The West Adams Collectors Club was a free 8-week, intergenerational workshop on archiving grassroots histories, hosted and organized by The William Grant Still Arts Center in collaboration with community members. From Black dolls and mix tapes to books, flyers, social movements and community spaces, we learned about collecting, keeping, and exhibiting cultural and social history through personal collections and building archives! The workshop took place on eight Saturdays from March 14-May 2, 2015.
Club members visited local archives, universities, and museums including USC ONE Archive, the Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research , UCLA Special Collections and Ralph J. Bunche Center for African-American Studies at UCLA. Club members also built skills and community through workshops and group discussions with librarians, historians and one another, and displayed archives on a topic of their choice for a group exhibit at The William Grant Still Arts Center in Fall 2015.
The workshops series was facilitated and developed in collaboration with community historians Billie Green, BJ’s Dress Up & Tea Garden; Alden Kimbrough, Independent Collector and co-founder of Zambezi Bazaar; and C. Jerome Woods, The Black LGBT Project and “next generation” archivists Kelly Besser, Project Archivist UCLA Special Collections; Treva Ellison, Ph.D Candidate, University of Southern California, American Studies; and Dalena Hunter, Librarian UCLA Bunche Center for African American Studies.
All workshops met at William Grant Still Arts Center
8 Saturdays – March 14-May 2, 1pm
March 14 – Join The Club: An Introductory Workshop
Presenters: Alden Kimbrough, Billie J. Green, Jerome Woods, Kelly Besser, and Dalena Hunter
March 21 – Archival Processing: Preservation & Arrangement
Held at UCLA Special Collections and Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies with Dalena Hunter and Kelly Besser
March 28 – Grassroots Archive Share Day
Guest Speakers: SEMAP (South El Monte Arts Posse) and The Lavender Effect
April 4 – The Black LGBT Archive with C. Jerome Woods
Held at Mayme Clayton Library and Museum, Led by Jerome Woods and Kelly Besser
April 11 – Organizing, Describing & Cataloguing
1:00-2:15pm: Workshop session with Dalena Hunter
2:20-2:40pm: Guest Speaker Les Wills
The Fight at Home & Abroad: Desegregation of West Adams & East Adams after WWII
2:40-3:00pm:Guest Speaker Alison Rose Jefferson
African-American Leisure Site History in So. California
April 18 – More Local Archives!
Meet at 12:30; Depart at 12:45
1-1:45pm: USC ONE Archive
2:00-3:00pm: Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research
How to Use The Archive: A Hands On Workshop
April 25 – Digitizing & Technology
1:00-3:00pm:Workshop session with Treva Ellison
May 2 – Wrap Up & Planning for Our Fall 2015 Group Exhibition
1:00-1:15pm: Kelly Besser & The Miracle Bookmobile
1:25-3:00pm: Exhibition Planning for Fall/Curating Workshop with Ami Motevalli
This project was made possible with the support from Cal Humanities, a non-profit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Visit calhum.org