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Local and Community News

Buffalo, NY Group Uses Art to Promote AIDS Awareness

August 8, 2002

The Buffalo, N.Y., group God Recognizes Our Ultimate Potential (GROUP) Ministries is sponsoring the Memorial AIDS Arts Project, a three-part series of artistic events aimed at helping people with HIV and their families. The first part of the series was a musical event April 12. GROUP Ministries held the second part last Friday night with drama, dancing and poems in the Buffalo Museum of Science. "Many people don't do a lot of reading, so we decided to reach them through the arts," said Michelle Boyd, GROUP Ministries' community organizer.

Teen Reality Theater, which educates about such issues as peer pressure and dating violence, performed a play about the importance of being aware of HIV. "I hope that people see the performance and realize that HIV affects all walks of life," said Director Jennifer O'Donohoe. Jacqueline Laurence, whose daughter was performing with the Elim Step Team and Praise Dancers, said the event was a good way to bring awareness to young people. "This is enlightening," she said. "It's good because AIDS is a reality and a lot of people, especially young people, feel that they are not going to have an encounter with it."

Valerie Brown, a community educator at the Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Center, which offers services for people with HIV, said she noticed more people searching for help after the June 27 National HIV Testing Day. But she said many people, especially women of color and women who are not comfortable in relationships, still do not know their status. The next AIDS arts project will feature visual arts on Dec. 6 in the museum. Boyd said GROUP Ministries is raising funds to bring a painting exhibit to the next event.

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Adapted from:
Buffalo News

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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
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