Group Launches Registry of AIDS Artists

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By MICHAEL WEISSENSTEIN, Associated Press Writer
NEW YORK – A New York arts group has unveiled an Internet list of hundreds of writers, actors, designers and others to help memorialize the lives and catalog the works of artists felled by AIDS (news – web sites).
The Alliance for the Arts’ Estate Project for Artists with AIDS combed through academic research, magazine articles and obituaries to compile the national registry, which includes such famous names as movie star Rock Hudson (news) and choreographer Alvin Ailey as well as hundreds of virtually unknown artists who died of the disease.
It then contacted the artists’ survivors, nearly all of whom agreed to have their loved ones included on the list, said Estate Project director Brennan Gerard. When relatives or companions declined, as in the case of some church organists, their wishes were respected, Gerard said.
“This is a window on the art of a whole generation of artists,” Randall Bourscheidt, president of the Alliance for the Arts, said. “This is an attempt to let their art live on.”
Project organizers also announced the creation of two online archives of dance and musical works by artists who are living with HIV (news – web sites) or have died of the disease. The archives contain biographical sketches and a catalog of works available to researchers.
Similar information will also be added to the national registry.
The Estate Project was founded 12 years ago to assist artists with AIDS in estate planning and other issues and to help preserve their artworks.
The national registry and archives, which cost about $75,000 to produce, were announced Monday in recognition of World AIDS Day.
On the Net:
The Estate Project: http://www.artistswithaids.org