Art, music fest has uplifting mission

Raising not only awareness, but
also spirits, the Awareness Arts and Music Festival on 18 and 19 March is aimed
at bringing attention to AIDS.

Though World AIDS Day is observed
on 1 December, organisers with the Cayman AIDS Foundation decided to hold a
local, uplifting festival on another date “because people live with [the
disease] 365 days a year.”

The foundation is particularly
interested in bringing awareness to young people, noting the high incidence of
AIDS among that demographic in the Caribbean region. To that end, says Margaret
Michaud, the foundation’s programme manager, the local event is designed to be
“a festive environment to shine the light on AIDS” and to reach out to the
local community.

Musicians, artists both modern and
traditional, the National Gallery and St. Matthew’s University School of
Medicine will be featured at the two-day event at The Brick House in Grand
Harbour. On Friday, 18 March, from 9pm-midnight there will be music and
networking. Activities on Saturday run from 3-9pm, featuring arts, crafts and a
rotation of a host of local musicians. St. Matthew’s will have a ‘myth-busters’
table where, if passers-by answer questions correctly, they will win a prize, Ms
Michaud said.

She added that coupons or postcards
would also be handed out for attendees to use to pursue further information,
such as about testing, if they are interested.

Ms Michaud encourages young people,
in particular, to attend the festival.

“C’mon guys, let’s chat,” she says,
adding that the environment will be lively and fun.

The Awareness Arts and Music
Festival is sponsored by the Cayman AIDS Foundation, the Brick House and One
Tree Four Five Youth Empowerment, which, Michaud said, aims to “uplift fashion,
design, music and art for young Caymanians.”