ALERT Health Reaches the Surface
Two Local Events Will Educate Community on HIV/AIDS
This week, ALERT Health will present its latest project, Reaching the Surface, a blend of contemporary dance, spoken word and live music, to increase awareness of the impact of the HIV/AIDS stigma. Artists both affected and infected by HIV will entertain and educate guests through a series of compelling and relatable stories.
Pioneer Winter, Artistic Director of Reaching the Surface, hopes the events will “ignite a greater understanding and compassion for those touched by HIV. Reaching the Surface was created because there is an increasing need to reach people on their own terms. We are not trying to change minds; we only seek to share an alternate view, a fresh perspective.”
The events, produced by Winter himself, will take place in North Miami at the Museum of Contemporary Art Plaza on June 4, with a second performance at the Little Haiti Cultural Center on June 5.
Both performances, which begin at 8 p.m., are free and open to the public. “The shows will spark raw emotions, inspire new beliefs, and hopefully begin a healing for all,” says Winter.
At age 22, Winter is ambitious. “Reaching the Surface is just my first attempt at creating something with substance—the arts being used as an instrument of social change, not just for its aesthetic.” In addition to North Miami Mayor Andre Pierre, who will be speaking at both showings, Senator Federica Wilson and Commissioner Audrey Edmonson have already confirmed their attendance. Invitations have gone out to other key community leaders as well, and Winter is optimistic on the outcome. “We are hoping for around 300 audience members per event.”
Winter is passionate about the project and encourages people to become advocates for victims of the disease. “Reaching the Surface was not created for those with HIV, though it impacts them,” states Winter.
Winter would like to increase the number of advocates promoting awareness of HIV. “For those who believe you must be HIV positive to be an advocate, they are missing the point of Reaching the Surface. There are dancers and musicians, including myself, who are not HIV positive, but still believe in the cause of reducing stigma.”
Founded in 1997, ALERT Health’s mission is to improve the health and quality of life for people at risk of chronic illness, by providing accessible, integrated, preventive care.
ALERT serves more than 5,000 of North Miami’s young adults each year with an integrated roster of preventive services.
For more information on Alert Health and Reaching the Surface, visit Alerthealth.org.