Face to Face, which aims to end HIV in Sonoma County and supports the health of people living with HIV and AIDS, is getting extra-creative with its fundraising events this year.
After its Beerfest event was canceled in June because of the pandemic, Face to Face organizers knew they had to focus on their next fundraising event, the annual Art for Life auction, said Gary Saperstein, development director at Face to Face.
Now, Art for Life is going virtual, which Saperstein said is an opportunity for the organization to reach an even wider audience.
“It’s fun. As I say, it’s making lemonade out of lemons. We’ve been handed what we’re going through right now, so trying to make the best of it,” he said.
The Art for Life fundraiser, now in its 32nd year, is a widely popular event, drawing artists and art lovers from across the Bay Area and beyond. This year’s online auction will run Sept. 17-22 and feature art from many local artists that can be previewed before the auction goes live.
Face to Face also is hosting a Zoom reception for artists and sponsors who will receive a delivery of wine from MacRostie Winery in Healdsburg and refreshments from the girl & the fig restaurant in Sonoma. Donors can meet the artists who have worked with Art for Life for years.
The connection between artists and the cause is what makes the event special, said Linda Galletta, development assistant at Face to Face.
“Sometimes, with charity art auctions, you may get things from artists that they haven’t been able to sell or that have been around for a long time, but that is not the case with this event,” she said. “This event is supported generously by these artists.”
Art for Life was launched in 1988 as a way for artists to contribute to Face to Face’s work. A number of the artists involved donate their work every year to the fundraiser, typically held at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts.
“It really brings the art community together to help us in our mission while we work with our clients to maintain their health and well-being,” Saperstein said.
There are more than 500 men, women and children living with HIV and AIDS in Sonoma County, Face to Face Executive Director Sara Brewer said.
“Just like we’re seeing with COVID, it’s very much a disease of inequity. The same is true of HIV and it has been since the beginning. So everything we’ve seen with COVID is something we’ve been dealing with for almost 40 years.”
What: Art for Life Auction
When: Sept. 17-22, 2020
Where: Online at artforlife.f2f.org