The ACT UP Oral History Project is a collection of interviews with surviving members of the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power, New York. The project is coordinated by Jim Hubbard and Sarah Schulman, with principal camera work by James Wentzy and additional camerawork on the West Coast by S. Leo Chiang and Tracy Wares.

The purpose of this project is to present comprehensive, complex, human, collective, and individual pictures of the people who have made up ACT UP/New York. These men and women of all races and classes have transformed entrenched cultural ideas about homosexuality, sexuality, illness, health care, civil rights, art, media, and the rights of patients. They have achieved concrete changes in medical and scientific research, insurance, law, health care delivery, graphic design, and introduced new and effective methods for political organizing. These interviews reveal what has motivated them to action and how they have organized complex endeavors. We hope that this information will de-mystify the process of making social change, remind us that change can be made, and help us understand how to do it. (ACT UP continues to fight to end the AIDS epidemic. For more information on ACT UP's current activities, see their websites www.actupny.com and www.actupny.org.)

A complete transcript of each interview is available through free download via this website. You can also see streaming video clips of many of the interviews. Just click on Interviews. Unedited tapes of the first 50 interviews can be viewed at the San Francisco Main Library and the New York Public Library Manuscripts & Archives Division (5th Avenue and 42nd Street). For further information about the project, click on Contact or to purchase DVD copies, please click on on Ordering.

This project is a program of MIX—the New York Queer Experimental Film Festival and has been funded by a major grant from the Ford Foundation and by grants from the Gesso Foundation, the Gill Foundation, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the Harvard College Library, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, the MAC AIDS Fund, the Open Society Foundations, the Robert L. Monette Trust, the James & Ruth Wilder Foundation, the Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation and the Phil Zwickler Memorial & Charitable Trust and hundreds of individuals. The project has also been supported by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts. We are also grateful for the generous donation from our friend Philip Willkie.

We are preserving the legacy of ACT UP, while also revealing the complexity and diversity of the organization and the immense ingenuity and talent that made it possible for ACT UP to change the face of AIDS in America. We have been deeply gratified by the overwhelmingly positive response from the community, but we still have over 100 people waiting to be interviewed. In order to do those interviews, we need your help. Your donation will help pay for hard drives and other computer equipment, software, transcriptions, and adding additional video clips to the website. In addition, we are always looking for significant help from individual donors and foundations and would be happy to talk to anyone with ideas.

  Please support the Project by making a donation now. Just click on the button that says "Make a Donation" and follow the instructions. Your donation will go through our fiscal sponsor MIX: The New York Lesbian & Gay Experimental Film Festival, which is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization, so it is fully tax deductible and can be charged to your credit card or paid through your PayPal account. Thank you so much for your help and support.


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PHOTO CREDITS
"Katrina Haslip," I'm You, You're Me (Debra Levine and Catherine [Saalfield] Gund) -- "Die-In," Seize Control of the FDA (Gregg Bordowitz and Jean Carlomusto) -- "Living with AIDS 2 years 2 months," Testing the Limits (Testing the Limits) -- "If I Die...," Picture of David Wojnarowicz by Bill Dobbs -- "White House," Target Bush (James Wentzy) -- "One AIDS Death..." James Wentzy, -- "ACT Upers joining arms," Target City Hall (DIVA TV) -- "Women behind ACT UP sign," Doctors, Liars and Women (Jean Carlomusto and Maria Maggenti) -- "Where's Your Rage...," Stonewall 25 (DIVA TV - James Wentzy) -- "Robert Garcia" DIVA TV -- "Know Your Scumbags," Like A Prayer (DIVA TV) -- "Cop in shorts," Acting Up for Prisoners (Eric Slade and Mic Sweney) -- "In the Tradition of Stonewall" James Wentzy.