10,000 People Participate in AIDS Walk San Francisco

The 32nd annual Aids Walk San Francisco drew 10,000 people to Robin Williams meadow and to hoof it more than six miles to raise awareness, and funds for HIV/AIDS research and programs. One walker said everyone needs to realize that HIV infections are still happening in America. She's also walking today to remember a friend.


One of the primary beneficiaries of the aids walk fundraiser is the nonprofit ACRIA. It's the world's leading research organization on HIV and aging. 

"We're going to expand our research efforts so we can better understand the needs of our aging population with HIV,” said Kelsey Louie, executive director of ACRIA"

Today's survivors of the aids epidemic of the 1980s and 90s are mostly in their 60s. 

"In terms of long-term survivors, they're experiencing a unique set of needs: isolation, mental health, and needs to get back into the work force," Louie said.  

ACRIA says there are more than 40,000 new HIV infections in America. And those new infections have shifted away from gay men and to women.


Since 1987, the aids walk has raised more than $90 million for HIV programs in the bay area. The goal this year is to raise two million dollars. For complete coverage, visit here.


WWD: Jason Wu, Ross Bleckner Honored at ACRIA Holiday Dinner in New York

“We first met in the year 1206 B.C.,” kidded Peter Marino of his longstanding friendship with artist Ross Bleckner. The famed New York architect, shading his face behind a pair of jet-black aviators, joined the crowd who braved freezing temperatures Thursday night to support ACRIA’s annual holiday dinner.

Bleckner, who helped found the nonprofit in 1991 to research, educate and prevent HIV and AIDS, was among the evening’s honorees at the fund-raiser held at Cipriani 25 Broadway’s majestic Italian Renaissance-style building in lower Manhattan, which was originally built as the Cunard Line’s grand ticketing office.

“Tonight is [Ross’] night and I’m happy to be here for him,” remarked Calvin Klein who later stood in the center of the towering room to present his friend with ACRIA’s Founders Award. “He’s really passionate about this organization.”

Read the whole article in WWD here.

THR: Diane Kruger Toasts Jason Wu at ACRIA Holiday Dinner

...After a standing ovation, [Ross] Bleckner said he knew that people would look back on that time and ask, "Where were you then? What did you do to try to make things better?"

"Since we started this dinner 22 years ago, when it was just a few people in a restaurant somewhere in Chelsea, that did make things better," he said. "You did it by showing up here year after year, because you understood there is no true culture without empathy."

Full article in The Hollywood Reporter here

Vogue.com A Very Merry ACRIA Dinner With Diane Kruger, Jason Wu, and More

Visit Vogue.com here for the full article and slideshow

The weather outside was frightful last night but Cipriani Wall Street offered cozy respite for the guests of ACRIA’s 22nd annual holiday fundraising event. The dinner, awards presentation, and paddle-raise auction began with cocktails served around a towering, frosted Christmas tree. Guests, including Saskia de Brauw, Casey Fremont, Cordell Broadus, and Kelly Rutherford, gathered to honor four individuals and their significant contributions to HIV and AIDS awareness.

Guests then found their way to their tables, festively arranged with garlands, holly, and candles aplenty. First up, Raf Simons and Peter McGough took to the stage to honor Anne Collier and Matthew Higgs, followed by Diane Kruger who honored close friend Jason Wu, and, finally, Calvin Klein presented Ross Bleckner with his award.

Vogue.com: La Ligne Hosts a Miami Beachside Brunch for ACRIA Artists Ending AIDS Fund at GMHC

View story and slideshow on Vogue.com here

With a gentle breeze rolling in off the Atlantic, guests casually dined in the luxurious sand-set tent at Miami Beach’s Nautilus hotel for this year’s ACRIA Artists Ending AIDS Fund at GMHC brunch. Here, Meredith Melling and Valerie Macaulay, founders of stripe-driven womenswear brand La Ligne, showed off their artist-designed caftans—featuring the work of Katherine Bernhardt, Zoë Buckman, Ariel Dill, Barbara Nessim, Betty Tompkins, Anne Vieux, and Wendy White. Proceeds from the pieces benefit ACRIA’s young women’s program—and in fact the whole project was female powered.

As Champagne was poured, Benjamin Anderson Bashein, ACRIA’s executive director, explained that “we solicited artists that we thought would best fit the cause. They’re all female artists who did work that spoke to the issues that were important to them.” Melling, whose New York City–based brand is female founded and operated, added that it was the La Ligne team who decided upon the piece that the collaborators would embolden. “We thought we had the perfect item,” she told Vogue. “A caftan that we knew ACRIA’s network of artists could customize as if it were a canvas.”

