Friday, December 01, 2006

Seattle, Washington Event: Students Respond with Music and Art

Blog contributor: Ryan Smith. Photography by Jon Warren.

World AIDS Day at Seattle Pacific University (SPU) kicked off yesterday with a benefit show featuring students responding to the AIDS pandemic through music and art. About 100 students packed the room, gathering to enjoy some great music and to support AIDS orphans around the world.

Danielle Henry, one of three musicians who performed, shared a beautiful ballad titled “Blessed.” She jokes that some of her friends call it “The AIDS Song.” She wrote it after walking through the World Vision AIDS Experience last year.

"I Went Home and Wept"

“[The Experience] was really inspiring, because I was putting myself somewhere besides my little Christian college campus. I was seeing what other people had to walk through on a daily basis,” Danielle says. “I went home and wept, and the song came out of that.”

Lyrics like "How do we get away from that little box of pride that’s filling up our lives?" and "Where do we draw the line between what is right and that little selfish thing inside?" were a challenge to look past immediate surroundings — and a challenge for students to visit the AIDS Experience that’s currently on campus.

In fact, the concert event itself was sparked from that song, says Wendy Whitley, a sophomore who leads SPU’s Acting on AIDS chapter. “I heard Danielle perform the song, and the idea for a concert got rolling,” she says. “I think that this event is important because it shows that students are responding to the AIDS crisis in their own creative ways.”

Representing a World Affected by AIDS

While Danielle and others played their music, Scott Erickson was painting to the side of the stage. He painted an African girl and an Indian boy to represent the world affected by AIDS. “A lot of the attention about AIDS goes to Africa, and rightly so,” Scott says. “But it’s spreading to the rest of the world, and especially India, and I wanted to show the global spread of the disease for World AIDS Day.”

“Scott the Painter,” as he is more commonly known, isn’t a student, but he has painted for many SPU events and regularly works with churches and non-profits to add a visual experience to events, in addition to his studio work.

To see stories, photos, and video about other World AIDS Day events at Seattle Pacific University, check back to this site throughout the rest of this evening!

Check out Danielle’s music at
See some of Scott’s artwork at

SPU students: Please click the "comments" button below ... are you planning on making any changes to your life as a result of this campaign? Tell us about the child you chose, and why. Let us know what you are thinking!

- Ryan Smith

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