BY SARAH VUKALOVIC
PHOTOGRAPHY BY CHRIS PHILLIPS
STAYING ALIVE FOUNDATION’S LARGEST ANNUAL
FUNDRAISER FINDS A HOME IN DALLAS.
eorgia Arnold is dynamic, engaging, and perpetually
prepared—even as she contends with a five-hour time
difference and daylight savings to make our interview
possible. Ms. Arnold is MTV’s Senior Vice President of Social
Responsibility, as well as the Executive Director of the network’s
Staying Alive Foundation. As such, she leads the development
of MTV’s socially responsible content, oversees fundraising and
awards grants, and implements multi-layered initiatives across
MTV’s many international channels. She is a woman of many
responsibilities, not the least of which includes pulling off Staying
Alive Foundation’s largest fundraising event of the year: MTV RE:
DEFINE. Held at The Goss-Michael Foundation, the 2015 auction
marks the fourth event in Dallas since RE:DEFINE’s inception in
As an assistant at MTV Europe sixteen years ago, Arnold was
tasked with deciding on a charitable endeavor for the network. With
HIV at its peak in the mid- 90’s—an illness particularly devastating
for M TV’s audience of adolescents and young adults—she seized the
opportunity to reach an at-risk population with on-target content.
The result was a one-off documentary created in partnership with
UNICEF, and later, a series of shows presented by major artists
to raise HIV awareness and its prevention among teens. The first
presenting artist was George Michael. “It’s really funny the way the
world works, and how these circles end up closing,” Georgia muses.
“And Goss-Michael ended up being one of Staying Alive’s greatest
Fast-forward a decade, and what began as a humble endeavor
is now a foundation that delivers content to over 550 million
people worldwide, training 15 thousand young leaders through a
grant system that offers financial resources as well as mentors for
local activists. “What worries me most is when you look at young
people, 10 to 19 years old, infection rates are skyrocketing, and
AIDS-related deaths have gone up worldwide,” Georgia explains.
There’s still much to be done, and Staying Alive does it in Dallas. In
fact, the event also serves to benefit Dallas Contemporary, further
engaging the vibrant arts community in its mission.
This year, the April 10 event honors iconic British artist Michael
Craig-Martin. “It’s going to be cool, it’s got a little bit of an edge,
and it’s where people want to be,” Georgia explains. Her excitement
is palpable. “The thing I also love at RE:DEFINE is that we see
a lot of the same people come back to the event to support us.
They believe in The Goss-Michael Foundation and the work we’re
Georgia Arnold at MTV's London headquarters.