Day With(out) Art
Also known as
Day Without Art (1989 to 1997)
annually on December 1st (since 1989)
VisualAIDS in 1989
Arts & Crafts
Awareness & Advocacy
Health & Wellness
On Day Without Art, art institutions and other institutions raise awareness about AIDS, remember those who have died of the disease, and inspire positive action. Care for those living with AIDS is encouraged, and a cure for the disease is sought. VisualAIDS of New York City created Day Without Art in 1989. They created it to coincide with World AIDS Day, which was started the year prior by the World Health Organization.
At its outset, Day Without Art was a national day of mourning and action in response to the AIDS crisis. About 800 arts organizations, galleries, museums, and AIDS groups in the United States took part. Museums shut down and sent staff to volunteer at AIDS services, and they sponsored special exhibits about AIDS. They made available information about HIV and safer sex and produced exhibits, readings, memorials, performances, and programs.
Day Without Art now is a global event. By the mid-nineties, 8,000 museums, galleries, art centers, libraries, high schools, colleges, and AIDS service organizations around the world were participating. In 1998, Day Without Art became Day With(out) Art, the parenthesis added "to highlight the ongoing inclusion of art projects focused on the AIDS pandemic, and to encourage programming of artists living with HIV." Since 2010, Visual AIDS has worked with artists and filmmakers to distribute videos for the day to museums, arts institutions, schools, and AIDS organizations. The fight to defeat AIDS goes on.
How to Observe Day With(out) Art
- Take part in a Day Without Art event at a location like a museum or art gallery.
- Watch a film or read a book about HIV and AIDS. Share with others what you learn, to raise awareness about the disease.
- Help out someone you know who has AIDS.
- Pay tribute to someone you knew who died of AIDS.