Our AIDS Story
September 25 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Our memories. Our lives. Our AIDS Story.
To accompany their exhibitions of the National AIDS Memorial Quilt, the Artists Archives of the Western Reserve and the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland (moCa) will come together to host two collaborative story sharing programs. The first, on Saturday, September 25, will be held at the Artists Archive of the Western Reserve during their CONVERGE exhibition of Ohio LGBTQ artists while the second, taking place on December 1, 2021, World AIDS Day, will be located in moCa’s first floor atrium in conjunction with the museum’s presentation of the National AIDS Memorial Quilt.
HIV/AIDS has touched the lives of so many in Northeast Ohio. Grounded in the practices of community-building and healing, these unique programs will be structured as inclusive story sharing circles. The September 25th program will be facilitated by Rabbi Rachel Davidson, Chaplain Resident at the VA Medical Center. The December 1st program will be facilitated by Jen McMillen Smith, a Social Work Specialist in the Department of Medicine, Infectious Disease at MetroHealth and coordinator of MetroHealth’s biennial exhibition of the AIDS Memorial Quilt.
All are welcome to join these discussions and share their memories and experiences with the disease in a safe and nurturing environment. Attendance is limited and advance registration is required.
- Part I: Saturday, September 25, 10am – 12pm at Artists Archive of the Western Reserve, 1834 East 123rd Street, Cleveland OH 44106. Facilitated by Rabbi Rachel Davidson, Chaplain Resident at the VA Medical Center, the morning will include stories from CONVERGE artists Bret Hines, William Martin Jean, Gil Kudrin, Jessica Pinsky, and Dan Rothenfeld. Following the program, the gallery will be open from 12 – 4pm to view the exhibition. REGISTER FOR PART I HERE
- Part II: Wednesday, December 1, 5pm – 7pm at moCa Cleveland, 11400 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44106. Hosted on World AIDS Day during moCa’s presentation of Axis Mundo: Queer Networks in Chicano L.A. Facilitated by Jen McMillen Smith, a social work specialist in the Department of Medicine, Infectious Disease at MetroHealth and coordinator of MetroHealth’s biennial exhibition of the AIDS Memorial Quilt. REGISTER FOR PART II HERE
About the accompanying exhibitions:
- Axis Mundo: Queer Networks in Chicano L.A., currently on view at the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland (moCA), maps the intersections and collaborations among a network of Los Angeles based queer Chicanx artists and their artistic collaborators between the late 1960s and early 1990s. Taking its title in deference to the artist Edmundo “Mundo” Meza (1955-1985), a central figure within his generation, Axis Mundo presents over two decades of work—painting, performance ephemera, print material, video, music, fashion, and photography— created in the context of significant artistic and cultural movements, from the emergence of the Chicanx civil rights, women’s, and LGBTQ liberation movements through to the political activism around the AIDS epidemic.
- CONVERGE, a group exhibition of over 70 artists presented by the Artists Archive of the Western Reserve (AAWR) picks up where Axis Mundo concludes, showing recent work by the LGBTQ artistic community of the Western Reserve. As in Axis Mundo, CONVERGE showcases stories that range from protest, pride, and transformation, to simple joy in the aesthetics of beauty and act of creation.
Axis Mundo and CONVERGE highlight the contributions of many under-recognized artists, solidifying their presence in the archives of art history. In concert with these exhibitions, both moCa and AAWR will display blocks of the National AIDS Memorial Quilt.
About the Facilitators:
September 25th Facilitator: Rabbi Rachel Davidson is a recent graduate of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, in Wyncote, PA. Rabbi Rachel served as an intern at West Chester University, Bryn Mawr College, Monroe Village Senior Living Community, Lions Gate Continuing Care Retirement Community and Albert Einstein Medical Center. She focused her rabbinic training on pastoral and text skills, and especially enjoyed getting to research Jewish burial practices and the Divine Feminine in the Ancient Near East. She is called towards providing spiritual and existential accompaniment as part of holistic health care teams. Rachel is continuing her rabbinic work as a chaplain resident at the Louis Stokes Cleveland Veterans Affairs Medical Center. She and her wife recently moved to Shaker Heights, where they both grew up.
December 1st Facilitator: Jen McMillen Smith is a Social Work Specialist in the Department of Medicine, Infectious Disease at MetroHealth and coordinator of MetroHealth’s biennial exhibition of the AIDS Memorial Quilt. McMillen Smith graciously facilitated the display of panels of the AIDS Quilt at the Artists Archives of the Western Reserve as part of their CONVERGE exhibition of Ohio LGBTQ+ art and at moCa as part of Axis Mundo: Queer Networks in Chicano L.A.