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Category: News

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Profiles in Leadership: Marc Ware

August 20, 2019


At STORIES: The AIDS Monument we’d like our supporters to become better acquainted with our team of dedicated board members and other volunteers who are making The AIDS Monument possible. This month we feature board member, Marc Ware, former CEO of Hot Cotton, in a brief but moving interview.

Why did you join STORIES: The AIDS Monument Board of Directors?
MW: I joined the Board of Directors as a way to honor the many friends I lost to AIDS. I feel it’s the responsibility of the survivors to tell the STORIES of the people that were taken from us.
What is your personal connection to HIV/AIDS?
MW: My partner succumbed to the disease 25 years ago. It’s emotionally draining to relive those dark days but it’s also important that we never forget them. I stand on the shoulders of the friends that I lost and carry their dreams in my heart.
What is one element of the AIDS Monument that you want the public to know?
MW: The AIDS Monument is a place where we can acknowledge, honor, and memorialize our loved ones. There will be areas where we can reflect on the past and feel the power of a community coming together in crisis.
Why is this project important for West Hollywood/Los Angeles?
MW: AIDS was a global pandemic and I feel West Hollywood was a leader in addressing the needs of the men and women who fought for their lives.
If you could communicate in one sentence why the AIDS Monument is important what would you say?
MW: The AIDS Monument is a place where our hearts can share in a chorus of remembrance.

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Making Connections with Other AIDS Memorials

August 20, 2019


Last month I had the great pleasure of meeting John Cunningham, executive director of the National AIDS Memorial Grove in San Francisco. The beautiful 10-acre site in Golden Gate Park became a federally-designated national memorial in 1996, making it one of the oldest AIDS memorials in the country. John and some of his board and staff were delightful hosts. We talked about our shared missions as AIDS memorials, and began to brainstorm ways we might support and promote each other’s work in the future. While at The Grove, I felt lucky to participate in their Community Volunteer Work Day. I, along with over 100 other volunteers, spent the morning helping lay mulch, pull weeds, scrub stones, clear debris, and plant new trees and shrubs. Being connected to nature while tending to this serene section of the park which serves as a memorial to the thousands that died of HIV/AIDS in the Bay Area was a moving and powerful experience. I’d like to thank John Cunningham and his team for bringing community together to remember lost loved ones and to remind us why this work is still vitally important. 

I have, in recent weeks, also connected with leaders of other memorials around the country including Dave Harper, the new executive director of the New York City AIDS Memorial, Jason Plourde, the Project Manager of the forthcoming AIDS Memorial Pathway in Seattle, and my local colleague and friend, Richard Zaldivar, of The Wall Las Memorias. In our positions we are all stewards of a painful history creating spaces for remembrance, celebration and education. I’m happy to know there’s a growing community of support for AIDS memorials. When STORIES: The AIDS Monument opens in 2021, we will be stronger by the ties that bind us to these other sacred sites.

Interested in learning about other AIDS Memorials? Check out this article by AIDS scholar, Theodore Kerr, about how we memorialize AIDS in the midst of an ongoing HIV epidemic.

-Tony Valenzuela, Executive Director

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Photo19: A Benefit to Support STORIES: The AIDS Monument

August 20, 2019


On June 6th, 2019, the Leica Gallery Los Angeles hosted Photo19: A Photo Auction to benefit STORIES: The AIDS Monument. It was an extraordinary collection of photographs that included works from Herb Ritts, Firooz Zahedi, Eric Garcetti, and Norman Seeff. Thanks to our generous guests, STORIES: The AIDS Monument raised over $110,000! A special thanks to our sponsors Humphry Slocombe, Atlantis, Four Seasons, Alaska Airlines, Maestro Dobel, TodayTix, and Paddle8.

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LA Pride 2019

August 20, 2019


This year for LA Pride, STORIES: The AIDS Monument celebrated Pride in style with new merchandise and a photo booth by S’more Play! Hundreds of people stopped by to tell us their AIDS-related stories which we’re currently featuring on our social media. Thank you to all our community members, donors, and LA Pride for making this year’s festival one that we’ll never forget. If you want to check-out some of the stories we collected at pride follow us on Facebook or Instagram. Do you have a story about how HIV/AIDS has impacted your life? Would you like to be featured on our social media or be involved in future programming? Please message us directly at info@aidsmonument.org.

