Regardless of how far back into U.S. history you go, inequality and injustice are present. It is up to us as individuals to acknowledge these wrong doings and face them head on. The AIDS epidemic was a tragic moment in our history, many lives were lost, and much time was wasted. However, AIDS is still an ongoing problem and although greatly reduced in size individuals are still dying from AIDS. The people most affected are still individuals in poverty and minority groups who lack proper resources and/or access to HIV/AIDS facilities.
We have come a long way since 1981 and have seen many artists emerge to bring awareness to AIDS. The ACT UP organization was ground shaking, forming protests that took place all over the country. SILENCE=DEATH is a message that still lives on in our society. The art ACT UP created demanded to be seen and it helped bring awareness and finding to finding a cure for HIV/AIDS. Plays like “The Normal Heart” played on individuals emotions, creating empathy and passion to fix this inequality. A softer approach that was just as affective.
In 1990, the Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency Act (CARE Act) was created. This program provided medical care and support services for uninsured individuals infected with HIV in the United States. Separated into five parts the program provides grants to local community-based organizations, for medical and support services, to improve quality and availability of HIV Healthcare among other things. It also provided $220.5 million in federal funds for HIV based care and treatment services.
We look at art as an escape from reality or as a form of entertainment. When you create art that comments and exposes society you force your viewers to face the truth that you have provided. Art is a powerful instrument today more so than ever. Social media has provided you simple access to millions of individuals making it easier than ever to spread our message and show your act. With many platforms we have opportunities Gran Fury, Langston Hughes and Neil Greenberg did not. With this said we should remember how significant the use of art is in our society and use it to bring change.