Community Arts Organization

Visual Communications

Based in the Little Tokyo area of Downtown Los Angeles, VC was founded in 1970 by a group of pioneering independent filmmakers to record, collect, and preserve a visual record of Asian Pacific American cultural heritage. VC originally worked as a film collective, concentrating on honestly portraying accurate images of Asian Americans and meticulously capturing pivotal social movements. VC produced groundbreaking works about the Asian American experience, including: CHINATOWN 2-STEP, a documentary on the suburbanization of Chinese American community in Los Angeles and the role of the Chinatown Drum and Bugle Corps; MANONG, a film on the first generation Filipino American immigrants; and WATARIDORI, a documentary on early Japanese American immigrant pioneers. VC published three books, In Movement: A Pictorial History of Asian Pacific America, Little Tokyo: One Hundred Years in Pictures, and Moving the Image: Independent Asian Pacific American Media Arts. Productions were used for education and activism that addressed setting up ethnic studies programs on local campuses, city redevelopment issues, the redress campaign for Japanese Americans interned during World War II, and the declaration of martial law in the Philippines. VC’s own past in all media, narrative films, documentaries and educational projects are intertwined with the Asian Pacific American movements of the 1970s, and in itself represents a rich resource for researchers of the Asian Pacific American movements. The Archives’ purpose is to document the history of the organization by organizing, preserving, and creating access to a variety of media art and primary materials recording impactful political moments and depicting the Asian Pacific American heritage for staff use, as well as by scholars who are interested in Visual Communications’ role in the Asian American communities and history. The holdings include over 300,000 photographic images, 1,500 titles in the Media Resource Library, 100 films and videos produced by Visual Communications, and over 1,000 hours of oral histories of pan-Asian Pacific American content. As a valuable resource of Asian media art representations, The Archives is open to a wide variety of users, and we encourage the public, artists, filmmakers, students, faculty and others to pursue an intercultural understanding of the Asian American heritage. VC’s vision for the archives is to accurately reflect and represent the diversity of the American populace and to cement Asian Pacific American experiences in the historical record through the preservation, access, and dissemination of our materials, which provide historical context and insight of Asian Pacific American influence not only for Asian Pacific Americans, but also for all Americans. Please refer to our list of holdings for more information: http://fromthevcvault.wordpress.com/vc-archives-collections/

San Gabriel Mission Playhouse

We are a creating an archive of costumes, photos, newspaper articles, letters, and other ephemera to document the history of the Mission Play from 1911 to present, and the San Gabriel Mission Playhouse from 1927 - present. The archive will serve an important role in early California/Los Angeles history.

Angels Gate Cultural Center

Angels Gate is a nonprofit membership organization dedicated to promoting the visual and performing arts and to the celebration of ethnic and cultural diversity through exhibitions, concerts, classes, workshops, and poetry readings. Founded in 1981, Angels Gate rents studio space to forty artists and exhibits their work. The annual exhibition schedule includes both a series of group shows (seven to eight per year) and a featured-artist-of-the-month series. Although Angels Gate is not a collecting organization, the site itself and the ten buildings that Angels Gate occupies are historic, and Angels Gate owns several steel sculptures that are on permanent display on the site.

Santa Monica History Museum

The Santa Monica Historical Society was founded in 1975 as part of the city’s centennial celebration with the mission of collecting and preserving the history, art and culture of the Santa Monica Bay Area. In 1988, a Museum was established to house the Society’s growing collections of artifacts, documents, rare books, newspapers, textiles, artwork, and photographic images. Currently, the Museum’s Image Archives comprise over 500,000 photographs and negatives depicting the local history of Santa Monica, Ocean Park, Santa Monica Canyon, Pacific Palisades, Malibu, Venice and Marina del Rey. The Outlook Newspaper Collection, one of the Museum’s primary holdings, consists of newspapers in hardcopy and on microfilm, extensive files by people and subject headings, and an estimated 400,000 photographs and negatives. Operating from 1875 at the time of the city’s founding until 1998 when the publication ceased its operations, the daily newspaper covered local, regional, state and national events. With an award-winning staff of professional photographers, the newspaper produced a significant archive of images that comprehensively portray the cultural, political and social life of the Santa Monica Bay Area communities. In addition, the archive contains images of major events taking place in the greater Los Angeles area, including cultural affairs, politics, features, sports, celebrities, presidential visits and conventions, the Los Angeles riots and earthquakes, fires and floods. The Museum also houses the collections of Outlook Newspaper photographers Bill Beebe, consisting of approximately 75,000 images from the 1930s to the 1960s, and Bob Smith, consisting of approximately 6,000 images from the 1960s to the 1990s. The Museum’s Image Archives also include publisher Diane Margolin’s City Scene images, the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce Collection and the Museum’s extensive collection of early Santa Monica photographs.