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Watch the Award-Winning The Unit: Lessons on Living & Dying

May 13, 2019


The Unit: Lessons on Living & Dying

We invite you to see the critically acclaimed film The Unit: Lessons on Living and Dying, a short documentary feature directed by STORIES Board Member and filmmaker, Peggy Callahan.

Throughout much of the 80’s and 90’s, there was a strong dedicated team of individuals who devoted themselves to treating and caring for patients who otherwise would have gone untreated. This short film celebrates those who worked on this unit and educates us about the heroes who stepped up when much of the world stepped away.

The Unit has received numerous accolades including from Best Short of 2018, Impact Docs, the Independent Shorts Awards, the Mindfield Film Festival Los Angeles, Accolade Competition, Indie Short Fest, and the Queen Palm International Film Festival.

WATCH NOW

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Spring 2019 Executive Director’s Note

May 12, 2019


 

Rendering of STORIES: The AIDS Monument

Dear Friends,

One of the most frequent questions I’m asked as FAM’s Executive Director is When is the Monument going to be finished? Here’s an update on the progress so far.

STORIES: The AIDS Monument will be the very last section completed in the major renovation currently underway at West Hollywood Park. To be located along San Vicente Boulevard just north of the steps of West Hollywood library, the Monument will stand where the old red brick recreation center now sits. The park construction timeline provided to FAM by the City of West Hollywood has us breaking ground in summer or fall of 2020. A major Dedication event for STORIES: The AIDS Monument is planned for early to mid-2021. It’s important to note that delays are common with large scale construction projects. While we believe groundbreaking and construction of the Monument are on the horizon, unforeseen delays could push our Dedication slightly further out. I’ll continue to share progress about the Monument’s construction in future newsletters.

Last month at a STORIESTelling event we hosted at NeueHouse, a number of prominent industry leaders gathered to talk about the impact of HIV/AIDS on Hollywood from the early days of the epidemic to the present. The conversation about films, documentaries, and TV shows that featured AIDS storylines brought back powerful memories. In 1985, when I was in the 11th grade, I locked myself in my bedroom to watch An Early Frost, the first major film about AIDS to air on network television. Starring Aidan Quinn, the Emmy-winning film is about a closeted gay man who learns he has AIDS and decides to disclose his homosexuality and his illness to his family. It was terrifying and devastating to watch as a 16 year old. And yet, that movie was profoundly important to me as a closeted gay high school student. Although I had never met an openly gay person much less anyone with AIDS in suburban 1980’s San Diego, in that film I could see a version of my future life even if some of it seemed bleak. My family is Mexican and Italian, not anglo like the film’s protagonist, but I still identified with his plight. That’s the power of the arts, of film and TV. That’s the power of stories. It was, therefore, a great honor to have the co-writer of An Early Frost, Daniel Lipman, among the panelists. I was able to tell Mr. Lipman that his film gave me a roadmap to navigate my percolating gay identity in the midst of the AIDS epidemic when before it I had none.

I invite you to learn more about our Hollywood & AIDS panel conversation here which, in addition to Mr. Lipman, also featured Lee Daniels, Nevin Dolcefino, Brain Graden, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Howard Rosenman, and Bruce Vilanch.

Approximately one year out from the Monument’s unveiling, FAM will be introducing a series of community engagement programs to inspire, educate and involve the citizens of West Hollywood and Los Angeles with STORIES. You’ll be hearing much more about FAM’s future programming later this year.

