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Alumna fights AIDS with art

Lijia Lumsden and Anna Belle Peterson

Mills alumna Dorothy Yumi Garcia returned to her alma mater on Thursday March 8, bringing with her a spirit of giving and guidance. Her husband, Tom Harding, and her daughter, Chloe, sold beaded dolls, animals and jewelry, pins and other unique pieces of art outside the Tea Shop steps. This art is a part of their nonprofit organization, ArtAidsArt, founded in 2003. The organization works with women in South Africa and, according to their Web site, “promotes education and sustainable economic development through the arts.” The group also educates women in South Africa about HIV/AIDS and helps to protect them from the present AIDS crisis.

(From top) Freshwoman Bella Tarhunhe holds a beaded penguin and asks Garcia questions about the organization. Bowls filled with different beaded pins covered the table in front of the Tea Shop. Garcia’s daughter, Chloe, 18, stands behind the table, helping out with selling the art. The 18-year old said that when Garcia and her husband visited South Africa in 1999 “they just basically fell in love with the whole vibe of Cape Town.” Garcia poses for the camera in her apron which reads “Strong women for Africa.” ArtAidsArt takes yearly trips to South Africa to get people immersed in the experience of living in Cape Town.

One of the organization’s future goals is to incorporate more college student participation in their programs.

For more information, visit