West Adams Collectors Club: Collecting, Archiving & Exhibiting Your Own Cultural History

Event Details

West Adams Collectors Club: Collecting, Archiving & Exhibiting Your Own Cultural History

Time: October 3, 2015 to November 21, 2015
Location: William Grant Still Arts Center
Street: 2520 S. West View Street
City/Town: Los Angeles
Website or Map: https://wgsac.wordpress.com/2…
Phone: 323-734-1165
Event Type: history, community, art
Organized By: William Grant Still Arts Center
Latest Activity: Jan 8, 2016

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Event Description

Items from the collections of Alden Kimbrough, Mary Kimbrough and George Sneed, C. Jerome Woods, Tené Harris, Billie J. Green, Trinity Baptist Church, Community Services Unlimited, Johann Hassan, Alline Merchant, Gilda Byers and the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA. 

Complete list of upcoming programs on our website.

This exhibition is the result of a free, eight-week intergenerational workshop on grassroots archiving and collecting, hosted & organized by The William Grant Still Arts Center in collaboration with community members, professional archivists & local historians this past spring.

Multiple generations & narratives come into play in the exhibition, which brings together a portion of the home collections of workshop participants & facilitators, to demonstrate & encourage new generations to collect & keep history. Billie Green’s collection of dolls made by the Shindana Toy Company showcase how a company formed in South Central Los Angeles in the post-Watts Rebellion era created dolls which reflected positive role models, cultural figures & everyday life for children of color to enjoy. Tené Harris’s passion & profession as baker in Los Angeles— a shared interest of her great-great-grandmother & aunt— offered her an entry point to her family’s history in Texas as she founded her business, Sweet Beginnings. Other collections include Johann Hassan’s collection of stamps featuring important African-American historical, social & cultural figures, Alline Merchant’s collection of her cousin Kofi Bailey’s drawings and prints, Gilda Byers’ flyers and documentation of her work in LA’s reggae music scene in the 1980s & 1990s & an archive assembled by long-time members of the Trinity Baptist Church’s congregation.

With these will be selections from larger collections including Alden Kimbrough’s original James Baldwin materials, C. Jerome Woods collection of periodicals featuring local icons Sir Lady Java & Jewel Thais Williams, traditional African & African-American Art representing the unified vision of collectors Mary Kimbrough & George Sneed, & Dalena Hunter’s curated selections from the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA. 

A full gallery is dedicated to the debut of a large collection documenting the past, present & future of the work of Community Services Unlimited, beginning with the Free Breakfast for Children Program of the Southern California chapter of the Black Panther Party through to their recent purchase of the Paul Robeson Center on South Vermont with plans to transform it into an organic produce market for the community. A take-one, leave-one bookshelf will enable exhibition guests to add to The Miracle Bookmobile, a donation-driven project which activates the public redistribution of literature & ideas.

This project was made possible with support from Cal Humanities, a non-profit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Visit calhum.org.

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