AIDS Quilt display postponed

Planners optimistic that funding can be secured for a 2012 Dallas exhibition

DAVID TAFFET | Staff Writer

The display of the Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt at Dallas Convention Center planned for September has been postponed at least until next year, organizers announced earlier this month.

Rosemarie Odom, president of C.U.R.E., announced on World AIDS Day last year that the largest display of the quilt in 15 years would come to Dallas this year. She said that Pepsico had signed to sponsor the event and that Tyler Sweatman had been hired as event director.

But the event had to be postponed when Pepsi “pulled out at the 11th hour,” Sweatman said this week.

C.U.R.E. planned to exhibit at least 500 quilt panels, which would have been the largest public display since the entire quilt was shown on the Mall in Washington, D.C., in 1996.

The event was scheduled for the first weekend in October, the same weekend as LifeWalk and the week after the Lone Star Ride Fighting AIDS. Planners had hoped participants in both events would spend time with the quilt to bring more awareness to the issue of HIV and AIDS, Sweatman said.

Odom said that even if a replacement sponsor signed on today, she’d still postpone until next year.

“If we got the money in today, we could have the exhibit in September,” she said. “But now we don’t have time to get people in.”
She said that C.U.R.E. is regrouping and restrategizing and looking to next year.

No dates have been discussed for next year. However, specific panels would be requested for the exhibit so planners need to coordinate around availability. Many groups around the country request blocks especially on World AIDS Day, so the Dallas event would likely not happen then.

Plano-based C.U.R.E. uses panels from the quilt to promote AIDS education. Last year they hung 13 of them in a downtown Plano storefront and also displayed them at several corporate headquarters in Plano.

Sweatman has watched the Quilt grow from its inception. He was living in San Francisco in 1987 when Cleve Jones and friends began sewing panels together to memorialize friends who had died of AIDS.

Each panel is three feet by six feet, the size of a coffin, and panels are stitched together into 12 square foot blocks. More than 40,000 panels have been created and includes the names of 91,000 people who have died of AIDS, making the quilt the largest piece of folk art ever created.

Odom said that C.U.R.E. may still do a small quilt display around World AIDS Day on Dec. 1. And she’s optimistic that the ambitious plan for the largest exhibit since 1996 will still take place in Dallas.

—  John Wright

CURE postpones quilt display

Tyler Sweatman

Tyler Sweatman, event director of CURE’s Dallas AIDS Memorial Quilt display, announced that the event has been postponed. Last week, he said, Pepsi pulled out as the event’s lead sponsor.

The event was to be held at the Dallas Convention Center the last weekend in September. It would have been the largest display of the Quilt in about 15 years.

The Collin County-based CURE wrote on its website:

After much discussion and careful evaluation the C.U.R.E. Board of Directors has decided to suspend preparation for C.U.R.E. 2011.

2011 has been a remarkable year with much attention and many initiatives presented to mark and commemorate 30 years of AIDS.  The year brought focus to the strides taken in treatment and medications for AIDS.   2011 reminded us of the 40 million people still living with HIV and AIDS but also, and of equal importance, the still increasing numbers of new infections.

“Pepsi was the lead cash sponsor and they pulled out at the 11th hour,” Sweatman said.

He said they’re looking for another company to sponsor the event and they hope it will happen in 2012. Sweatman is not on the board of CURE so he said he can’t speak for the group.

“But they’re regrouping right now,” he said.

He said he expects CURE to instead do something to mark World AIDS Day again this year. In each of the last few years, CURE has had a Quilt display in a storefront in downtown Plano and at various corporations in the city.

—  David Taffet

Pride party announced for Collin County

Morris Garcia and Tim Phillips announced this week that they will be sponsoring the inaugural Come As You Are Pride party this month. Garcia, who is on the board of the Collin County Gay & Lesbian Alliance, sent over the official flier for the event (below) which takes place June 25. Come As You Are will serve as a fundraiser for C.U.R.E. 2011 which will exhibit panels from the Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt at the Dallas Convention Center this fall.

