The Ice Stars
Find four new stories on the website for STORIES: The AIDS Monument

FAM Update from the Board Chair, 2023 2Q

Dear Friends:

I hope you’ve had a good start to your summer.



I wanted to give you a further update on the construction process for the Monument.

The architecture firm LPA continues the process of creating engineered drawings and final construction documents for the Monument. LPA has submitted engineered drawings to The City of West Hollywood for the Traces (the tall bronze pillars, a mock-up of which is pictured below, that form the heart of the Monument).

We hope to have LPA’s construction drawings for the entire Monument by mid-August 2023, at which point FAM and the City Staff working on the Monument will present them to the City’s Arts & Cultural Affairs Committee for approval.

Thereafter, the City Staff will create a new RFP seeking contractors to bid for the management of the fabrication and installation of the entire Monument, and that RFP would be presented to the City Council for approval. Once approved, the RFP will be sent out to prospective contractors.  We hope that RFP will be sent out in the last quarter of 2023.

In summary, we are roughly on-schedule in terms of the estimated timeline described in our last FAM newsletter from 1st Quarter 2023.  If this approximate timeline holds up, we should have a contractor hired in late 2023 or early 2024.  Construction of the Monument is estimated to take 10-14 months after hiring the contractor, which means the Monument would be completed by early-to-mid 2025.  Fingers and toes crossed!


While the construction process unfolds, FAM is staying busy gathering stories, which are housed on our website and will be available to visitors of the Monument.

Matt Bomer’s recording of the front-page news story about Rock Hudson is now available.

You can also hear Sue Scheibler’s remembrance of caring for a dear, dying friend, a story we first heard at our last World AIDS Day STORIES Circle event.

Social Media update:

Instagram:  We posted seven (7) new videos on Instagram.

  • During Pride Month, two videos answered the questions “What does Pride mean to you?“ and “What are you proud of?
  • Thirty-one years after the release of the movie Sister Act, we released Whoopi Goldberg’s tribute to film’s director Emile Ardolino.
  • In conjunction with the release of the new Little Mermaid movie, we posted Alan Menken’s story about his musical partner, the late lyricist Howard Ashman which included their work on the original 1989 version.
  • On Mother’s Day, we posted Crystal Gamet’s beautiful story about the challenging life of her mother, Debbie Lynn Kellner.
  • Twenty years after the passing of Tony Award and Emmy Award winning actor Michael Jeter, we shared Annette Bening’s remembrance of her co-star on Open Range.
  • Finally, we re-posted Dominique Jackson’s story about Angie Xtravaganza, mother of the House of Xtravaganza, on the 30th anniversary of Angie’s death.


TikTok:  In addition to the IG posts, we were also very active on TikTok.

Since launching our TikTok page earlier this year, we have quickly grown our audience to reach 2,043 followers.

  • On May 25, FAM partnered with REACH LA for “Let’s Talk About It!”, a STORIES Circle at REACH LA’s downtown offices for young people18-35 years of age, largely from communities of color.  Those young people shared their stories about how their lives have been impacted by HIV/AIDS.  We heard a powerful, inspiring story from Jamar Rogers (pictured), The Voice Season 2 contestant who is openly HIV positive and works as a meditation teacher and musician. Videos of the event (both the full event and a shorter “highlights” video), are on FAM’s website.

and non-binary community at The Connie Norman Transgender Empowerment Center (CONOTEC). The event was co-hosted by CONOTEC and Flux, with additional financial support from the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF).  Melody Torres, FLUX’s National Director of Health and Wellness, was our featured speaker. We closed out the event with two songs from the Trans Chorus of Los Angeles.  Videos from this event are being edited and will appear on our website soon.


Warm wishes for a summer filled with fun and sunshine!