The UCLA Art & Global Health Center nurtures a global network of artists and advocates working in the realm of public health. Our initiatives seek to unleash the transformative power of the arts by:
1) Advancing an awareness and appreciation for the power of art to address crisis 2) Establishing artists as key partners in health interventions around the world 3) Inspiring attitudinal and behavioral change through the production and dissemination of powerful, original artwork
Focusing on the communicative power of the arts, the Center creates arts-based interventions based on principles of human rights and social justice. Center programs, initially piloted in Los Angeles and adapted for a global audience, are now running in Mexico, Brazil, South Africa, India, Malawi, and in the US South. Our Center is rooted in an innovative premise, that the arts and the health of communities are intrinsically related. We believe in the power of including artists at the table when it comes to developing effective and appropriate strategies to address public health concerns. The HIV epidemic has been a core focus of the Center since its inception, building on the strong foundation of artistic intervention during the first AIDS outbreak, and pushing for innovation and a creative response as the epidemic continues to shift and change.
The Center’s signature programs include AMP!, Through Positive Eyes, The A.R.T. Show, Are You Well and MAKE ART/STOP AIDS. Many of the Art and Global Health Center objectives were born out of the MAKE ART/STOP AIDS initiative, an international network of scholars, artists, and activists committed to ending the global AIDS epidemic. UCLA Professor David Gere, director of the Art and Global Health Center, established the MAKE ART/STOP AIDS network in India in 2004, while on a Fulbright research grant. The network would become the basis for what would later become the Center. Gere led a four-day workshop in Kolkata with 60 Indian and 15 international artists and activists in July 2004 under the MAKE ART/STOP AIDS banner. A subsequent daylong event in New Delhi brought the concepts developed in the workshop to the attention of leaders from the Indian government, media, donors and non-governmental organizations. Since then, MAKE ART/STOP AIDS has expanded from Kolkata to Los Angeles, from Mexico City to Rio de Janeiro, and from Johannesburg back to Chennai and Mumbai, to create a truly international network under the auspices of the Art and Global Health Center. Major funders include the Ford Foundation, UNAIDS, UNESCO, the Andy Warhol Foundation, the Herb Ritts Foundation, and the David & Linda Shaheen Foundation.