—  Rich Lopez

‘$30 for 30 years’ to help bring Quilt to Dallas

Tyler Sweatman and Rosemarie Odom at a 2010 Quilt display in Plano.

C.U.R.E. is bringing panels from the Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt to the Dallas Convention Center from Sept. 30-Oct. 1 in commemoration of 30 years of AIDS.

The display will be the largest exhibit of panels since the entire quilt was laid out on the National Mall in Washington D.C. in 1996. Event coordinator Tyler Sweatman said he expects 8,000 panels to be shown in Dallas.

To sponsor a panel, C.U.R.E. started an adopt-a-panel campaign called “$30 for 30 years.” Click on the link to make a donation.

The Collin County-based group was founded by Rosemarie Odom and Roseann Rossetti in 2001 when they volunteered for a World AIDS Day Quilt display in Plano. The group’s goal is for people to take action in the fight against HIV/AIDS; to focus on HIV/AIDS education and outreach to the youth, women and community members of diverse ethnic background; and to present a public means of remembrance and healing.

—  David Taffet

Local Briefs

DBA, others sponsor mayoral debate

Several organizations in North Texas are sponsoring a one-hour debate between Dallas mayoral runoff candidates David Kunkle and Mike Rawlings on Monday, June 6, at the Pavillion at the Belo Mansion, 2101 Ross Ave. in Dallas. The forum will be moderated by Shawn Williams, editor of Dallas South News.

The debate, which will begin promptly at noon, is free and open to the public. An optional $13 lunch buffet will be served beginning at 11:30 a.m.

The debate is sponsored by the Public Forum Committee of the Dallas Bar Association, the Dallas Asian American Bar Association, the Dallas Association of Young Lawyers, the Dallas Hispanic Bar Association, J.L. Turner Legal Association and the League of Women Voters of Dallas, the program is intended to educate the Dallas legal community and public of the backgrounds and philosophies of the candidates. The Dallas Bar Association is a non-partisan organization.

Those interested in attending are asked to RSVP to so adequate seating is available.

C.U.R.E. begins fundraising for Quilt

On Sept. 30–Oct. 2, C.U.R.E. 2011 will bring panels from the Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt to the Dallas Convention Center. This display will be the largest seen since the Quilt was exhibited on the National Mall in Washington DC. Dallas will be the venue for a national event focusing on educating our diverse populations about AIDS and how to prevent its spread.

To help fund the weekend, C.U.R.E. has started a fundraising campaign, asking people to donate just $2 and to ask friends and family to do the same. The link to make a donation through PayPal is

C.U.R.E was founded by Roseann Rossetti and Rosemary Odom. Tyler Sweatman is the event director for the Quilt display.

United Way disburses funds

United Way of Greater Dallas voted to disburse $25 million to 78 nonprofit organizations in the Dallas area. Because of new criteria that emphasized improving education, income or health, some new agencies received money and others lost their United Way funding.

Among the regular recipients are Resource Center Dallas, which will receive $383,409, and AIDS Arms, which will receive $772,548. Bryan’s House is one of the new agencies receiving United Way funding and they will get $315,106.

Donors who sign up to contribute through United Way can designate an agency, if that organization is among their approved agencies. •

—  John Wright

C.U.R.E. announces huge AIDS Quilt display for 2011

Display in Plano will be largest in more than a decade, with at least 500 panels included, organizers say

DAVID TAFFET  |  Staff Writer

TIME TO REMEMBER | Visitors walk through a display of panels from the NAMES Project Quilt exhibited Wednesday, Dec. 1, at the Interfaith Peace Chapel as part of a World AIDS Day event. Next September, C.U.R.E. will bring more than 500 Quilt panels to Plano for the largest display in a decade. (David Taffet/Dallas Voice)

PLANO — C.U.R.E. will bring at least 500 panels of the Names Project’s AIDS Memorial Quilt to the Dallas Convention Center next September for the largest display since the entire Quilt was shown on the Mall in Washington, D.C. in 1996, according to C.U.R.E. leaders.

