DIFF/Chicago’s Art for Life

DIFFA/Chicago’s Art for Life Chicago Raises $110,000 for Local Grant Recipients

Photo courtesy DIFFA

On Thursday, October 24, DIFFA/Chicago hosted its third annual art auction, Art for Life Chicago, celebrating the power and beauty of art, and raising $110,000 to benefit those living with and vulnerable to HIV/AIDS in the greater Chicago area.

Art for Life Chicago, one of DIFFA/Chicago’s (Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS/Chicago) signature events, was held at Venue West. Some 300 guests attended, celebrating emerging and established artists, and raised $110,000 in much-needed support of HIV/AIDS education and local service organizations.

Artists and collectors donated more than eighty pieces of art, from paintings to mixed media works, which were exhibited as part of the silent and live auctions taking place throughout the evening. A jury of industry professionals hand-selected this year’s impressive group of participating artists, including such well-known artists Nikko Washington, Gail Mancuso and CJ Hungerman.

Photo courtesy DIFFA

Prior to the official opening of the auctions, sixty VIP ticketholders gathered at an exclusive reception where they mingled with the event’s artists, grant recipients and sponsors. VIP attendees were treated to hand-crafted cocktails and delicious bites while they enjoyed a special sneak preview of the artwork that would be auctioned off later in the evening. Later, the always popular “Off the Wall” feature allowed guests to choose their own piece of a larger canvas to take home as a personal keepsake.

“Each year, we are proud to showcase the artwork of extremely talented artists recognized on both a local and national level,” DIFFA/Chicago Chairman of the Board Todd Baisch said in a press release. “We are continuously grateful to all who participate and support DIFFA/Chicago’s mission as we truly believe the art and design community can help forge new pathways for those living with and vulnerable to HIV/AIDS.”

Art for Life Chicago is just one of several similar DIFFA-sponsored Art for Life benefits across the U.S. and abroad, all with the aim to improve the lives of individuals affected by HIV/AIDS.

Photo courtesy DIFFA

DIFFA/Chicago is a not-for-profit fundraising and grant-making foundation that distributes funds to Chicago area ASOs that provide direct services, preventative education and outreach to people who are HIV-positive, living with AIDS or at risk for acquiring the virus. Founded in 1984, DIFFA has granted more than $45 million to hundreds of community-based organizations nationwide.

For more information, visit www.diffachicago.org.

—Reporting by Hank Trout

Hank Trout, Senior Editor, edited Drummer, Malebox, and Folsom magazines in the early 1980s. A long-term survivor of HIV/AIDS (diagnosed in 1989), he is a forty-year resident of San Francisco, where he lives with his husband Rick. Follow him on Twitter @HankTroutWriter.