amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research

Jennifer Hudson and Claire Danes Help Raise Nearly $750,000 at Inaugural amfAR Inspiration Gala in São Paulo

Calvin Klein Collection’s Francisco Costa Honored with Piaget Award of Inspiration



amfAR Media Contacts:  Bennah Serfaty, Senior Director of Communications: (212) 806-1607,; Natalie Jacobs, Media Relations Coordinator: (212) 806-1694,  

São Paulo, Brazil, April 29, 2011—Jennifer Hudson, Claire Danes, Preta Gil, Alessandra Ambrosio, Ana Beatriz Barros, and Isabelli Fontana were among those who came out last night to the home of Felipe Diniz to support amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research at its first benefit event in South America.  Francisco Costa, the award-winning women’s creative director of Calvin Klein Collection, was presented with the Piaget Award of Inspiration in recognition of his extraordinary commitment to raising HIV/AIDS awareness and advancing AIDS research. The event raised nearly $750,000 for the Foundation’s live-saving AIDS research programs.

Event Chair Felipe Diniz hosted the benefit at his home, where guests were treated to specially crafted Grey Goose cocktails and a gala dinner. Mr. Diniz opened the night and introduced amfAR CEO Kevin Robert Frost, who spoke about the impressive leadership that Brazil has shown with its national AIDS program.

Acclaimed actress Claire Danes presented Mr. Costa with his award, saying “Tonight we honor Francisco, not for his creative mind but for his big heart and his beautiful soul.” She praised the designer for his extensive work with the AIDS Community Research Initiative of America, Designers Against AIDS, the Life Ball, and amfAR. Mr. Costa, who grew up in Brazil, received a warm standing ovation from the São Paulo crowd.

Grammy and Academy Award-winning singer and actress Jennifer Hudson gave a rousing performance that had everyone on their feet. Ms. Hudson walked through the audience, serenading and dancing with guests, performing songs including her hit “Spotlight,” a rendition of the Beatles’ “Let It Be,” and the Dreamgirls song “I Am Telling You I’m Not Going.”

The event also included a live auction of one-of-a-kind items.  Brazilian visual artist Vik Muniz’s piece “Cloud Cloud Miami” earned one of the highest bids of the night, selling for $35,000.  Another highlight was a weekend getaway to Rio de Janeiro, a package that included a two-night stay in the Hotel Fasano Rio’s ocean-front Presidential Suite, a unique Sylvia Furmanovich gold, pearl, diamond, and coral ring, and a floor-length Pelu gown custom designed for the Inspiration Gala. The package also sold for $35,000.

Brazilian singer and actress Preta Gil closed the event with a performance and had guests dancing late into the night.

The São Paulo benefit marks the fourth in the Inspiration series, launched by amfAR and Josh Wood Productions in 2010 to raise funds for AIDS research by celebrating all aspects of style.  Previous Inspiration events have taken place at the New York Public Library, Maxim’s in Paris, and the Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles.

Fasano is the Hotel Sponsor and Evian is the Water Sponsor of Inspiration São Paulo.

About amfAR

amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research is one of the world’s leading nonprofit organizations dedicated to the support of AIDS research, HIV prevention, treatment education, and the advocacy of sound AIDS-related public policy. Since 1985, amfAR has invested nearly $325 million in its programs and has awarded grants to more than 2,000 research teams worldwide.

About Josh Wood Productions

Josh Wood Productions is dedicated to creating provocative and socially conscious events, concerts, festivals, theatrical productions, political fundraisers, and nightlife. Recent projects include the creation of the amfAR Inspiration Gala series in New York, Paris, and Los Angeles honoring Jean-Paul Gaultier and the Ricky Martin Foundation; “America: Now & Here,” a national touring exhibition of the greatest living artists in America including Paul Simon, Cindy Sherman, and Julian Schnabel; and the Highline Festival curated by David Bowie. Raising money for nonprofits as diverse as Oxfam, Downtown for Democracy, Rock the Vote, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the Royal Shakespeare Company, among others, events have featured artists from Kylie Minogue to Lady Gaga, David Bowie to Lou Reed, and Arcade Fire to Pink.

Delta is the official airline partner of amfAR

HP is the official technology supplier of amfAR