Developed in 2006 by the ArtsUnited board of directors, Ribbons for the Children began as a way to support and stand in solidarity with all of the families affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Ribbons for the Children began as the brainchild between Keith Clark and Jean Starkey, two board directors at ArtsUnited at the time.
Members of ArtsUnited are often approached by various charitable organizations to donate artwork for events to raise money. ArtsUnited was also considering creating a fall exhibit to showcase as many of its members as possible. In a brainstorming session, it became obvious that we could assist our members and the local community by making our planned fall exhibit a charity event and auction, with all proceeds going to the Children’s Diagnostic and Treatment Center (CDTC) in their Comprehensive Family AIDS Program (CFAP). As this charity exhibit would be going to benefit children and families living with HIV/AIDS, the title Ribbons for the Children seemed fitting. All of the participating artists were encouraged to include the AIDS ribbon in their artwork as well.
The event has been hosted at several venues in Southern Florida including the Broward Center for the Performing Arts and the Fort Lauderdale Museum of Art. While Ribbons for the Children was postponed in 2020 due to the COVID-19 outbreak. ArtsUnited is committed to organizing this event each year. After the outbreak, a virtual Ribbons for the Children raised nearly $50,000 for CDTC.