The AIDS Museum, to be located in the West Ward of Newark, New Jersey, aims to reduce the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS through art. Newark has the highest number of HIV case in NJ, twice as high as the next highest city, Jersey City. Since these cases have accumulated over 25 years and will likely continue to accumulate, we must focus on educating youth about AIDS. I run an afterschool program at Mt. Vernon, a K-8 school in the West Ward of Newark. I have found that although our students (3rd and 4th graders) struggle with literacy and math, many of them receive very high grades in art and are quite talented. I propose a program to educate the students about AIDS through art. This would include taking them to an exhibit to show them what other artists have done, giving them an opportunity to talk with an HIV-positive artist, and giving them materials to create their own art projects related to AIDS, which will then be exhibited.
Previous programs of the AIDS Museum have included an exhibit, a World AIDS Day/Day Without Art event, and a documentary screening. We also have two upcoming exhibits and one program focusing on women.