With much gratitude,

Tony Valenzuela Executive Director

 

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STORIES: The AIDS Monument Brunch in Hancock Park

May 12, 2019


On March 31, 2019, Mike Rose & Ruben Rodriguez hosted a brunch fundraiser at their beautiful Hancock Park home for STORIES: The AIDS Monument. Guests included Wilson Cruz and Adam Rippon who each spoke at length about the importance of The AIDS Monument for the community. At the end of their powerful calls-to-action, thanks to our generous guests, the Foundation raised over $120,000, which included a $50,000 match from the Herb Ritts Foundation. Among the guests who generously donated was Jane Lynch who gave $25,000 and later encouraged her social media followers to support as well. See Jane’s Instagram post here

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STORIESTelling: A Conversation on Hollywood & HIV/AIDS

May 12, 2019


On April 10th, 2019 STORIES: The AIDS Monument hosted STORIESTelling: Hollywood & AIDS. The panel discussion featured industry leaders in conversation about Hollywood’s response to HIV/AIDS and how HIV/AIDS impacted Hollywood. We were honored to have Lee Daniels, Nevin Dolcefino, Brian Graden, Daniel Lipman, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Howard Rosenman, and Bruce Vilanch as our panelists with moderator Karl Schmid. Did you miss the event? No worries! We recorded it live on our Facebook page here.

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October 2018 Newsletter

October 25, 2018


Stories
October 2018
Monument Upon Arrival
  
   FAM Board of Directors
 
   Mark Lehman, Chair
   Irwin Rappaport, Vice-Chair
   Craig Dougherty, Treasurer
   J. Hobart, Secretary
 
   Bobby Benveniste
   Bruce Brown
   Peggy Callahan
Rogerio Carvalheiro
   Bobby Heller
   Mark Itkin
   Jason H. Kennedy
   Irene Kim, MD
   Jorge Mellado
   Michael Nutt
   Stephen Simon
   Dimple Thakkar
   Marc Ware
   Todd Williamson
  
   John Gile
   Development Consultant
Special Thanks
 
Foundation for The AIDS Monument is extremely grateful and honored to recognize our naming sponsors who have donated or pledged to donate $100,000 or more.
Naming Sponsors
Cedars-Sinai
Medical Center Foundation

Visit West Hollywood

County of Los Angeles
State of California
 


We’d also like to offer a very special thank you to those who have donated or pledged to donate $25,000 or more.
AIDS Healthcare Foundation
Patricia Anawalt
Neal Baer
Larry Block
Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS
Thomas Buttgenbach Foundation
Bruce Brown
Takashi Cheng
Enrique Cheng-Robles, MD
Nevin Dolcefino
Craig Dougherty & Tony Leonhardt
GUESS Foundation
Bobby Heller & Charly Shahin
Kevin Huvane
Mark Itkin & Bradley Bayou
Elton John AIDS Foundation
Kathy Griffin
Andrew J. Kuehn Jr. Foundation
Eugene LaPietra Foundation
Mark Lehman & Gabriel Pacheco
Bryan Lourd & Bruce Bozzi
MAC AIDS Fund
Tom R. McClay & Mike Feddersen
Jerome Murray & Jason Gallaher
Jonathan Murray & Harvey Reese
Irwin Rappaport
Herb Ritts Foundation
Mike Rose & Ruben Rodriguez
The Shulman Family Foundation
Sharon Stone
Bruce Stuart
Ruth Tittle
Marc Ware
Silva Watson Moonwalk Fund
Wells Fargo
Trammell Whitfield
J & Mary Wilberding-Hobart
Kevin W. Williams
______________________________
Foundation for The AIDS Monument was recently named a Gold GuideStar Nonprofit participant!
This leading symbol of nonprofit transparency and accountability is presented by GuideStar, the world’s largest source of nonprofit information.
Check out our GuideStar Nonprofit Profile and tell us what you think!
________________________
Hold a Fundraiser on Facebook for Stories: The AIDS Monument
Please consider raising money to benefit Stories: The AIDS Monument. If you’d like to create a Facebook fundraiser for us, please follow the instructions below:
1. Visit our Facebook Fundraising Page and select +Raise Money
2. The Basics – Choose how much you would like to raise (i.e. $1,000) and when the fundraiser should end.
3. Tell Your Story – Here you can change the title of the fundraiser and add in any message you want to include as to why you are fundraising for us!
4. After completing your message, click create to include the pre-set cover photo and create your fundraiser!
5. Invite all of your friends to donate and help you reach your goal!
If you are having difficulty creating a fundraiser for us, please watch this tutorial video!
Thank you for supporting Stories: The AIDS Monument!
_____________ 
FOLLOW US:
Tony Valenzuela is Named Executive Director of
The Foundation for The AIDS Monument
 
The Board of Directors of The Foundation for The AIDS Monument (FAM) is pleased to announce that Tony Valenzuela has been selected to be the organization’s next Executive Director.
 
