WMC plans World AIDS Day events

November 23, 1992

Western Maryland College will observe World AIDS Day, Dec. 1, with several events to promote knowledge of the deadly disease.

World AIDS Day is an international response to the global spread of acquired immune deficiency syndrome crisis. A Western Maryland senior organized the campus events for a class project.

The campus observance will include "Day Without Art," in which sheets will be placed over many works of art at the college, and "Night Without Light," in which the steeple lights on Baker Memorial Chapel will be turned off for a few minutes.

The works of art will be covered as a show of respect for the many members of the artistic community who have died of AIDS.

As part of the program, Debbie Middleton, program director for AIDS for the Carroll County Health Department, will speak at 3 p.m. in Ensor Lounge in Decker College Center. She will discuss the impact of AIDS on the local community.

She has been involved in Carroll County's public health program for the past 10 years and has worked on the county's AIDS education program since the mid-1980s. Before that, she was a critical-care nurse for 21 years for Carroll County General Hospital and Prince George's General Hospital. The hour-long discussion is free and open to the public.

Members of the college community are invited to wear red ribbons on Dec. 1 to show their commitment to the fight against AIDS.

Events such as these are being held on World AIDS Day at colleges and universities, as well as in cities and towns, throughout the United States and abroad.

Such activities demonstrate the impact of AIDS on the populace, said Westminster resident Michal Hall, an English major and the chief organizer of the on-campus events.

"I hope this day makes people more aware that we do have a

problem with this disease," Mr. Hall said. "It's killing people, and it's being helped along by ignorance and bigotry.

"We're more than 10 years into AIDS, and millions of people around the world have been affected by it because they don't know how to deal with it. The time has come to make it everyone's concern."

Mr. Hall received a Creativity and Research award from the college to support his work on the World AIDS Day observance. The project was part of his class in the philosophy and religious studies department, Liberation Movements and Human Freedom."

"Day Without Art" will consist of the college's students using donated sheets to cover paintings, sculptures and other works of art in selected buildings and on the college grounds. The project will begin about 7:30 a.m. and remain in place until shortly before dusk.

"Day Without Art" is the creation of the New York-based Visual AIDS, a volunteer group of art professionals concerned about AIDS education and action. Visual AIDS started "Day Without Art" three years ago. It now receives cooperation from artists in dance, film, theater, literary, music, television, craft, design and fashion.

The organization, which received a 1990 New York State Governor's Arts Award, is supported by several major philanthropic groups, including the AT&T Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Lannan Foundation and 10 others of similar stature.

Beginning shortly after dusk and lasting 15 minutes, the outdoor lights on Baker Memorial Chapel will be turned off. Also, the campus radio station, WMCR, will shut down for 15 minutes sometime during its programming day. Information: 857-2290, or, from Baltimore, 876-2055, Ext. 290.

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