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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, November 20, 2015 - Volume 43 Issue 47
City Council votes to add $75,000 to the Office of Arts and Culture in 2016 for AIDS Legacy/Memorial
Section One
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City Council votes to add $75,000 to the Office of Arts and Culture in 2016 for AIDS Legacy/Memorial

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Associate Editor

Good news for outgoing Seattle City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen this week. On Monday the City Council voted to add $75,000 to the Office of Arts and Culture in 2016 to help fund the initial planning process for an AIDS Legacy/Memorial.

Also, Rasmussen's office confirmed that there will be a $75,000 match in community support, for a total planning budget of $150,000 for the project Rasmussen gained support for within the past few weeks.

'Most importantly,' said Tobias Pulliam, legislative assistant to Rasmussen, 'this is a community investment in planning for an AIDS Legacy Memorial Project in Seattle - and diverse stakeholder groups will be closely involved.'

Currently, Seattle does not have an HIV/AIDS memorial. Rasmussen told Seattle Gay News that it is important that this project include input and talent taken from across the generational divide but that the people who should be telling the stories from the early days of the AIDS crisis is the people who were there.

In the first two decades of the AIDS epidemic, Seattle experienced a tragic loss of nearly 4,000 persons.

'The epidemic was met by a cross-section of our community who worked creatively and tirelessly in the face of fear and discrimination to help those diagnosed with the HIV virus,' Rasmussen told SGN.

'The history of the early days of the AIDS epidemic and how Seattle responded has not been comprehensively collected or recorded or presented,' he added, saying that this important work needs to be done because many from that generation are aging or have moved away as examples of why the time has come to get started.

'It is important that the experience of those who were first on the front lines of the battle against AIDS and the stories of the lives that were lost be chronicled,' he said.

Pulliam tells Seattle Gay News that more information about next steps will be forthcoming.

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