael Combs, then a celebration.