The Day Without Art (DWA) began on December 1, 1989 as the national day of action and mourning in response to the AIDS crisis. To make the public aware that AIDS can touch everyone, and inspire positive action, some 800 U.S. art and AIDS groups participated in the first Day Without Art, shutting down museums, sending staff to volunteer at AIDS services, or sponsoring special exhibitions of work about AIDS. Since then, Day With(out) Art has grown into a collaborative project in which an estimated 8.000 national and international museums, galleries, art centers, libraries, high schools and colleges take part.
For the 7th annual World AIDS Day and its ancillary event, Day Without Art, Creative Time and artnetweb announced the Internet-based Action Project. In this digital observance, over one hundred participating web sites featured the Day Without Art logo on their homepage, which functioned as a link to the Action Project web site. Designed by G.H. Hovagimyan, the site featured animated poetry by John Giorno; digital versions of four AIDS-related broadsides courtesy of Visual AIDS; and links to other AIDS/HIV information sites.