The Plano-based group made the announcement at their World AIDS Day event at Event1013 in Plano, where they displayed 13 blocks of the Quilt. They placed other panels at several other corporate headquarters located in Plano.

C.U.R.E. President and founder Rosemarie Odom said that one of those companies, Pepsico, has signed to be the lead sponsor of the Quilt display next year.

She said they are tentatively set to display the panels in Exhibit Hall F of the Convention Center from Sept. 30 through Oct. 2.

Tyler Sweatman is the event director. He said that the dates were chosen to correspond with LifeWalk. He’s hoping Lone Star Ride, which will take place the weekend before the event, will also participate.

“We’d love LifeWalk to walk right through the Convention Center,” said Odom.

Sweatman said that they will be requesting specific panels and will be taking requests from the community. He said it would be easier to get more of the requested panels in September than around next year’s World AIDS Day.

Sweatman said he was living in San Francisco in 1987 when Cleve Jones started the project. He watched the sewing going on in a little shop on Castro Street to memorialize friends who had died of AIDS.

Sweatman said he is amazed at how much the Quilt grew in just a few years.

The Quilt now has 91,000 names representing 17.5 percent of those who have died of AIDS in the United States. The Quilt was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in 1989 and, at 1,293,300 square feet, is the largest piece of folk art ever produced. It weighs 54 tons.

Each panel is three feet by six feet, the size of a coffin. Eight panels are sewn together to form a block.  Several years ago, the Quilt moved from its original home in San Francisco to Atlanta. Sweatman said he expects the Quilt eventually to be housed in the Smithsonian.

The first day of the 2011 Quilt display is a Friday, and Sweatman said he hopes school groups from around North Texas as well as Oklahoma and Arkansas will come to see the display.

“Our goal is AIDS education,” he said.

To encourage the most people to see the Quilt, admission will be free. But staging the event will be costly. The group, which has non-profit status, is looking for additional sponsors and donations.

In addition to the cost of shipping the Quilt back and forth from Atlanta, there is the rental of the Convention Center, advertising, lighting and sound equipment.

During large displays, the names of persons who have died of AIDS are continuously read.

Volunteers are needed as Quilt monitors. Sweatman said he would especially like people who made any of the quilt panels or those who knew the people represented on the panels to talk about who they were.

Bono’s group ONE will coordinate volunteers. Sweatman said details are being worked out and will have more information about that and about volunteer opportunities soon.

Odom was excited about the opportunity to present such a large piece of the Quilt in Dallas. She became emotional standing in front of one of the 13 blocks hanging in Plano on World AIDS Day and warned about what an emotional experience the large display in September would be.

“I don’t want anyone to walk away from one of our events feeling good,” she said.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition December 3, 2010.

—  Michael Stephens

World AIDS Day briefs

CURE hosting Quilt panels

The Collin County group Community Unity Respect Education will present about a dozen panels from the AIDS Memorial Quilt in Plano Nov. 29 – Dec. 1. The quilt panels will be displayed at Event1013, 1013 E. 15th St. in Plano on Monday and Tuesday from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and on Wednesday from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The venue is in downtown Plano and valet parking will be available. Volunteers will discuss the quilt project and tell the stories of some of the people whose panels are displayed. Among the panels is one honoring Resource Center Dallas’ original executive director, John Thomas.

At the event, CURE President Rosemary Odom will announce plans for a large display of panels next year at the Dallas Convention Center to mark the 30th anniversary of when the disease was named AIDS.


World AIDS Day events at AOC

AIDS Outreach Center will participate in two World AIDS Day events.

At Tarrant County College SE Campus in Arlington, free HIV testing will be available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. In addition, the school will present panels, speakers and information.

