TELLURIDE – “Instead of fearing, we should be understanding; instead of avoiding, we should be helping.” – Tellluride Aids Benefit Student Fashion Show educational video.
Telluride’s paramount fashion extravaganza and annual workhorse for HIV/AIDS education and funding, launches into its more than week-long schedule of events this evening with the TAB Student Fashion Show.
The annual event, in its twelfth season this year, has come into its own; both as a well-attended showcase of young local talent, but also as a significant fundraising event for the longtime non-profit.
With a cast of all-student models, choreographers, set and attire designers, and directors, the Student Fashion Show provides a platform for Telluride High School students to take a valuable role in the machine that is the Telluride Aids Benefit. Annually, TAB provides fundraising for a number of grassroots nonprofit Aids organizations, including the Ethiopian Family Fund, the West Colorado Aids Project, Manzini Youth Care, Children’s Hospital Immunodeficiency Program, and Brother Jeff.
Longtime Telluride Schools educator Sandy McLaughlin is the Student Fashion Show’s adult liaison, but as anyone involved in the show will attest, the students involved manage the show’s production, from rehearsal to performance, as autonomously as possible – making the annual Student Fashion Show a true product of young local talent.
The concept of a student-lead event follows closely with TAB’s overarching ideals, one of which is to provide HIV/Aids education within the Telluride community and beyond. All proceeds from the show and subsequent trunk sale support TAB's educational program, and as TAB Executive Director Stash Wislocki says, this annual tradition featuring student fashion and talent has become a major contributor to the overall TAB effort.
“Aside from being wildly popular, filling the Palm Theatre to capacity for the last four years, the event has also made a great deal of money for our initiatives,” both through ticket sales as well as the after-event Trunk Show, Wislocki says.
The event also provides a platform for local high school students to talk openly about the AIDS epidemic, which is far from seeing an end with 2.7 million people infected with the disease every year – many of those being children. As the text of the Student Fashion Show educational video states: “We are not invincible but we are capable, we are not superhuman, but we are human. Start at the source – education. Because, one in five don’t know they’re infected.”
The TAB Student Fashion Show will be at the Palm Theatre in Telluride, Thursday, Feb. 21 at 6 p.m. Tickets are available at the door.