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|John A. Chaich '95|
Cleveland arts activist and AIDS educator John Chaich was selected to deliver the keynote address at the Commencement ceremony for his alma mater on Saturday, May 17, 2004. His invitation was prompted by a desire of members of the graduating class to hear from a speaker who could demonstrate that a young adult could make a contribution to the community early in his/her career. John was recognized by members of his own graduating class with the Distinguished Student Leader Award for his involvement in campus activities and his leadership.
A communications major with minors in sociology and writing, he was a Resident Assistant, a Writing Assistant, active in theatre and worked for both the Center for Literature and Medicine and as newsletter editor in the Career Center.
The Phi Beta Kappa graduate serves as the Community Relations Manager for the Museum of Contemporary Art in Cleveland. Chaich has been successful in establishing partnerships for the museum with contemporary cultural peers such as the Cleveland Film Society and the Poets and Writers League in Greater Cleveland.
His visionary approach to arts education led the AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland and Planned Parenthood to develop a new magazine which features emerging artists and activists responding to HIV/AIDS. Described as an "edutainer" in newspaper and magazine articles and one of the most influential young professionals in the Cleveland arts community, Chaich has produced workshops and theatrical projects which have been featured in Chicago, New York, San Francisco, and throughout Ohio.
Chaich has won statewide recognition for his AIDS education project, Art Action AIDS, a multi-media social marketing campaign on behalf of the AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland. The campaign utilized billboard, print ads, and postcards to raise the awareness of AIDS education activities throughout the city of Cleveland and culminated with and exhibition for his work with an Award of Distinction for Outreach by Northern Ohio Live magazine.
"John's liberal arts education had enabled him to make a difference in his community very early in his career," said former Hiram College President Richard J. Scaldini. "He is socially aware and passionate about the use of visual arts in AIDS education."