AOC will also participate in the Minority Leadership Citizens Council meeting at noon at Community Christian Church Annex, 1800 E. Vickery Blvd. in Fort Worth. Outreach Center staff member John Reed will lead a discussion and offer facts figures and trends. A panel of HIV positive people will tell their stories and explain what it is like living with HIV.

That meeting will be recorded and broadcast on the city of Fort Worth cable channel. It will be repeated throughout the week.


Sprinkles honors World AIDS Day

Sprinkles Cupcakes will do its first World AIDS Day promotion from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Dec. 1, with 100 percent of the proceeds from the red ribbon red velvet cupcakes sold in all seven stores across the country donated to the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. The Dallas store is in Preston Center.


AIN plans World AIDS Day event

Clients and staff of AIDS Interfaith Network will offer a program of remembrance, music, and celebration in the Daire Center at 11 a.m. Staff and volunteers will serve the clients lunch. After lunch, AIN will hold a candlelight memorial in their lobby.


World AIDS Day in Denton

In Denton, a World AIDS Day commemoration will be held on the square from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The event includes a candlelight vigil, tree dedication, poetry reading, speakers, information tables and free hot chocolate.


P.R.I.S.M. marks World AIDS Day

To commemorate World AIDS Day on Wednesday, Dec. 1,  P.R.I.S.M. (Promoting Respect In Sexual Minorities), the gay-straight alliance for Navarro College in Corsicana, will hold activities intended to help build awareness of HIV/AIDS in the community. Dana Kennedy Hartney, case manager for Ellis and Navarro counties with Dallas-based AIDS Arms Inc., will be the guest speaker for the event set for 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday. Hartney will speak on the topic, “Why everyone is affected by HIV/AIDS.”

The program will be held in the Gooch Student Center, Arrowhead Room, Navarro College, 3200 W. 7th Ave. in Corsicana. Refreshments will be provided. AIDS Arms will also provide free HIV testing Thursday, Dec. 2, from noon to 4 p.m. in the Gooch Student Center. The testing is open to the public and will include an information  table and people to answer questions.


RCD  dedicating dental chair

On World AIDS Day, Resource Center Dallas will dedicate its new dental chair at Nelson Tebedo Clinic at 4 p.m.

RCD spokesman Rafael McDonnell said the chair was purchased with Ryan White funds and replaces a chair that has been at the clinic since 1992. Dental care has become one of the major programs of the Nelson Tebedo Clinic. The clinic serves 65 patients every week.


More World AIDS Day events

On Dec. 1, from 6 p.m. to 8:45 p.m., Parkland hospital presents an education and a consumer fair for World AIDS Day at the Dallas Marriott City Center, 650 N. Pearl St. All of the Ryan White agencies in Dallas will have booths.

Dr. Kevin Murphy is the keynote speaker and will be available to answer questions. He is responsible for formulating the curriculum in AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Diseases at the Dallas County Health Department and organized the early surveillance of AIDS in Dallas.

The event is free and open to the public. Light snacks and refreshments will be provided. Parking in the Plaza of the Americas parking lot will be free. The entrance is on San Jacinto Street. The Marriott is adjacent to the Pearl Street DART station.

In Fort Worth, AIDS service providers are participating in a carnival and health fair at the Public Health Department, 1101 S. Main St., from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. All of the Ryan White service providers will be present. Food, games, gift card raffles and free HIV testing will be offered.

A memorial services will be conducted by The Revs. Carol West and Curtis Smith at 5 p.m.



Free AIDS testing will be available at the following locations on World AIDS Day:

• AIDS Outreach Center, 400 N. Beach St., Fort Worth. 817-335-1994

• Tarrant County Public Health Department, 1101 S. Main St., Fort Worth. 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. 817-321-4700.

• Nelson Tebedo Clinic, 4012 Cedar Springs Road, 214-528-2336. Dec. 1 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Appointments requested but can see some walk-ins. Dec. 3 all day. No appointments necessary. Free syphilis testing also.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition November 26, 2010.