Valenzuela is a longtime community activist and nonprofit leader in LGBTQ, HIV/AIDS, and arts communities. He most recently served as Executive Director of Lambda Literary for nine years where he presided over significant revenue and programmatic growth.
 
Tony Valenzuela
“We’re thrilled that Tony Valenzuela has come on board as our new Executive Director at this crucial time for our organization,” said Board of Directors Chair, Mark Lehman. “In the upcoming year Tony will lead us through the final design development of the AIDS Monument art piece, work with us to continue our remarkable fundraising efforts, and marshal our resources to flesh out and expand the development and delivery of online and on-site content and programming. Tony brings with him a unique set of management skills, vast experience in the non-profit arena, and expansive contacts in and connections with the local and national HIV/AIDS community that will be great assets for FAM going forward. I personally look forward to working hand in hand with Tony to realize FAM’s and West Hollywood’s dreams for what the AIDS Monument will be.”
 
Previously Mr. Valenzuela had worked at Gay and Lesbian Adolescent Social Services in Los Angeles, and the LGBTQ Community Center in San Diego. Since the 1990’s he has been a leader in the gay men’s health and HIV/AIDS communities. 
 
“No issue has shaped my life as profoundly as the AIDS epidemic,” said Valenzuela. “Today, as we reflect on the darkest years of the 1980’s and 90’s and continue to grapple with an intractable epidemic, especially in communities of color, I consider it paramount to understand where we’ve been and where we’re going, to honor the legacies of the hundreds of thousands of brilliant souls lost to the plague in the U.S., and to educate the public about the history of the epidemic so that we never face a similar calamity again.”
 
STORIES: The AIDS Monument will memorialize the devastation of AIDS on our nation, and will honor the courage of activists, caregivers, and community leaders, while creating community programming to address the cultural impact of the AIDS crisis. The Monument will be in West Hollywood Park, the most prominent public space in the City. It will be a work of art with global significance, and an iconic landmark for the City.
The AIDS Monument Fundraising Updates
We are pleased to announce that the State of California awarded a $250,000 grant to help build the Monument, thanks to the dedicated advocacy and commitment of California State Senator Ben Allen. Additionally, Assembly Member Richard Bloom helped carry the measure through the State Assembly. Thanks to the advocacy efforts in Sacramento of our development consultant John Gile, former Executive Director Michael Ferrera, and Board member Stephen Simon, and numerous community partners who helped bring this forward. The grant was announced by Sen. Allen at a fundraising event on June 28th at the home of Mitch Hollander and Mike Mooney. The same night, John Gile announced that Academy Award, Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning producer and New York Giants Chairman Steve Tisch pledged a generous $100,000 donation. The Tisch family have been extraordinary philanthropists in the fight against AIDS since the very early days of the epidemic.  The event featured an emotional and entertaining speech from our honored guest and Council of Advisors member Sheryl Lee Ralph.  
 
Special thanks to Eric McCormack, star of Will & Grace for hosting a cocktail party at the home of Mark Itkin and Bradley Bayou. Eric and his wife Janet have been supporting the Monument since its inception and helped raise an additional $50,000 at this event thanks to the support of Takashi Cheng and Linda Janger, who both made leadership gifts to the Foundation, and many other donors that we proudly welcome to our Monument donor circle. 
 
