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Victory Gardens Partners with QUEER, ILL + OKAY and More for World AIDS Day


Victory Gardens Theater, Art AIDS America Chicago and Center on Halsted announce the two-day World AIDS Day Celebration We're Still Here: HIV/AIDS Then & Now, an HIV/AIDS Arts and Cultural Impact Panel and Performance is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, November 30 at 7:30pmat Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted Street.

On Thursday, December 1 a curated tour of the Art AIDS America Chicago exhibit at the Alphawood Gallery, 2401 North Halsted Street, will start at 6:00pm, followed by a pre-show reception and storytelling performances at 7:00pm at Victory Gardens Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Avenue. The evening will conclude with a performance of Karen Hartman's ROZ AND RAY at 7:30pmat Victory Gardens Theater.

We're Still Here: HIV/AIDS Then & Now

Center on Halsted
3656 N. Halsted Street
Chicago, IL 60613

November 30 | Wednesday | 7:30 pm

Free and Open to the Public

Join Victory Gardens Theater, Art AIDS America Chicago, Center on Halsted and QUEER, ILL + OKAY at the Center on Halsted's Hoover-Leppen Theatre for We're Still Here: HIV/AIDS Then & Now, a collaborative program on HIV/AIDS arts, including a cultural impact panel with exhibit co-curator Jonathan Katz, Director of Exhibitions Tony Hirschel, Victory Gardens Theater's Director of New Play Development Isaac Gomez, with discussion moderated by Hutch Pimentel. The panel is followed by QUEER, ILL + OKAY performances by Phillip X Blacknbrilliant, Joan Giroux and short film by Xena Ellison and Elizabeth Mputu.

WORLD AIDS DAY: Gallery Exhibit, Reception and Performance of Roz and Ray

Begins with Pre-Show Gallery Exhibit & Reception

Alphawood Gallery, 2401 N Halsted Street

December 1 | Thursday | 6:00 pm

Beauty. Sex. Loss. Courage. Politics. Much has changed between the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s and today, and World AIDS Day is both a marker of remembrance as well as one of celebration. Join us for this joint World AIDS Day event in partnership with Art AIDS America Chicago, a groundbreaking exhibition that underscores the deep and unforgettable presence of HIV in American art. Start the journey with a curated tour with exhibit co-curator Jonathan Katz of the gallery at its opening night celebration. Then, make your way to the Victory Gardens lobby for pre-show appetizers and storytelling performances before the evening performance of Karen Hartman's Roz & Ray.

Timeline of events:

Art AIDS America Chicago Opening Night CuratEd Gallery Tour

6:00 p.m.

Free and Open to the Public
Alphawood Gallery
2401 North Halsted Street

Chicago, IL 60614

Pre-show lobby reception and storytelling performances at Victory Gardens

7:00 p.m.

Free and Open to the Public
Victory Gardens Theater
2433 N. Lincoln Avenue

Chicago, IL 60614

Performance of Karen Hartman's Roz & Ray

7:30 p.m.

Tickets start at $20 and are available at
Victory Gardens Theater
2433 N. Lincoln Avenue

Chicago, IL 60614


November 11 - December 11, 2016

By Karen Hartman
Directed by Artistic Director Chay Yew
Featuring Mary Beth Fisher and James Vincent Meredith

The gripping untold story of one doctor's ethical struggle at the onset of the AIDS crisis in the 1980s. Dr. Roz thinks she's found the right cure in a new miracle drug for Ray Leon's hemophiliac twins. However, unspeakable tragedy strikes and it is discovered that Ray's sons face immediate danger. Victory Gardens Theater presents this powerful new work by playwright Karen Hartman, which tells a tragic yet ultimately heartfelt story about a deep friendship during a devastating chapter of medical and queer history.

More information at

Under the leadership of Artistic Director Chay Yew, Victory Gardens is dedicated to artistic excellence while creating a vital, contemporary American Theater that is accessible and relevant to all people through productions of challenging new plays and musicals. Victory Gardens Theater is committed to the development, production and support of new plays that has been the mission of the theater since its founding, set forth by Dennis Za?ek, Marcelle McVay, and the original founders of Victory Gardens Theater.

Victory Gardens Theater is a leader in developing and producing new theater work and cultivating an inclusive Chicago theater community. Victory Gardens' core strengths are nurturing and producing dynamic and inspiring new plays, reflecting the diversity of our city's and nation's culture through engaging diverse communities, and in partnership with Chicago Public Schools, bringing art and culture to our city's active student population.

Since its founding in 1974, the company has produced more world premieres than any other Chicago theater, a commitment recognized nationally when Victory Gardens received the 2001 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre. Located in the Lincoln Park neighborhood, Victory Gardens Biograph Theater includes the Za?ek-McVay Theater, a state-of-the-art 259-seat mainstage and the 109-seat studio theater on the second floor, named the Richard Christiansen Theater.

Victory Gardens Ensemble Playwrights include Luis Alfaro, Philip Dawkins, Marcus Gardley, Ike Holter, Samuel D. Hunter, Naomi Iizuka, Tanya Saracho and Laura Schellhardt. Each playwright has a seven-year residency at Victory Gardens Theater.

The Playwrights Ensemble Alumni includes Claudia Allen, Lonnie Carter, Steve Carter, Gloria Bond Clunie, Dean Corrin, Nilo Cruz, Joel Drake Johnson, John Logan, Nicholas Patricca, Douglas Post, James Sherman, Charles Smith, Jeffrey Sweet and Kristine Thatcher.

For more information about Victory Gardens, visit Follow us on Facebook at, Twitter @VictoryGardens and Instagram at

This is the first exhibition to explore how the AIDS crisis forever changed American art. Since the first reports of mysterious illnesses in the early 1980s, HIV and AIDS have touched nearly every American in some way, and operated as an undeniable, though often unacknowledged, force in shaping politics, medicine, culture and society. While acknowledging and honoring the enormous anger, loss and grief generated by the epidemic, the exhibition refutes the narrative that AIDS is only a tragic tangent in American art. Instead, Art AIDS America offers a story of resilience and beauty revealed through the visual arts, and of the communities that gathered to bring hope and change in the face of a devastating disease.

The Alphawood Foundation, a Chicago-based, grant-making private foundation working for an equitable, just and humane society, is proudly presenting Art AIDS America here. Each year the Foundation awards grants to organizations, primarily in the areas of advocacy, architecture and preservation, the arts and arts education, promotion and protection of the rights of LGBT citizens and people living with HIV/AIDS, and other human and civil rights.

Starting December 1, Art AIDS America Chicago will be open Wednesdays and Thursdays from 11am - 8pm, and Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 11am -6pm. Admission to the Alphawood Gallery is free; however, to ensure entry, timed admission passes may be reserved starting October 17 by visiting Walk-ups will be available on a limited basis.

The Gallery is conveniently located at 2401 N. Halsted in Chicago near the CTA Fullerton 'L' stop, as well as several CTA bus routes. Limited free parking is available in an adjacent parking lot, along with more plentiful metered street parking and garage parking nearby.

For more information and updates, visit

Center on Halsted is the Midwest's most comprehensive community center dedicated to building and strengthening the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) community of Chicagoland. Impacting the lives of approximately 35,000 LGBTQ individuals a year through social services and community programs, Center on Halsted offers youth and senior programming, behavior health services, HIV testing, anti-violence work, and educational programming such as GED. Additionally, thousands of individuals join us in basketball, volleyball, hockey, performance art, and music. Center on Halsted is located in the heart of Chicago's Lakeview Neighborhood. For more information, visit

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