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ACRIA News

Fall 2007


We're Growing!

As we reported in the last issue of ACRIA Update, we are delighted to have been named lead agency in a $1 million New York City Council program aimed at addressing the growing issue of HIV and older adults by bringing HIV education, prevention, and services to agencies serving middle-aged and older individuals. The initiative builds on our Senior Education and Empowerment (SEE) program, which has been providing HIV education to senior centers across New York City.

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All this means, of course, that we have a lot more work to do. And that means hiring some more people to do it. Please welcome these new staff members:

Vaughn Taylor is our new Older Adults Technical Assistance Manager, and he'll be in charge of the work of the City Council initiative and everything else we will be doing in the area of HIV and aging. Vaughn has a varied and interesting background, having studied nursing and served as a battalion nurse in the U.S. Army Academy of Health Sciences and received an M.A. in Interpretive Jazz with an emphasis on African Ballet. His ten years experience in HIV/AIDS work include three years as Program Coordinator at Aid for AIDS of Nevada and two years as the Founding Executive Director of Fighting AIDS in our Community Today (FACT), both in Las Vegas. He followed that up with five years in Chicago, first as Director of Prevention Education and Programming at the Greater Chicago Committee, then as Founding Executive Director of Jelani Unified Men's Project, and finally as Health Education Supervisor at the Haymarket Center.

Hanna Tessema joins the HIV Health Literacy Program as an HIV Educator, coming to ACRIA from The Bronx Health Link, where she has worked as Coordinator of Health Education and Outreach for the last two years. Prior to that she worked as a Health Policy Research and Program Administrator in Durban, South Africa, and before that as Minority Peer Advisor, Graduate Student Instructor, Program Coordinator/Student Activities and Leadership at the University of Michigan while pursuing her B.A. in Political Science. Hanna has also done Independent Study in Public Health at the University of KwaZulu Natal in Durban and is currently attending NYU for a Global M.P.H. in Epidemiology, which she expects to receive in 2009.

Robert Hughes, our new Bookkeeper/Junior Accountant, is new to the HIV field, and to the not-for-profit world altogether. Before joining ACRIA, he worked as Front Office Supervisor at the SoHo Grand Hotel and as the Whatever/Whenever Manager at the W New York Hotel. Before that he was first a Guest Service Attendant, then Guest Services Supervisor for the W Chicago City Center Hotel.

Mark Brennan brings impressive credentials with him. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee, an M.A. in Psychology from Fordham University, and a Ph.D. in Applied Developmental Psychology from Fordham. He has been a Fellow of the Hunter-Brookdale Center on Aging and a Brookdale Doctoral Fellow at the Brookdale Research Institute Third Age Center at Fordham. He has been named a New York State Scholar in Project 2015 by the New York State Office for the Aging and State Society on Aging in New York and has received the Pride Senior Network Recognition Award. His academic staff positions and consultancies are too numerous to mention, and he has participated as principal or co-principal investigator in ten research projects and has authored or co-authored fifty published articles.


Fundraising Events

ACRIA's annual Cocktails at Sunset Hamptons event, held July 7 at Ross Bleckner's home in Sagaponack, raised $150,000. A record 300 friends and supporters turned out to enjoy the music of DJ Paul Sevigny, join in a silent auction featuring works by Bleckner, Julian Schnabel, Stephen Kinsella, and others, and celebrate with event hosts Martha Nelson, Andre Balazs, Kelly Killoren Bensimon, Bob Colacello, Beth Rudin DeWoody, Alex von Furstenberg, and Gillian Hearst-Shaw. We are especially grateful to our sponsors, Banana Republic, In Style Magazine, and the Diller von Furstenberg Family Foundation.

The much anticipated 2007 Unframed art sale was held August 8 and 9 at the Barney's Coop and raised over $200,000. Host Simon Doonan and benefit committee members Ross Bleckner, Alexis Bryan, Francisco Costa, Beth Rudin DeWoody, Amanda Hearst, Gillian Hearst-Shaw, Deborah Hughes, Adam Lippes, Martha Nelson, and Andrew Saffir welcomed several hundred guests, who lined up down the block for the chance to buy work from leading artists at benefit prices. The 16 participating artists included Vik Muniz, Mitch Epstein, Polly Apfelbaum, Eva Lundsager, Edward Burtynsky, Tobias Wong, and Ted Mineo. We offer our special thanks to Barney's New York, without whom this wonderful event would not have been possible.

ACRIA will once again be the charitable beneficiary for the domino Bazaar, hosted by domino Magazine and Conde Nast and held October 11 through 14. This year's event will be hosted by Ross Bleckner, Beth Brenner, Dara Caponigro, Francisco Costa, and Sara Rufino Costello. The Bazaar will include unique design stations curated by domino and a special ACRIA gallery featuring new and original works by Bleckner, Jack Pierson, and Christo and Jeanne Claude, among others.

The annual Holiday Dinner will take place on December 11, once again at Donna Karan's Stephan Weiss Studio. The 2007 dinner will be a celebration of generous and longtime supporter Bob Colacello by Karan, Ross Bleckner, Carolina and Reinaldo Herrera, and Charla Lawhon. Vanessa Carlton will perform. Save-the-dates and sponsorship and ticketing information are forthcoming.





  
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This article was provided by AIDS Community Research Initiative of America. It is a part of the publication ACRIA Update. Visit ACRIA's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.
 

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