We invite you to visit STORIES: The AIDS Monument’s refreshed website to share your stories, watch moving videos, and keep up with the ongoing progress of the AIDS Monument.
The Unit: Lessons on Living and Dying
On September 25th Cedars-Sinai and STORIES: The AIDS Monument hosted a screening of The Unit: Lessons on Living and Dying, a short documentary feature produced by STORIES Board Member Peggy Callahan.
Throughout much of the 80’s and 90’s, there was a strong dedicated team of individuals who devoted themselves to treating and caring for patients who otherwise would have gone untreated. This short film celebrates those who worked on this unit and educates us about the heroes who stepped up when much of the world stepped away. The evening was emceed by board member Jason Daley Kennedy, featured remarks by Cedars Chief Advancement Officer Art Ochoa, and concluded with a remarkable panel discussion, moderated by Peggy and featuring STORIES Advisory Council Member Dr. Michael Gottlieb, as well as Jennifer White-Gellar, Dee Dee Klute, Peter Anderson and Dr. Eric Daar, all of whom were featured in the documentary.
Look for more panel discussions and screenings in late 2018 and next year as we continue to tell your STORIES!
Please visit our website and make a donation at www.aidsmonument.org.
Foundation for The AIDS Monument is a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization.

 

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Start Fundraising on Facebook

January 22, 2018


Now it’s easier than ever to raise funds for us! Use the “Fundraiser” function on our Facebook page and create a Fundraiser today! It’s so simple, all you have to do is click this link: https://www.facebook.com/pg/TheAIDSMonument/fundraisers/

Latest News

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At STORIES: The AIDS Monument we’d like our supporters to become better acquainted with our team of dedicated board members and other volunteers who are making The AIDS Monument possible. This month we feature board member, Marc Ware, former CEO of Hot Cotton, in a brief but moving interview.

Why did you join STORIES: The AIDS Monument Board of Directors?
MW: I joined the Board of Directors as a way to honor the many friends I lost to AIDS. I feel it’s the responsibility of the survivors to tell the STORIES of the people that were taken from us.
What is your personal connection to HIV/AIDS?
MW: My partner succumbed to the disease 25 years ago. It’s emotionally draining to relive those dark days but it’s also important that we never forget them. I stand on the shoulders of the friends that I lost and carry their dreams in my heart.
What is one element of the AIDS Monument that you want the public to know?
MW: The AIDS Monument is a place where we can acknowledge, honor, and memorialize our loved ones. There will be areas where we can reflect on the past and feel the power of a community coming together in crisis.
Why is this project important for West Hollywood/Los Angeles?
MW: AIDS was a global pandemic and I feel West Hollywood was a leader in addressing the needs of the men and women who fought for their lives.
If you could communicate in one sentence why the AIDS Monument is important what would you say?
MW: The AIDS Monument is a place where our hearts can share in a chorus of remembrance.

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Last month I had the great pleasure of meeting John Cunningham, executive director of the National AIDS Memorial Grove in San Francisco. The beautiful 10-acre site in Golden Gate Park became a federally-designated national memorial in 1996, making it one of the oldest AIDS memorials in the country. John and some of his board and staff were delightful hosts. We talked about our shared missions as AIDS memorials, and began to brainstorm ways we might support and promote each other’s work in the future. While at The Grove, I felt lucky to participate in their Community Volunteer Work Day. I, along with over 100 other volunteers, spent the morning helping lay mulch, pull weeds, scrub stones, clear debris, and plant new trees and shrubs. Being connected to nature while tending to this serene section of the park which serves as a memorial to the thousands that died of HIV/AIDS in the Bay Area was a moving and powerful experience. I’d like to thank John Cunningham and his team for bringing community together to remember lost loved ones and to remind us why this work is still vitally important. 

I have, in recent weeks, also connected with leaders of other memorials around the country including Dave Harper, the new executive director of the New York City AIDS Memorial, Jason Plourde, the Project Manager of the forthcoming AIDS Memorial Pathway in Seattle, and my local colleague and friend, Richard Zaldivar, of The Wall Las Memorias. In our positions we are all stewards of a painful history creating spaces for remembrance, celebration and education. I’m happy to know there’s a growing community of support for AIDS memorials. When STORIES: The AIDS Monument opens in 2021, we will be stronger by the ties that bind us to these other sacred sites.