Japanese American National Museum

The Japanese American National Museum holds a wide variety of materials documenting the Japanese American experience from a Japanese American perspective. Built around broad historical eras and themes of Japanese American experience, the holdings are used to fulfill the museum’s mission "to promote understanding and appreciation of America's ethnic and cultural diversity by sharing the Japanese American experience." The National Museum's general collection includes bibliographic materials, three-dimensional objects, fine art, photographs, oral history recordings, and moving images. The museum also maintains a public research library and archival collections.

Side Street Projects

Side Street Projects is a community-based, nonprofit arts organization dedicated to helping artists produce and exhibit their work. Located in the Eighteenth Street Arts Complex in Santa Monica, Side Street Projects pro--vides and maintains a fully equipped workshop where local artists can have their pieces fabricated at reasonable rates or do the work themselves. Also available are a gallery for displaying artists' projects and installations and a workroom that can be rented for artists' workshops, lectures, or rehearsals. Side Street Projects is a place where artists really work, and it is alone in providing affordable support services to the local arts community. The organization's collections include catalogs, announcements, newsletters, and slides documenting all exhibits and projects. Side Street Projects also archives past exhibitions of local artists and maintains a Web site featuring local artists.

Self Help Graphics and Art, Inc.

Founded in 1970 as "Art, Inc.", but incorporated as a non-profit organization in 1973 as "Self Help Graphics & Art" (SHG), SHG is dedicated to the production, interpretation and distribution of prints and other art media by Chicana/o and Latinx artists. Our multidisciplinary and intergenerational programs promote artistic excellence and empower our community by providing access to space, tools, training and capital.

Plaza de la Raza Cultural Center for the Arts and Education

The Plaza private arts are a collective of four distinct collections. Each one focused in its own area of interest: The Vincent Price Collection contains twenty two pieces of ceramic, wood, and stone artifacts that are very fine pieces of historical note; The Plaza Hispanic Art Collection is a grouping of twenty eight paintings, prints and works on paper that emphasize the art of modern and contemporary artists; The Plaza Folk Art Collection is a gathering of one thousand, nine hundred and forty varied and mostly anonymous items produced in areas all over Mexico (the art works are all executed in a traditional or unschooled manner usually referred to as ‘folk’ or ‘primitive’); The Jose Galvez Collection contains one hundred eighty photographs donated to Plaza in 1989 by the artist himself. The images are a sampling of ten years of photographing the patrons of events held at Lincoln Park. There are a total of two thousand one hundred and seventy individual items that make up the Private Art Collection.

East Los Streetscapers

East Los Streetscapers was founded in 1975 by Wayne Alaniz Healy and David Rivas Botello, both veterans of the East Los Angeles mural movement. Among the public art projects produced by this team are paintings, tiles, bas-reliefs, and sculptures in a wide variety of materials. The designs are multicultural, strong, dynamic, colorful, site specific, and compositionally dramatic in line and texture. The East Los Streetscapers' collaborative works frequently involve other Chicano artists. The archives of the East Los Streetscapers contain all of the creative and documentary records related to the team's artwork, both public and private. In its collection are original concepts, designs, cartoons, maquettes, and finished art pieces.

Educational Communications

Established in 1958, Educational Communications is dedicated to improving the quality of life on this planet by creating greater awareness of environmental issues. Educational Communications currently holds 600 ECONEWS shows, an Emmy-nominated weekly television series airing on cable and PBS stations and the internet (Youtube); 2200 Environmental Directions radio shows, original audio recordings of the Environmental Directions international radio series, a half-hour interview show that airs on public, commercial, and listener-sponsored, in the United States and worldwide on the internet; two hundred original audio recordings of the Environmental Viewpoints radio series, a magazine-style program that provides news and information, including a calendar of events, music, interviews, and special conference coverage; and sixty original audio recordings of the one-hour shows in the Planet Health radio series. It has 45 years of The Compendium Newsletter (six issues per year; 270 editions). In addition to archival materials for Project Ecotourism, Educational Communications holds papers, letters, photographs, and other materials documenting over fifty years of ecoactivism by the Ecology Center of Southern California and sixty years for Educational Communications including the Oscar-nomination plaque for a documentary. Among the organization's Southern California memorabilia are records, correspondence, photographs, newsletters, and brochures related to the Ecology Center's first Earth Day, which occurred in 1970. The collection also covers the activities of environmental activists in the area. The Environmental Resources Library has over 2000 autographed books about the environment. Other projects include Humanity and the Planet which donates educational supplies and books to groups around the world, and Earth Cultures which presents ethnic folk dance performances and has a collection of dance videos and music. The facility in Idyllwild, California, is now on the National Registry of Historic Places and is available for photo shoots, retreats, meetings, and public visits.