The Venice Arts: In Neighborhoods organization is the recipient of a $42,000 Entertainment To Empowerment Foundation grant for its project titled The House is Small, But the Welcome is Big, a visual documentary created by 15 women infected with HIV or AIDS from Cape Town, South Africa. The photos in the documentary portray the impact of HIV, AIDS and poverty on African women and children.

The grant awarded by the Entertainment To Empowerment Foundation will assist further distribution of the South African images and stories, raising awareness about the continuing global AIDS crisis, as well as development of new projects, according to a spokesman.

Photographs from the documentary project have been mounted as an exhibit in Venice, along with a short documentary and biographies of each photographer.

The exhibit premiered at the Venice Art Walk and was displayed at the International AIDS Conference in Toronto in August.

In the coming months, the exhibit is to be presented at Harvard Medical School, Stanford University and in theaters staging Menopause The Musical.

Project leaders are also in discussions to place the exhibit in the United Nations building and with agents to obtain a book contract for a photographic essay on the mothers’ lives.

Jeanie Linders, writer and producer of Menopause The Musical, started the Entertainment To Empowerment Foundation (originally called the Women For Women Foundation) in 2003.

The foundation is solely funded by proceeds from the sale of the musical’s merchandise and souvenirs.

In the creation of the musical, Linders has always maintained that the show is not about entertainment but about women.

The foundation funds programs specifically for women, whom Linders believes possess the power and desire to help not only their families but their communities as well.

The foundation made its largest contribution by awarding more than $500,000 to fund ovarian cancer research and increase awareness of the disease.

Information or to download grant proposal forms, www.eefdn.org or (407) 478-1700.

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