World AIDS Day event is Dec. 1

The World AIDS Day Concert is Dec. 1 at 4 p.m. at the International Quilt Museum.
The World AIDS Day Concert is Dec. 1 at 4 p.m. at the International Quilt Museum.

World AIDS Day event is Dec. 1

calendar icon16 Nov 2023    

Lincoln, Neb.—The Glenn Korff School of Music, in collaboration with the UNL Gender and Sexuality Center, University of Nebraska Medical Center and International Quilt Museum, is organizing a special World AIDS Day Concert on Friday, Dec. 1 from 4-6 p.m. at the International Quilt Museum. The concert is free and open to the public.

This event stands as a powerful tribute to honor those affected by AIDS and promote awareness of ongoing research and support and is made possible through support from the Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts and the UNL Faculty Senate Convocations Grant.

The event will feature a performance of collected and uncollected works from “The AIDS Quilt Songbook” performed by Hanrahan, guest artists Susan Hurley, Deborah Popham, Marcy McKee and William Reber, and students from the Glenn Korff School of Music.

In addition to the performance, there will be a presentation on the treatment and prevention research by Dr. Benson Edagwa, a researcher and associate professor at the University of Nebraska Medical Center; a panel from the original NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt on display; and a free-will donation to support the Lincoln Chapter of the Nebraska AIDS Project.

This event is a partnership between the Glenn Korff School of Music, Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts, the International Quilt Museum, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Nebraska AIDS Project and the UNL Gender and Sexuality Center.

Hanrahan was inspired to organize this event after hearing a lecture-recital on the AIDS Quilt Songbook by Hurley, Popham and McKee at the International Congress of Voice Teachers in Vienna, Austria.

The AIDS Quilt Songbook is an ongoing, collaborative song-cycle originally founded by baritone William Parker that responds to the stigma, ignorance and grief caused by the spread of HIV/AIDS. It premiered in 1992 at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall in New York City. The original 18-song songbook included compositions by William Bolcom, Libby Larsen and John Musto. Several dozen more songs have since been added by more composers. It is a companion work to the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt, a 54-ton tapestry that is a living memorial and celebration of the lives of people lost to the AIDS pandemic.

“I just thought these are beautiful songs,” he said. “What spurred in my mind was we don’t hear about AIDS so much anymore. I thought to myself, is there a way that we could give back or engage the community and remind them that this group of people still exist, they still suffer, they still have fears, they still live with the disease.”

Hurley, who is associate professor of voice at Mississippi University for Women, is the founding artistic director of an AIDS Quilt Songbook benefit concert series in Phoenix, Arizona. She says the event in Lincoln is important to both honor the past and educate for the future.

“We really do want to honor and empower people who are living with HIV,” she said. “It’s important to keep the stories going because we learn from stories, and I think we sometimes forget history. We want to support, honor and memorialize those we lost and what we lost culturally as well. It’s also important to share the information as it is relevant now. We have a generation of adults, many of whom have not been taught this history. It’s important or all people to know about it because any one of us could become HIV positive at any time, but particularly young people who have not heard the information before. These wonderful songs can start a conversation.”

Hanrahan hopes people attend the interdisciplinary event.

“How often do you get to go to a concert that mixes music performance with visual arts and science research?” he said. “It will be fully engaging—mind, body and soul."

The International Quilt Museum is located at 33rd and Holdrege streets on the university’s East Campus. The entrance is located off of 33rd street.

About the Glenn Korff School of Music
The Glenn Korff School of Music aspires to be a global hub where diverse students collaborate in a nurturing and inclusive setting, focusing on music and dance. Committed to enriching the human experience, the school melds education, creative activity, and research, aiming to connect Nebraska to the world while preparing students for vibrant arts-centered careers and lives.

About the Gender and Sexuality Center
The Gender and Sexuality Center at UNL, originating from the merger of the LGBTQA+ Center and Women's Center in 2023, strives to offer intersectional programming, education, and resources that address the needs of students, emphasizing the confluence of gender, sexuality, and other social identities. Rooted in student activism from the 1970s, the center has continuously evolved, advocating for gender equity, social justice, and community engagement while fostering student success and leadership.

About the University of Nebraska Medical Center
Nebraska Medicine and UNMC are dedicated to pioneering advancements in health through exceptional educational programs, groundbreaking research, and outstanding patient care, with a rich history dating back to 1869. Led by Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, MD, our diverse leadership confronts global health challenges, including Ebola and COVID-19, while also emphasizing community engagement through clinics, screenings, and distance education.

About the International Quilt Museum
The International Quilt Museum, located on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's East Campus, boasts the world's most extensive publicly held quilt collection, showcasing pieces from the early 1700s through present day and representing over 60 countries. Emphasizing diversity and inclusion, the museum collaborates with leading museum associations and offers special programs, including free admission for military families during specific periods.

About the Nebraska AIDS Project
Founded in 1984, the Nebraska AIDS Project (NAP) is a unique community-based organization dedicated to combating HIV/AIDS and its associated stigma across Nebraska, parts of Iowa, and Wyoming through education, supportive services, and advocacy. With a diverse team, including a Board of Directors and various staff members, NAP stands as a beacon of support, emphasizing confidentiality and community engagement.