National Day With(out) Art :
Observed annually on every December 1st, the National Day With(out) Art coincides with National AIDS day. This day artists, art groups, and museums come together to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS and to celebrate the lives and work of friends and colleagues who lost their lives to it and are living with it.
Related: Other National Days Celebrated on December 1st:
Why Day With(out )Art?
AIDS acronym for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome is a stage where your body’s immune system is severely damaged by HIV.
During the 1980s, thousands of lives were lost to AIDS. Seeing this disheartening rise in deaths among young people the Day With(out) Art was founded to raise awareness about AIDS among the public, to mourn lost lives, and take necessary steps to prevent it.
As a response to this pandemic, Visual AIDS – a professional artwork organization created the Day WithoutArt Day on December 1st, 1989. This committee reached out to society by encouraging them to mourn about the lost lives and talents, caring for those with AIDS, raise awareness about the deadly impacts of HIV, and search for a cure.
In the first year of this day’s inception itself, a whooping 800 AIDS and artwork groups in the US took part in observing this day. They did so by closing the Museums for the day, encouraging employees to volunteer for AIDS services, using exclusive art displays about AIDS, substituting artworks with information about HIV and safe sex. Some organizations, on the other hand, held programs, memorials, readings, exhibitions, and performances to counter AIDS.
Visual AIDS in 1998 changed the title from “Day Without Art” to “Day With(out) Art” to highlight the continuation of artwork projects on AIDS awareness as well as to promote the artwork of artists with HIV.
Thus this day reminds us of how many talented artists were lost to AIDS and raise awareness about this deadly disease as well as care for people with HIV/AIDS before it’s too late.
How Can We Observe National Day With(out) Art?
- Raise Awareness about AIDS
Observe the day by raising awareness about AIDS infection and steps to prevent it. You could organize an educational program for your locality, workplace, colleges, or schools. Or just share about it on your social media page using hashtags #NationalDayWith(Out)Art #DayWith(Out)Art and encourage friends and family to join the observation too!
- Pay homage to all those who succumbed to AIDS
This day you remember loved ones, friends, colleagues, and everyone else who lost their lives to AIDS through candlelight vigils, etc. you could also visit art galleries that display the work of people who suffered from AIDS and focus on their contributions to art as well as their lives lived.
- Show your support to people with HIV
Today rather than judging people with HIV take time to love and care for them. Spend time with them, know them, and appreciate the best qualities of them. Most of them are already demotivated by the disease and the stigma surrounding it. So be there for them in ways possible.
- Get yourself checked for HIV
This is the perfect day to also get tested for HIV. It is very important if you practice unprotected sex. And since many people are hesitant about getting tested, encourage family and friends to do the same too.
- Learn more about HIV and AIDS
Another great way to celebrate the day is by learning more about HIV/AIDS. Try attending a seminar or watch a documentary on AIDS. Also, don’t forget to share your learning with family and friends
Interesting Facts About National Day With(out) Art:
Here are some facts about HIV/AIDS surrounding the National Day With(out) Art
- HIV gets transmitted from one person to another via Vagina/anal sex, sharing syringes while using drugs, during breastfeeding, during pregnancy to the child, and through pre-mastication before feeding a child
- HIV does not get transmitted through hugging, kissing, shaking hands, skin-to-skin contact, sharing food or beverages, saliva, sweat, tears, towels, bedding and sharing a toilet
- The first HIV was discovered in 1959 in a human blood sample by scientists
- Some of the early symptoms of HIV include fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes, and common aches or pain.
History Of National Day With(out) Art?
The National Day With(Out) Art was founded on December 1st, 1989 by an artwork professionals organization the Visual AIDS. This organization was founded by Thomas Sokolowski, Robert Atkins, William Olander, and Gary Gareeks. The day was created to call for national attention to the worsening AIDS crisis during that time.