TAB's Fashion Gala: 2023 Dream Team On Upcoming Show & More!

The Telluride AIDS Benefit (TAB) is a nonprofit whose mission is to fight HIV/AIDS by heightening awareness and generating financial support for educational programs and client care from the Western Slope to Subsaharan Africa.

This year, TAB’s gala fundraiser, the fashion show, takes place February 23 – February 25.

Donate here.

Tickets for the fashion show here.

Note: All Double Diamond Tickets receive early access to purchase Fashion After Dark Dance Party tickets and a Champagne Toast at the show. **Fri + Sat Double Diamond Tickets receive a Patron Party invitation and special TAB XXX gifts at your seat. *** A portion of your purchase is tax deductible (purchases exceeding $75).

Go here for more on TAB.

And please scroll down to listen to a podcast featuring the 2023 fashion show’s creative duo.

Laya Barak, Artistic Director, TAB fashion show 2023. Credit, The Ginger B3ardmen. 

 

Kellen Stancil, Choreographer, TAB’s fashion show 2023. Credit: Josh Drake.

In the 15 years between the first official reports of infection and the availability of therapies to combat the virus, 1981 to 1996, playwrights created an entire sub-genre of drama about AIDS, a category of works that stands today.

Because it is not over until it is over.

We all should recognize at least some of the names of these masterworks starting with the crowning achievement in the category, Tony Kushner’s “Angels in America” (1993). The superb script, rich collection of characters, bravura theatricality and sheer vision roll up into making the work the essential American play of the late 20th century.

The list also includes Kushner’s “The Normal Heart” (1985); Terrence McNally’s “Love! Valour! Compassion!” (1995); Wendy Wasserstein’s “The Heidi Chronicles” (1989); and Jonathan Larson’s “Rent’ (1996).

And so on and on…

These great dramas engendered by AIDS acted as salve to the pain of the pandemic.

As will the upcoming Telluride AIDS Benefit’s gala fashion show, which promises to be smart, sassy and sexy.

Helmed by two New York-based super novas, Artistic Director Laya Barak, and Associate Director/Choreographer Kellen Stancil, (collectively referred to as “Broadway Takeover” on TAB’s website), the 2023 theme is “Reflections.” The program celebrates three decades of TAB’s must-see/must-support (for the beneficiaries) extravaganza.

While it is true HIV/AIDS has dropped from headline news, replaced by a shiny newish plague, (COVID), the virus has cost America too much for too long – and remains a significant public health issue. More than 700,000 American lives have been lost to HIV since 1981. More than 1.1 million Americans are currently living with HIV and many more are at risk of infection.

Over the years, as people have watched friends cut down in the prime of life, they tried to make sense of the scourge by channeling their experience into ways to help. The Telluride AIDS Benefit evolved from that impetus.

Why?

Because unlike most HIV/AIDS money that originates from government programs or larger foundations, TAB funds are distributed with no strings attached.

Most of those life-changing dollars are raised at the aforementioned annual fashion show, this year February 23 – February 25.

In our ever-changing political climate, TAB funds remain as important, perhaps more important than ever.

Now please listen to what Laya Barak and Kellen Stancil have to say about their upcoming show, also their lives and work.

(Note: In the podcast, I mispronounced Laya’s last name. “Barak” is pronounced “Barack” (as in Obama). Sorry, my bad.)

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