Rebuild Foundation receives $500K to fight HIV and AIDS across Chicago

Chicago News

Theaster Gates’ non-profit to launch a year of programming that brings awareness and resources to the HIV and AIDS fight in Chicago


CHICAGO Rebuild Foundation, an arts, education and cultural development organization committed to transforming urban communities, announced today that it will launch a year of programming dedicated to supporting the AIDS fight with the $500,000 it received from the 2018 (RED) Auction. This year, Rebuild Foundation will partner with local advocacy organizations across Chicago to raise awareness, provide resources and sanctuary for marginalized communities impacted by the HIV/AIDS crisis through a series of discussions, community reflections, workshops and additional programming.

The 2018 (RED) Auction, which took place during Art Basel Miami, was hosted by artist, activist and Rebuild Foundation Founder and Executive Director Theaster Gates, and architect Sir David Adjaye. Through the sale and generous matching grants, the auction generated $11 million for the AIDS fight.

“It was such an honor to collaborate with Sir David Adjaye and Bono to raise critical funds to combat such a widespread disease that takes too many lives every day,” said Theaster Gates, Executive Director of Rebuild Foundation. “The (RED) Auction was not only a great way to explore the intersection of art and activism, but also to address how we can create longer lives for more people, and especially people of color, which the virus seems to be affecting the most.”

“(RED) exists to shine a spotlight on the AIDS crisis, which continues to prey upon the world’s most vulnerable communities, whether it’s young women in Cape Town or LBGTQ youth in Chicago,” said Jennifer Lotito, (RED)’s President and Chief Operating Officer. “With enough support, we can see an end to this preventable, treatable disease in our lifetime. We’re so grateful to Theaster and David for donating their work, time and energy to help us raise cash and sound the alarm bell for the global AIDS epidemic.”

On January 19, 2020, what would have been the prolific Chicago House DJ Frankie Knuckles’ 65th birthday, Rebuild Foundation will kick off its year of HIV/AIDS programming in partnership with About Face Theater, the Center on Halsted, Chicago Dancemakers Forum, the Chicago Women’s AIDS project, DJ Duane Powell, and the Frankie Knuckles Foundation.

Rebuild Foundation will partner with DJ in Residence and Music Historian Duane Powell to host a special discussion around the legacy of sanctuary and queer space using material objects from the Frankie Knuckles vinyl collection, which is housed at Rebuild Foundation’s Stony Island Arts Bank, as a starting point. Powell will investigate how Frankie created sanctuaries for LGBTQ+ and marginalized communities from his DJ booth.

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