Notable guests, including Luis Morais, Logan Horne, and Jeremy Kost, strolled in to browse the items and enjoy the ocean view, and Sixty Hotels cofounder and creative director Jason Pomeranc stopped in to show his support. During Art Basel, brunch has always been an opportunity to catch one’s breath—but at the La Ligne brunch it was done with social consciousness and a desire to support ACRIA and GMHC’s mission of realizing a world with AIDS. As Bashein made clear, “We were founded by folks in art, fashion, media, and design. This is always where we have drawn our support from. It made sense for us to have a presence here. It’s where our people are.” - David Graver

ACRIA & Saks Fifth Avenue Host Luncheon to Support LEAP for Girls

ACRIA’s Executive Director Benjamin Bashein, Saks Fifth Avenue SVP & Fashion Director Roopal Patel, and Julia Sherman, author of Salad for President: A Cookbook Inspired by Artists, hosted an intimate luncheon on May 23, 2017 celebrating ACRIA's Leadership Empowerment and Awareness Program (LEAP) for Girls. Part of ACRIA’s newly launched Love Heals Youth Education Program, LEAP for Girls trains a new generation of community educators and activists in East Harlem, Central Brooklyn, and the Bronx—NYC communities of color experiencing the highest incidence of HIV. LEAP for Girls equips young women by strengthening their leadership abilities—including public speaking, conflict resolution, and decision-making skills—and educating them about self-esteem, HIV prevention, and sexual health. To date, over 650 young women have graduated from LEAP for Girls who have in turn reached nearly 15,000 of their peers through community action projects. Additionally, by supporting LEAP for Girls alumnae as they go off to college—often the first in their family to do so—the program helps young women strengthen their sense of self. ACRIA’s expansion into the important field of youth education began in 2017 with the acquisition of Love Heals: the Alison Gertz Foundation for AIDS Education.

The three-course menu focused on seasonal salads will be designed by Julia Sherman, multimedia artist, photographer, blogger and, most recently, author of the newly published cookbook Salad For President: A Cookbook Inspired By Artists (Abrams Books, May 2017) containing more than 75 recipes with contributions and interviews by artists and creative professionals like William Wegman, Tauba Auerbach, Laurie Anderson, and Alice Waters. To learn more visit saladforpresident.com

To see more images of the event, click here

Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles Hosts Reframed Auction to Benefit ACRIA


ACRIA’s Executive Director Benjamin Bashein,  Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles Senior Director Graham Steele, along with Board President Stewart Shining, and hosts and guests including Katherine Ross, Samantha Traina, China Chow, Margaret Kleveland, Brett Ramey, Katherine Kleveland, Colin Nash, Stacen Berg, Leslie Klotz, Bethanie Brady, Billy Farrell, Ed Brachfeld, Anat Ebgi, Jessica Witkin, Sarah Harrelson, Christine Messineo, Matthew Shattuck, Emma Reeves, Irene Neuwirth, Hilary Walsh, Emmett Malloy, Michael Slenske, Zoe Crosher, Stephen Galloway, Meredith Melling, Rosson Crow, Jed Weisman, Ross Cassidy, Natalie Ratabesi, Jason Richmond, Michelle Harper, and Jenny Shimizu attended the closing reception for ACRIA’s Reframed –  a new landmark silent auction curated Graham Steele, hosted by Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles, and featuring iconic works by exemplary artists including Jonas Wood, Larry Bell, Antony Gormley, Mona Hatoum, Subodh Gupta, Andrea Bowers, Bharti Kher, Rita Ackermann, Takesada Matsutani, Kaari Upson, Wes Lang, Robert Mapplethorpe, Nir Hod, Dashiell Manley, Elsa Hansen Oldham, Brendan Lynch, JPW3, Graham Wilson, Awol Erizku, Anja Salonen, Claire Tabouret, Anthony Pearson, Barney Kulok, Friedrich Kunath, and many more. Reframed was the organization’s first major Los Angeles art auction event and welcomed 600 high-profile friends, clients, artists, collectors, and philanthropists for cocktails and a silent auction of blue-chip works by renowned contemporary artists at Hauser & Wirth’s destination location in the heart of LA’s burgeoning Downtown Arts District. The auction raised over $500,000. Cocktails were followed by a VIP dinner celebrating the generous donating artists and host committee at the restaurant Manuela located inside the Hauser & Wirth gallery. The event media partner was Los Angeles’ new, culturally driven publication, LALA, whose premier issue was available for guests. Beverages were generously provided by Vranken Pommery and Nolet’s Gin.  BFA was the official photography provider for REFRAMED and the auction was hosted online for bidding by auctioneer Paddle8.

Championed tirelessly by the art, design, fashion and media communities, ACRIA’s signature annual art fundraising events have raised over $5 million since the organization’s inception in 1991 to ensure that people living with HIV and AIDS can enjoy longer, healthier lives. ACRIA has long been a leading research and education organization that works across the country and around the globe to prevent new infections and to help people with HIV and AIDS live longer, healthier lives. ACRIA tests the newest HIV therapies; undertakes cutting-edge research to understand better who has HIV and how to best care for them; provides life-saving health information to disadvantaged communities around the world; and strengthens community-based AIDS groups through training and technical assistance. Additionally, through its ACRIA Center on HIV & Aging, the organization is recognized as a global leader on the emerging issue of older adults and HIV and through its Love Heals Youth Education Program is the leading provider of HIV/AIDS education in New York City schools. 

For more images of the event, click here.

ACRIA Hosts Signature Event—UNFRAMED —With 12 New Artist Editions

ACRIA’s Executive Director Benjamin Bashein along with Board President Stewart Shining, hosts Jonathan Mallow, Zoë Buckman, Ales Ortuzar, Bettina Prentice, Casey Fremont, Austin Fremont, Marlies Verhoeven, Billy Cotton, Ariel Foxman, Brandon Cardet-Hernandez, Michelle Hellman Cohen, Sarah Hoover, David Kleinberg, Carolyn Angel, Adam Shopkorn, Andre Mellone, Andre Viana, Ed Fogarty, Neal Beckstedt, Peter Colon, Emie Diamond, Steve Elmendorf, Vincent Gagliostro, Ryan Kroft, Adam Zeller, Michael Lorber, Deborah Hughes, Brian Jones, James McAvey, Isabel Rattazzi, Robert Tucker, Dini von Mueffling, Brien Wassner, and Jason Wu and guests including Joseph Altuzarra, Dana Lorenz (Fallon), Chloe Malle, Karin Nelson, Polina Proshkina, Rory Satran, Marcus Teo, Joseph Akel, Peter Som, Michael Angel, Meredith Melling, Ryan Fitzgibbon, Hanuk Hanuk, Alexa Rudolfo, and Daniel Vosovic joined many others in celebrating the launch of the 25th Annual ACRIA Unframed.

This evening was the first opportunity to purchase newly produced editions and unique multiples exclusive to ACRIA by incredible artistic talent, both emerging and established, including: Andrew Brischler, Nancy Brooks Brody, Ellen Carey, Anne Collier (below), Jack Early, Jim Gaylord, Jeremy Kost, Cary Leibowitz, Jack Pierson, Emily Mae Smith, Bryson Rand, and Richard Tinkler. Proceeds from the sale benefit ACRIA’s Artists Ending AIDS Fund.

Douglas Elliman and Michael Namer of Alfa Development, the developer of 200 East 21st Street and owner of Gallery 151, were the presenting sponsors of this year’s Unframed.

For images from the event, click here. To view our new editions, visit our Shop today.

ACRIA Receives Major 5-Year Grant to Support Sexual Health Education Programs for Youth in New York City

New York, NY (April 12, 2017) – ACRIA, a New York City-based national organization renowned for its research, education and advocacy programs and expertise on HIV and aging, announced today that it is the recipient of a five-year grant, totaling $500,000, from the Keith Haring Foundation to support its sexual health education and leadership development programs benefitting youth in New York City.  The grant, which will provide funding through 2021, allows ACRIA to enhance its HIV and teen pregnancy prevention programs offered to youth, their parents, and other youth allies in schools and community settings located in neighborhoods heavily impacted by HIV across the New York City metropolitan area.

“We are honored to once again partner with the Keith Haring Foundation to further our shared goal of addressing the critical need for comprehensive, age appropriate, and culturally competent sexual health education for young people across the five boroughs,” said Benjamin Bashein, Executive Director of ACRIA. “For nearly a decade, the Foundation has played a major role in strengthening ACRIA’s life-saving AIDS research and education programs.  On behalf of our board of directors, I thank them. We are enormously grateful to be taking this next step forward with their support.” 

"Chief among Keith Haring's stated goals in establishing his foundation was providing financial support to the HIV/AIDS community. We are privileged to work with ACRIA, an organization profoundly committed to improving the lives of those affected by AIDS and HIV. It is our honor to help sustain and expand their long-standing youth education and leadership development programs,” said Julia Gruen, Executive Director of the Keith Haring Foundation.

New York City’s HIV epidemic continues to take a heavy toll on young people. Compared to their peers, Black and Hispanic youth continue to experience disproportionately high rates of HIV infections. In April 2015, the New York State Department of Health released data indicating that together, Black and Hispanic youth in New York City, ages 12 to 24, account for 85% of new HIV diagnoses and 91% of new AIDS diagnoses.  

ACRIA’s targeted work in communities of color across the five boroughs, along with its strategic partnerships with the NYC Department of Health, the NYC Department of Education, and over 700 schools and community groups, has given the organization unique insight into the sexual and reproductive health and HIV prevention needs of underserved and under-resourced communities, especially among their youth. Through the organization’s Love Heals Youth Education Program, well over 700,000 youth and thousands of their parents, teachers, community leaders, and other youth allies have been reached through expert facilitated trainings and presentations.

About the Keith Haring Foundation

Established in 1989 by the late artist Keith Haring (1958-1990), the Keith Haring Foundation supports US-based non-profit organizations that provide educational opportunities to underserved youth as well as to organizations that engage in education, prevention and care related to AIDS and HIV. Haring additionally charged his Foundation with maintaining and protecting his artistic legacy. The Foundation maintains a large collection of his art, along with archives that facilitate historical research about the artist and the times and places in which he lived and worked. The Foundation supports arts and educational institutions by funding programs and publications that serve to contextualize and illuminate the artist’s work and philosophy. During the last years of his life, Haring often enlisted his imagery to speak about his own illness and to generate activism and awareness about AIDS. To date, his Foundation has given over $15 million in grants.

For further information about Haring and the Keith Haring Foundation, visit www.haring.com