Zwai from MTCC plays a drum at the Arts Fund Launch (Photo by Cameron McClennan)

Arts Fund Launch

On the eve of World AIDS Day 2011, we launched the Stephen Lewis Foundation Arts Fund in an intimate evening of performance and discussion featuring South African and Zambian community mobilizers, Canadian performers d’bi young and Molly Johnson, host Susan G. Cole and Stephen Lewis. Held in conjunction with Hart House and the University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health, the event provided an opportunity to witness firsthand how the arts are being used to promote healing and hope in the frontline response to the AIDS epidemic in Africa.

Representatives from Young Happy Healthy Safe in Zambia demonstrated the power of drama to break stigma and educate people about transmission and treatment, and a community musician from the Music Therapy Community Clinic in South Africa brought the house to its feet with a display of the way drumming is used to help children express their grief and heal through musical expression and a sense of community. A conversation followed between Stephen Lewis and the African activists about the role of the arts in healing and awareness-raising, and the evening was interspersed with music and performance from top Canadian artists – a demonstration of the commitment of the Canadian arts community to the work of the African grassroots organizations who are turning the tide of AIDS.

  • Click here to learn more about the Arts Fund and how you can get involved.

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