The Art Heals Project

Project Director, Tarik Daniels Launched January 4, 2020 Austin, Texas

The Art Heals Project focuses on the intersectionality of mental health and HIV care with meaningful

 The Art Heals Project focuses on the intersectionality of mental health and HIV care with meaningful involvement of People Living with HIV/AIDS through a healing justice framework.

Healing Justice Peer Support Group

Every Other Thursday, Starting January 16th, 2020


Center for Health Empowerment (St. James Episcopal Church)

1941 Webberville Rd, Austin, TX 78721 

This Healing Justice Support Group is for persons who are committed to ending HIV related or mental health stigma as well as persons living with a mental health condition. This a collaboration with the Center for Health Empowerment that will include awareness, advocacy, and forms of art such as film and vogue.

We will invite other healing justice dedicated HIV related and/or mental wellness providers for break out sessions and other related programming over time to meet the needs of the population while maintaining our healing justice framework.

*We will develop and provide support to the film, AND THEY WERE LOVED, a documentary about the rebirth of three young queer men’s identities as they search for spaces of empowerment in the American South. This project is an independent student film that will inspire new conversations about the humanity of black and brown queer individuals who wouldn’t usually see themselves on screen. 

AND THEY WERE LOVED will bring light to the journey of growing up queer in the South and how said journey could shape one’s identity and experience. In a society of ostracization, we follow an ensemble of three young queer men of color from Central Texas as they each search for a space of empowerment and healing. We paint an intimate portrait of the transformation between these three men as they experience different queer spaces like the Ballroom scene for the first time. Their names are Jacundo, Marcus and Zion. AND THEY WERE LOVED connects three unique stories about trauma, triumph, and the power of love.

* Break Out Vogue Session

More details coming SOON.





So excited to announce that Whatsinthemirror? has been selected as COMPASS Initiative 2020 Transformative Grant partner! :

Whatsinthemirror? Awarded $52,500 from COMPASS Initiative® to Expand Efforts to Combat HIV in Austin

Funding is Part of Gilead Sciences COMPASS Initiative® to Curb HIV Infection Rate, Reduce Stigma in the South

AUSTIN/TEXAS (Dec. 5, 2019) - Today, Whatsinthemirror? received a $52,500 Transformative Grant from the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work as part of the COMPASS Initiative® to build on community-driven solutions that are reducing stigma and improving the health and wellbeing of those impacted by HIV in the South. Whatsinthemirror? will use the funds to support the Art Heals Project.

“Our Art Heals Project will focus on the intersectionality of mental health and HIV prevention work with the focus on persons living with HIV to reduce stigma through art and affirming care and awareness. We are excited to add to the healing justice work that’s being done across the nation.”- Tarik Daniels, Founder/Executive Director

The South faces a growing epidemic of HIV/AIDS. Despite being home to only 38 percent of the country’s population, Southern states experienced 52 percent of new HIV diagnoses in 2017. Due to societal disparities in the South—including poverty, housing stability and food security—the epidemic represents a complex challenge that requires a variety of community-based solutions. COMPASS invests in community organizations that build awareness, reduce stigma, advance education, share knowledge and promote the well-being of individuals affected by HIV.
The COMPASS Initiative® is awarding more than $2.3 million in Transformative Grants to 40 organizations. This one-year grant will help address inequalities within the HIV epidemic by increasing organizational capacity, reducing stigma and promoting wellbeing, mental health, and trauma-informed care.

“We believe in going where the need is greatest, listening to those working on the front lines and providing them the resources they need to scale their success,” said Korab Zuka, Vice President of Public Affairs at Gilead Sciences. “Nowhere is that truer than in the Southern U.S., where HIV infection rates are increasing and finding access to care can be difficult. Last year our transformative grantees helped reduce stigma, train healthcare professionals and expand access in rural communities. We’re excited to see these new grantees bring their creativity and tenacity to end HIV once and for all.”
About the Gilead COMPASS Initiative®
The Gilead COMPASS Initiative® is a 10-year, more than $100 million commitment in the Southern United States supporting organizations working to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The corporate giving program of the Initiative has a threefold mission: to build capacity and increase knowledge sharing among community-based, underfunded organizations in Southern states; to explore interventions that appropriately respond to patients' needs, including the bundling or reframing of mental healthcare, as well as the intersection between substance use, the opioid epidemic and HIV/AIDS; and to fund awareness and anti-stigma campaigns. Through this Initiative, Gilead plans to dramatically increase the reach of these organizations working to address the epidemic in the region, and ultimately to improve the lives of those affected by HIV/AIDS.
For more information on Gilead’s COMPASS Initiative and the full list of grantees visit