Interested in learning about other AIDS Memorials? Check out this article by AIDS scholar, Theodore Kerr, about how we memorialize AIDS in the midst of an ongoing HIV epidemic.

-Tony Valenzuela, Executive Director

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On June 6th, 2019, the Leica Gallery Los Angeles hosted Photo19: A Photo Auction to benefit STORIES: The AIDS Monument. It was an extraordinary collection of photographs that included works from Herb Ritts, Firooz Zahedi, Eric Garcetti, and Norman Seeff. Thanks to our generous guests, STORIES: The AIDS Monument raised over $110,000! A special thanks to our sponsors Humphry Slocombe, Atlantis, Four Seasons, Alaska Airlines, Maestro Dobel, TodayTix, and Paddle8.

Card image cap

The Unit: Lessons on Living & Dying

We invite you to see the critically acclaimed film The Unit: Lessons on Living and Dying, a short documentary feature directed by STORIES Board Member and filmmaker, Peggy Callahan.

Throughout much of the 80’s and 90’s, there was a strong dedicated team of individuals who devoted themselves to treating and caring for patients who otherwise would have gone untreated. This short film celebrates those who worked on this unit and educates us about the heroes who stepped up when much of the world stepped away.

The Unit has received numerous accolades including from Best Short of 2018, Impact Docs, the Independent Shorts Awards, the Mindfield Film Festival Los Angeles, Accolade Competition, Indie Short Fest, and the Queen Palm International Film Festival.

WATCH NOW

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Rendering of STORIES: The AIDS Monument

Dear Friends,

One of the most frequent questions I’m asked as FAM’s Executive Director is When is the Monument going to be finished? Here’s an update on the progress so far.

STORIES: The AIDS Monument will be the very last section completed in the major renovation currently underway at West Hollywood Park. To be located along San Vicente Boulevard just north of the steps of West Hollywood library, the Monument will stand where the old red brick recreation center now sits. The park construction timeline provided to FAM by the City of West Hollywood has us breaking ground in summer or fall of 2020. A major Dedication event for STORIES: The AIDS Monument is planned for early to mid-2021. It’s important to note that delays are common with large scale construction projects. While we believe groundbreaking and construction of the Monument are on the horizon, unforeseen delays could push our Dedication slightly further out. I’ll continue to share progress about the Monument’s construction in future newsletters.

Last month at a STORIESTelling event we hosted at NeueHouse, a number of prominent industry leaders gathered to talk about the impact of HIV/AIDS on Hollywood from the early days of the epidemic to the present. The conversation about films, documentaries, and TV shows that featured AIDS storylines brought back powerful memories. In 1985, when I was in the 11th grade, I locked myself in my bedroom to watch An Early Frost, the first major film about AIDS to air on network television. Starring Aidan Quinn, the Emmy-winning film is about a closeted gay man who learns he has AIDS and decides to disclose his homosexuality and his illness to his family. It was terrifying and devastating to watch as a 16 year old. And yet, that movie was profoundly important to me as a closeted gay high school student. Although I had never met an openly gay person much less anyone with AIDS in suburban 1980’s San Diego, in that film I could see a version of my future life even if some of it seemed bleak. My family is Mexican and Italian, not anglo like the film’s protagonist, but I still identified with his plight. That’s the power of the arts, of film and TV. That’s the power of stories. It was, therefore, a great honor to have the co-writer of An Early Frost, Daniel Lipman, among the panelists. I was able to tell Mr. Lipman that his film gave me a roadmap to navigate my percolating gay identity in the midst of the AIDS epidemic when before it I had none.

I invite you to learn more about our Hollywood & AIDS panel conversation here which, in addition to Mr. Lipman, also featured Lee Daniels, Nevin Dolcefino, Brain Graden, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Howard Rosenman, and Bruce Vilanch.

Approximately one year out from the Monument’s unveiling, FAM will be introducing a series of community engagement programs to inspire, educate and involve the citizens of West Hollywood and Los Angeles with STORIES. You’ll be hearing much more about FAM’s future programming later this year.

