The Call: Honoring 30 Years of Service

This September 29, the curtain rises on an entirely new event in San Francisco. The Call pays tribute to San Francisco AIDS Foundation’s 30 years of service to our community in the fight against HIV/AIDS. We sat down with CEO Neil Giuliano to hear about the event, and why it’s an experience no one should miss.

What is the origin of the name, The Call?
Cleve Jones, one of the co-founders of San Francisco AIDS Foundation, tells a remarkable story about our very first office on Castro Street in 1982. A technician came to install the phone line, and he had not even left the building when the phone began to ring, before anyone had publicized the number. As Cleve says, the phone never stopped ringing. It’s still ringing today at San Francisco AIDS Foundation, and we will continue to be here to answer the call until our services are no longer needed.

So what can people expect at The Call?
This will be an evening unlike anything you’ve experienced. The Call tells the story of the 30-year history of the AIDS epidemic through four stunning artistic vignettes. The four acts are called “Discovery,” “Triage,” “Defiance,” and “Empowerment” to represent four key turning points in the arc of the disease. We have exclusively commissioned these performances by local artists. Producer Kile Ozier is also throwing in a few surprises, and we’re going to present an award to a local and national hero that should not be missed!

Why is it so important to recall the history of AIDS in this way?
I can’t think of a more poignant way to express the history of AIDS than through art, particularly when you consider how many amazing and brilliant artists we have lost to the disease. The performances at The Call will explore loss and hope, two powerful forces that have coexisted throughout the history of AIDS.

And proceeds from the event go to support the services of the foundation?
Absolutely. As San Francisco AIDS Foundation marks its 30th year, we are not easing back on our efforts at all. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. We have more local programs and services than ever before in the history of the foundation, serving thousands of people annually. All of these services we offer free of charge to anyone who walks through our doors. The Call is essential to our efforts to maintain all of these programs so that we can continue to reduce new HIV infections and make sure everyone living with the disease has access to proper care.

Where is this happening, and how can we get tickets?
The Call will take place September 29 at the Regency Center in San Francisco. We’ve made it easy for folks to purchase tickets online, or they can call (415) 487-3013. This is going to be an incredible evening and I look forward to seeing everyone there!

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