of People with AIDS (NAPWA) in the U.S. Capitol Building in 1987.
The response to the epidemic from the arts community has been swift and extensive. During the early years of the epidemic, the arts world began raising money for AIDSrelated support agencies, promoted AIDS education, and produced works that cultivated awareness and understanding about the epidemic. AIDS-specific exhibitions and performances also proliferated during the mid-1980s. Using powerful AIDS-related imagery, these early exhibitions and performances were predominantly elegiac in nature. Later AIDS activist art, less interested in acknowledging loss than with educating the public, became primarily a didactic tool.