With much gratitude,

Tony Valenzuela Executive Director

 

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Stories
October 2018
Monument Upon Arrival
  
   FAM Board of Directors
 
   Mark Lehman, Chair
   Irwin Rappaport, Vice-Chair
   Craig Dougherty, Treasurer
   J. Hobart, Secretary
 
   Bobby Benveniste
   Bruce Brown
   Peggy Callahan
Rogerio Carvalheiro
   Bobby Heller
   Mark Itkin
   Jason H. Kennedy
   Irene Kim, MD
   Jorge Mellado
   Michael Nutt
   Stephen Simon
   Dimple Thakkar
   Marc Ware
   Todd Williamson
  
   John Gile
   Development Consultant
Special Thanks
 
Foundation for The AIDS Monument is extremely grateful and honored to recognize our naming sponsors who have donated or pledged to donate $100,000 or more.
Naming Sponsors
Cedars-Sinai
Medical Center Foundation

Visit West Hollywood

County of Los Angeles
State of California
 


We’d also like to offer a very special thank you to those who have donated or pledged to donate $25,000 or more.
AIDS Healthcare Foundation
Patricia Anawalt
Neal Baer
Larry Block
Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS
Thomas Buttgenbach Foundation
Bruce Brown
Takashi Cheng
Enrique Cheng-Robles, MD
Nevin Dolcefino
Craig Dougherty & Tony Leonhardt
GUESS Foundation
Bobby Heller & Charly Shahin
Kevin Huvane
Mark Itkin & Bradley Bayou
Elton John AIDS Foundation
Kathy Griffin
Andrew J. Kuehn Jr. Foundation
Eugene LaPietra Foundation
Mark Lehman & Gabriel Pacheco
Bryan Lourd & Bruce Bozzi
MAC AIDS Fund
Tom R. McClay & Mike Feddersen
Jerome Murray & Jason Gallaher
Jonathan Murray & Harvey Reese
Irwin Rappaport
Herb Ritts Foundation
Mike Rose & Ruben Rodriguez
The Shulman Family Foundation
Sharon Stone
Bruce Stuart
Ruth Tittle
Marc Ware
Silva Watson Moonwalk Fund
Wells Fargo
Trammell Whitfield
J & Mary Wilberding-Hobart
Kevin W. Williams
______________________________
Foundation for The AIDS Monument was recently named a Gold GuideStar Nonprofit participant!
This leading symbol of nonprofit transparency and accountability is presented by GuideStar, the world’s largest source of nonprofit information.
Check out our GuideStar Nonprofit Profile and tell us what you think!
________________________
Hold a Fundraiser on Facebook for Stories: The AIDS Monument
Please consider raising money to benefit Stories: The AIDS Monument. If you’d like to create a Facebook fundraiser for us, please follow the instructions below:
1. Visit our Facebook Fundraising Page and select +Raise Money
2. The Basics – Choose how much you would like to raise (i.e. $1,000) and when the fundraiser should end.
3. Tell Your Story – Here you can change the title of the fundraiser and add in any message you want to include as to why you are fundraising for us!
4. After completing your message, click create to include the pre-set cover photo and create your fundraiser!
5. Invite all of your friends to donate and help you reach your goal!
If you are having difficulty creating a fundraiser for us, please watch this tutorial video!
Thank you for supporting Stories: The AIDS Monument!
_____________ 
FOLLOW US:
Tony Valenzuela is Named Executive Director of
The Foundation for The AIDS Monument
 
The Board of Directors of The Foundation for The AIDS Monument (FAM) is pleased to announce that Tony Valenzuela has been selected to be the organization’s next Executive Director.
 
Valenzuela is a longtime community activist and nonprofit leader in LGBTQ, HIV/AIDS, and arts communities. He most recently served as Executive Director of Lambda Literary for nine years where he presided over significant revenue and programmatic growth.
 
