Rainbow Dialogues

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Saturday March 19

Selected time (EST)

9:00 AM  –  5:00 PM

5th Annual Anthony Mascioli Rainbow Dialogues

The AIDS Crisis in Rochester: A Community Responds


In September 1981, the Empty Closet Newspaper reported on new illnesses that were disproportionately affecting gay men in New York City and Los Angeles and noted that doctors in Rochester had been advised to watch for similar cases. The following month, the publication confidently declared “No ‘Gay’ Diseases Here.”


The optimism was premature. Soon patients in Rochester were being sickened by the mysterious new disease that would become known as HIV/AIDS.


Local hospitals and universities attended to medical needs, caring for patients and researching treatments. Meanwhile, community organizations ensured access to care and support by developing innovative approaches to the delivery of health care and social services and launching public information campaigns to educate the public about the virus and combat the stigma that people living with (and, too often, dying from) it faced.


Taking place at the Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester during the Up Against the Wall: Art, Activism, and the AIDS Poster exhibition on view March 6–June 19, 2022, the 2022 Anthony Mascioli Rainbow Dialogues will explore Rochester’s response to the AIDS crisis from its beginning in 1981 to the present through both local and global lenses.


View the event schedule at bit.ly/RainbowDialogues. For more information, visit www.rainbowdialogues.com. For questions, please contact MAG Senior Marketing & Engagement Manager Alyssa Bileschi at abileschi@mag.rochester.edu. Registration closes on Saturday, March 19, at 12:15 pm.


Registration includes museum admission. Beverages, fresh fruit, and pastries will be available in the morning for all registrants. Boxed lunches will be provided for those who preregister by Sunday, March 13. Lunch will also be available for purchase onsite at Brown Hound Downtown located inside the Memorial Art Gallery.


Preregister for a guided tour of the exhibition HERE.


Registration is required. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing a link to your tickets. All visitors must present their tickets to be scanned upon arrival. By registering, you agree to follow the University of Rochester’s COVID-19 policies, to which MAG adheres. For general visitor information, visit mag.rochester.edu/about.


In the event that MAG needs to cancel your ticket, we will attempt to contact you by email. We advise all visitors to check our website before visiting. View MAG’s refund policy here.


Presented by the Central Library of Rochester & Monroe County and the Out Alliance in partnership with the Memorial Art Gallery and River Campus Libraries. Sponsored by Shoulders to Stand On, Humanities New York, and the Friends & Foundation of the Rochester Public Library.


Free museum admission for Rainbow Dialogues attendees made possible in part by the LGBT+ Fund for Greater Rochester at Rochester Area Community Foundation.