Persad Center's Art for Change continues to grow
“I still have a piece that I bought from the very first one, when it started with 275 people at the Mendelson Gallery. It just has grown. … There's heart to it. It really has so much meaning.”
Bob Sendall wasn't the only one waxing poetic during Persad Center's Art for Change benefit on May 13. Celebrating the 25th year of Art for AIDS, the event continued its long-standing tradition of appealing to both fresh and familiar faces who were eager to reminisce with co-chairs Brian Stankavich and Laura Horowitz, executive director Betty Hill, and Jim Huggins, who founded Persad in 1972 with his partner, the late Randy Forrester.
“(When) we started it, there were two of us and a secretary. There were no gay organizations. People said, ‘It's Pittsburgh! How in God's name do you think you could start it in Pittsburgh?' But we all came together. (At first), we had death threats. Seeing all the change is amazing,” Huggins said.
For the crowd of 1,500, it was all or nothing for those seeking to bid adieu to bare walls with 200 original pieces to choose from, ranging from naughty sculptures and sassy drawings to thought-provoking photography. A little more than an hour into the festivities, half the crowd disappeared into the theater of the August Wilson Center to take a stab at the live auction, while the rest indulged in an extended cocktail hour and migrated throughout the space.
With everything donated in-kind, funds generated from the art sale fully supported Persad's Free Care Fund, which provides services to all LGBT clients, regardless of their ability to pay.
“I love it. Great organization, great cause,” Ian Syphard said.
Also spied were Dr. Larry Leahy, John Klein and Bob Davis, Emily Winn, Krista Jee, David Weldon, Liz and Ray Miles, Gene Welsh and David McAdams, Steve Sokoloski and Derick Stalker, Michael Kostiew and Stephan Bontrager, George Hazimanolis, and Jack Bellas and Ian Primosch.
Kate Benz is the social columnist for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-380-8515.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Festive evening salutes Salvation Army’s good works
- 1879 Founders’ Circle Dinner gives preview of Sigo Falk Collections Center
- The play’s the thing at Child Health Association of Sewickley’s ball
- Shadyside Splendor Holiday Home Tour takes in 6 historic houses
- Flash!: Alliance Française de Pittsburgh; “Come Fly With Me” gala