—  Michael Stephens

Suffering for a body of work

Fitness model and trainer Tony DaVinci comes out — as a bodybuilder. Don’t envy him

ARNOLD WAYNE JONES  | Life+Style Editor

BEFORE AND AFTER | The difference between a fitness model and a bodybuilder is evident from DaVinci’s physique above, taken in March, and at right, taken in July. (Arnold Wayne Jones/Dallas Voice)

Dallas Convention Center
650 N. Griffin St.
Aug. 13–14. $20–$100.
For schedule, visit

While attending a bodybuilding show earlier this summer, Tony Giles realized it was time for him to come out of the closet.

Giles — known in the adult fitness model world as Tony DaVinci — isn’t gay, but he’s long denied what he really was: A freakishly over-muscled bodybuilder trapped in a disgustingly well-built man’s body.

Giles has spent literally half his life working out, and most of that time training his clients about how to get their bodies in shape. But “in shape” is one thing; a muscle-bound mass of twitching protein is another. But just two months ago, it’s what he decided to do. He’ll compete in the Europa Show at the Dallas Convention Center next weekend.

“I was at the Lone Star Classic on June 3 and I realized it’s something I’ve always wanted to do but suppressed because of what I knew it would take.

Bodybuilding is a different world from fitness modeling: It’s expensive, time-consuming, self-absorbing and addictive. It’s a lot of suffering. I’m hungry all the time and have to do lots of cardio.”

The training is much more intense than typical fitness-model hunkiness. It’s harder to lose body fat than to put on muscle, and bodybuilders must do both. And the time frame of has to be telescoped into about two months to maximize effort. It isn’t easy. Or cheap.

“I had to hire a coach to tell me what to do — you see yourself different. I had to hire a posing coach. I get a massage weekly,” Giles says.
And there’s the food: Lots of protein shakes, very rigid intakes of specific proteins (dense beefs early on to pack on muscle, leaner poultry as posing day nears). There’s even a lot of fat in the diet.

“I eat four tablespoons of peanut butter every day. I packed on meat to get to 195 — now I have to lean down to 187. And I will make that weight.” He’ll compete in two classes with crossover weight ranges: Novice middleweight and open light heavyweight.

And for what: A fleeting moment of glory.

“You spend eight to ten weeks to spend two minutes onstage to prove yourself standing next to ten other people,” Giles admits. “Bodybuilding is an illusion: If you’re a good-looking guy, bodybuilding likes that.”

Judges rate contestants on how aesthetically: For posing, muscularity and symmetry.

“I’ve learned a lot about my body, about training styles and broadened by experience and personal training. My clients have noticed a huge change in my physique in five to six weeks.”

Does he have any — ahem — chemical support for his regimen?

“A lot of people ask if I take steroids. If I say no, people will assume I am anyway, so I just leave it at that,” he says.

Even without steroids, though, bodybuilding ravages the body as much as it sculpts it. Seven days out from the competition, Giles will cut out carbs completely and drown himself with water — two gallons a day. Three days out, he reverses the process, carbo-loading. The 12 hours before he takes to the stage, no liquids at all. And as soon as it’s over, he’ll gorge on a burger and cheesecake.

“You have to make sure you have a balance. Mentally, it can mess you up. And the condition you have to be at is very unhealthy,” he says. “You can only be at 3 to 4 percent body fat for a day — 12 to 15 percent is average for a man.” He’ll be under 5 percent on game day.

Although the Europa Show is a qualifier for the national title competition in October, Giles isn’t sure he’ll continue on with bodybuilding once this cycle is over.

“And there’s no money in it until you go pro, though it could be beneficial to my training career,” he says.
So why do it?

“It’s ego,” he says. “I’m in it to win it. If I went to the gym and saw a guy that I thought, ‘He will beat me,’ I’d drop out.”

Yeah, like that’ll happen.
For training and nutrition consultation, call 469-835-5964.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition July 30, 2010.

—  Kevin Thomas