Teaching with Contemporary Art

Teaching About a Day Without…

Today marks the observance of Day Without Art, a day when the arts community takes the time to remember and respond to the AIDS crisis and its impact worldwide. Day Without Art unites cultural organizations, community groups, schools and individuals around the world in observance of the AIDS epidemic and the toll it has taken on the arts community. December 1, 2010, also marks the 22nd anniversary of World AIDS Day. World AIDS Day is devoted to increasing awareness, fighting prejudice, raising money for various AIDS organizations and improving education.

Teachers can get involved in Day Without Art and World AIDS Day by engaging in a variety of activities with students- today and throughout the holiday season. As a matter of fact, especially during the holiday season. For example:

  • Raise awareness of HIV and AIDS in your area through a poster or ad campaign.
  • Wear a red ribbon and ask others to do the same. Start conversations about why you’re wearing it.
  • Talk with students about the importance of protecting themselves and their partners.
  • Volunteer time at a local AIDS organization.
  • Raise money for a class or school-wide contribution to an AIDS organization such as amfar.org
  • View and discuss the film Last Address by Ira Sachs

Making a special effort today and throughout this month to become active with students in the ongoing fight against AIDS can lead to, among other things, more meaningful relationships with those we teach, as well as broad dialogue about the effects of the AIDS crisis and the art it has inspired.

Contributor
Joe Fusaro is the senior education advisor for Art21, and has written Art21’s “Teaching with Contemporary Art” column since 2008. He is an exhibiting artist and visual arts chair for the Nyack Public Schools in New York; and an adjunct instructor for New York University’s Graduate Program in Art and Arts Professions.

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