Tony Valenzuela
“We’re thrilled that Tony Valenzuela has come on board as our new Executive Director at this crucial time for our organization,” said Board of Directors Chair, Mark Lehman. “In the upcoming year Tony will lead us through the final design development of the AIDS Monument art piece, work with us to continue our remarkable fundraising efforts, and marshal our resources to flesh out and expand the development and delivery of online and on-site content and programming. Tony brings with him a unique set of management skills, vast experience in the non-profit arena, and expansive contacts in and connections with the local and national HIV/AIDS community that will be great assets for FAM going forward. I personally look forward to working hand in hand with Tony to realize FAM’s and West Hollywood’s dreams for what the AIDS Monument will be.”
 
Previously Mr. Valenzuela had worked at Gay and Lesbian Adolescent Social Services in Los Angeles, and the LGBTQ Community Center in San Diego. Since the 1990’s he has been a leader in the gay men’s health and HIV/AIDS communities. 
 
“No issue has shaped my life as profoundly as the AIDS epidemic,” said Valenzuela. “Today, as we reflect on the darkest years of the 1980’s and 90’s and continue to grapple with an intractable epidemic, especially in communities of color, I consider it paramount to understand where we’ve been and where we’re going, to honor the legacies of the hundreds of thousands of brilliant souls lost to the plague in the U.S., and to educate the public about the history of the epidemic so that we never face a similar calamity again.”
 
STORIES: The AIDS Monument will memorialize the devastation of AIDS on our nation, and will honor the courage of activists, caregivers, and community leaders, while creating community programming to address the cultural impact of the AIDS crisis. The Monument will be in West Hollywood Park, the most prominent public space in the City. It will be a work of art with global significance, and an iconic landmark for the City.
The AIDS Monument Fundraising Updates
We are pleased to announce that the State of California awarded a $250,000 grant to help build the Monument, thanks to the dedicated advocacy and commitment of California State Senator Ben Allen. Additionally, Assembly Member Richard Bloom helped carry the measure through the State Assembly. Thanks to the advocacy efforts in Sacramento of our development consultant John Gile, former Executive Director Michael Ferrera, and Board member Stephen Simon, and numerous community partners who helped bring this forward. The grant was announced by Sen. Allen at a fundraising event on June 28th at the home of Mitch Hollander and Mike Mooney. The same night, John Gile announced that Academy Award, Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning producer and New York Giants Chairman Steve Tisch pledged a generous $100,000 donation. The Tisch family have been extraordinary philanthropists in the fight against AIDS since the very early days of the epidemic.  The event featured an emotional and entertaining speech from our honored guest and Council of Advisors member Sheryl Lee Ralph.  
 
Special thanks to Eric McCormack, star of Will & Grace for hosting a cocktail party at the home of Mark Itkin and Bradley Bayou. Eric and his wife Janet have been supporting the Monument since its inception and helped raise an additional $50,000 at this event thanks to the support of Takashi Cheng and Linda Janger, who both made leadership gifts to the Foundation, and many other donors that we proudly welcome to our Monument donor circle. 
 
We invite you to visit STORIES: The AIDS Monument’s refreshed website to share your stories, watch moving videos, and keep up with the ongoing progress of the AIDS Monument.
The Unit: Lessons on Living and Dying
On September 25th Cedars-Sinai and STORIES: The AIDS Monument hosted a screening of The Unit: Lessons on Living and Dying, a short documentary feature produced by STORIES Board Member Peggy Callahan.
Throughout much of the 80’s and 90’s, there was a strong dedicated team of individuals who devoted themselves to treating and caring for patients who otherwise would have gone untreated. This short film celebrates those who worked on this unit and educates us about the heroes who stepped up when much of the world stepped away. The evening was emceed by board member Jason Daley Kennedy, featured remarks by Cedars Chief Advancement Officer Art Ochoa, and concluded with a remarkable panel discussion, moderated by Peggy and featuring STORIES Advisory Council Member Dr. Michael Gottlieb, as well as Jennifer White-Gellar, Dee Dee Klute, Peter Anderson and Dr. Eric Daar, all of whom were featured in the documentary.
Look for more panel discussions and screenings in late 2018 and next year as we continue to tell your STORIES!
Please visit our website and make a donation at www.aidsmonument.org.
Foundation for The AIDS Monument is a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization.