An Exciting Update for the ACRIA Family

To the ACRIA Family,

As friends, partners, colleagues, and supporters of ACRIA, we wanted to share this important update on recent developments and exciting upcoming plans, including a strategic partnership with GMHC.

In the spring of 2017, with the goal of continuing to strengthen our programs, enhance our ability to reach vulnerable populations, realize cost efficiencies, and maximize fundraising, ACRIA’s leadership initiated conversations with select organizations in our field about a strategic partnership or other alignment. During this dialogue, GMHC emerged as the best and most ideal fit for such a partnership. One particular example is how well our ACRIA Center on HIV & Aging, and especially its Research on Older Adults with HIV (ROAH) 2.0 study, compliment GMHC’s Long Term Survivor services. Much as ACRIA’s 2016 acquisition of Love Heals: The Alison Gertz Foundation for AIDS Education created an organization far greater than the sum of its parts, a formalizing of GMHC’s longstanding collaborative relationship with ACRIA will insure our lifesaving programs continue. It will also provide ACRIA with better infrastructure, stability, and an unmatched breadth of programs and services. At the same time, it will equip GMHC with additional resources to expand its existing work using our unique expertise in research, education, and technical assistance—most especially among older adults and young people—while giving them a portfolio of national programs and a singular community of supporters in art, fashion, media, and design. Our Board has enthusiastically supported and encouraged this partnership.

While these conversations were ongoing this summer, ACRIA’s leadership became concerned about some cash flow issues and retained a consultant to advise us. During the course of their work, we discovered that one individual had misappropriated some of our general operating funds. That employee was terminated immediately and the appropriate authorities were contacted. We have undertaken a thorough examination to establish the extent of the theft; secured ACRIA’s financial instruments; engaged critical financial technical assistance from New York State regulatory authorities; and implemented key controls that we are confident will ensure the organization can never be the victim of a crime like this again.

We are not only excited by the programmatic partnership on which we are embarking with GMHC, but also by the fact that their critical technical and human resources will support ACRIA during this transition. ACRIA will be stronger as a result. We are grateful for their support, look forward to sharing details of our strategic partnership soon, and, most important of all, we are excited about the work we will do together in the years ahead.

With thanks for your support,

Benjamin Bashein                                               Stewart Shining
Executive Director                                              President


 

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

HOSTED BY HAUSER & WIRTH, LOS ANGELES, EVENT RAISED $500,000 TO SUPPORT ACRIA’S LIFESAVING AIDS RESEARCH, EDUCATION, AND PREVENTION PROGRAMS

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

ACRIA Welcomes New Board Leadership

ACRIA is thrilled to welcome three new members to our Board of Directors.

Robert L. Tucker is the founding partner of Tucker & Latifi, LLP, a boutique intellectual property law firm in New York City specializing in representing clients in the fashion and consumer goods fields worldwide in connection with the protection, enforcement, and licensing of their trademarks and designs. Robert has been practicing law for 32 years. He was previously an engineer for Ford Motor Company.  
 
Robert has two children--a daughter in college and a son in high school.  He lives in New York City and Shelter Island.

Dini von Mueffling is the founder and principal of Dini von Mueffling Communications, a public relations firm in her native New York City. DVMC works with clients in fields including technology, health, media, business, real estate, design, art and non-profits, as well as representing high profile individuals. Dini has expertise in launching companies and individuals, reputation and crisis management, media strategy and event execution. She is also the co-founder of Love Heals: The Alison Gertz Foundation for AIDS Education. Prior to working in public relations, Dini was a journalist and is the author of two non-fiction books.  

As a Partner and Chair of the Leveraged Finance Group at Kramer, Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP, Richard E. Farley advises and represents some of the world's leading commercial and investment banks in sophisticated and complex domestic and international financing transactions, in particular leveraged buyout financings, recapitalizations and refinancings. Richard's work on behalf of these clients includes syndicated financing transactions and private placements, acquisition financing, asset-based financing, first and second lien debt transactions, high-yield debt issuances, loan assignments and participations, and project finance. 

Richard is the author of Wall Street Wars: The Epic Battles with Washington that Created the Modern Financial System, a book on the creation of modern financial regulation during President Franklin Roosevelt's first term of office. In 2012, he received Bloomberg BNA's Burton Award for Legal Achievement, Best Law Firm Writers.

"We are delighted to welcome Robert, Dini, and Richard to ACRIA," said Stewart Shining, President of the Board of Directors. "As we expand our work to meet the challenge of rising infection rates, their expertise will bolster our lifesaving programs, including HIV education for at-risk youth and groundbreaking research on long-term survivors of the epidemic. We look forward to their leadership at this critical time in the fight against AIDS." 

The Legendary Dionne Warwick joins ACRIA as our Goodwill Ambassador

We are delighted to announce that legendary entertainer, Dionne Warwick, has partnered with ACRIA to increase public awareness about the devastating impact of HIV on people over 50, especially African American women. Her public service announcements (PSAs) bring a new and important focus on women and HIV, the use of Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), and older adults and HIV.

Ms. Warwick has been a leader in the fight against HIV for 30 years and was among the first celebrities to publicly announce her support for efforts to combat the disease. Her PSAs for ACRIAcoincide with Women's History Month and the annual observance of National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.

"Through the release of these PSAs, I am honored to join forces with ACRIA and thousands of fellow AIDS activists across the country who are renewing efforts to raise awareness, develop public policies, and target funding to support HIV prevention, treatment and care," said Ms. Warwick. "Despite great progress in scientific research and prevention, HIV continues to exact a heavy toll on communities of color, including adults over the age of 50 and African American women, who are too often forgotten in this epidemic."

"We are thrilled to welcome Ms. Warwick as ACRIA's Goodwill Ambassador and recognize her steadfast leadership in the fight against HIV," said Benjamin Bashein, Executive Director. "Ms. Warwick embraced HIV/AIDS activism at a time when stigma against the disease was at its worst, when most public figures refused to associate their names and celebrity with the cause. We are truly excited about her participation in our work to educate millions of Americans, anew, about HIV, and by so doing, prevent its transmission."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1.2 million Americans are estimated to be living with HIV as of 2015, and 50% are estimated to be over the age of 50. By 2020, that number will rise to 70%. Although many older adults do not believe that they are susceptible to HIV or any other sexually transmitted infection, one in six new cases of HIV infection occurs in people over 50 years old. Older adults are also less likely to get tested for HIV.

In addition, women account for almost 20% of the estimated 45,000 new HIV infections that occur each year in the U.S. Among all women diagnosed with HIV in 2014, an estimated 62% were African American women.

ACRIA Welcomes New Board and National Advisory Council Leadership

ACRIA is thrilled to welcome new members to our Board of Directors and National Advisory Council.

Michael Lorber has been elected to our Board of Directors. He grew up on Long Island's South Shore, and graduated from Babson College in Wellesley, MA with a BS in Real Estate and Finance. He furthered his education with a law degree from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, and earned a Master's degree in Real Estate from New York University. As an attorney who procured hundreds of millions of dollars of real estate transactions, he felt compelled to pursue his true calling and joined Douglas Elliman Real Estate in 2006, where he has since been a top real estate broker.

Outside of work, Michael serves as a director on the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center Leadership Council, as well as the Tubman Center at the Harvard-Kennedy School of Government. He also serves on the Board of Overseers of both the Children's Hospital Boston and The New England Aquarium. Additionally, he is a Trustee of Babson College. Michael is an avid outdoorsman, backgammon player, collector of art, watches and rare books, boater, and dog lover. He divides his time between Manhattan, Palm Beach, and Sag Harbor.

Jonathan Mallow has also joined our Board of Directors. He is Senior Vice President of Connected Content at VH1 and Logo, supervising strategy and content platforms including mobile, apps and social media. He has worked at Viacom for most of the last ten years in various roles across MTV, Logo and VH1. In 2015, he took a brief hiatus from Viacom to run the digital department at World of Wonder, the production company responsible for RuPaul's Drag Race and the WOWPresents YouTube Channel.

He has a BA in Literature from Yale University and an MA in Performance Studies from New York University. He has previously served on the board of the Ali Forney Center, where he led the board's fundraising committee as well as chairing an annual cocktail party for five years. Jon lives in New York with his dog Hillary.

Stefani Greenfield has been appointed to ACRIA's National Advisory Council. She co-founded the internationally acclaimed SCOOP NYC stores and is credited for pioneering a new way for consumers to shop with her trailblazing merchandising concept - The Ultimate Closet. After selling SCOOP in 2008, Greenfield created and still currently hosts the first ever fashion/lifestyle show on HSN, Curations Caravan. Greenfield was a judge on Bravo's Launch My Line, appeared in a monthly segment, Fashion Roadmap on TODAY, and hosted Unracked with Gilt Groupe, an innovative web series of interviews with fashion luminaries and legends. Greenfield served as the Chief Creative Officer of The Jones Group for two years, leading design, merchandising and marketing of their portfolio of brands.

In 2013 Stefani founded MY NEXT ACT, a global consulting agency focused on the creation, ideation and storytelling of brands. With Project Runway creator Desiree Gruber, Greenfield launched the accessory brand Theodora & Callum. Additionally, she was the Creative Brand Director on the E! docu-series House of DVF. Greenfield was a Co-founder of Love Heals: The Alison Gertz Foundation for AIDS Education, and is a Board Member of GOOD+ Foundation.

"We are thrilled to welcome Michael, Jon, and Stefani to ACRIA," said Stewart Shining, President of the Board of Directors. "Each has demonstrated a deep commitment to the fight against HIV at a time when many believe the crisis to be over. Unfortunately, ACRIA continues to see first-hand the devastating effect HIV has on vulnerable communities across the country. We look forward to their leadership as we continue our innovative work that is helping end this epidemic once and for all." 

ACRIA Receives $200,000 Grant From The Stavros Niarchos Foundation

We are honored to announce that the Stavros Niarchos Foundation has awarded ACRIA a two-year, $200,000 grant for its lifesaving work. This generous grant will support our groundbreaking research and education programs, including our "HIV 101" series for people newly diagnosed with the disease, our widely-lauded research on the lives of people aging with HIV, training to strengthen community-based organizations all over the U.S., and programs targeting at-risk high school students across New York City.

"The Stavros Niarchos Foundation is excited to continue support for ACRIA's innovative programs, which are finding unique solutions to ending the HIV epidemic across the U.S. and around the world," said Roula Siklas, Program Officer at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation. "ACRIA has consistently been on the front lines of finding effective treatments for HIV and providing people with the most up-to-date information about the disease. We are proud to be their partner in advancing this important work."

Thanks to this support, ACRIA will be able to respond quickly to community needs, and apply funding to where it is needed most. We are deeply grateful for the Stavros Niarchos Foundation's commitment to this work.

A Tribute to Gina Quattrocchi

ACRIA joins our fellow not-for-profits, advocates and activists in the AIDS community in mourning the loss of a beloved friend and brave warrior in the ongoing fight against HIV/AIDS, the late Gina Quattrocchi. For 25 years, Gina was a driving force behind the creation of public policies, funding and programs that address HIV testing, prevention, and care both here in the United States and abroad. As Executive Director of Bailey House, Gina was a strong advocate for homeless people living with HIV/AIDS, women, and communities of color.  To the board of directors, staff , and clients of Bailey House, we extend our heartfelt condolences.  Gina will be sorely missed.