Rise Up L.A. Oral Stories Project
About the Project
In celebration of the upcoming Rise Up L.A. exhibition and 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment on August 18th, 2020, our Performing Arts program at the Natural History Museum embarked on an Oral Stories Project to hear from women in Los Angeles over the age of 65. Over 30 women took part in interviews conducted by one of our Performing Artists, Jenny Gillett, during which the subject of feminism, womanhood, and the importance of exercising your right to vote were discussed, among many other interesting personal stories.
Oral story collections have the ability to give a more intimate and personal perspective to our understanding of history and our current times. The ultimate goal of our Oral Stories project at the Museum is to create what we call an ethnodrama, where transcripts from the interviews are woven into a verbatim script that is performed before a live audience. We are sharing a work-in-progress in our event, Rise Up L.A.: Voices From the Women’s Movement. Find out more about this online event below.
The Rise Up Los Angeles Oral Stories Project is made possible in part by a grant from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs.
Rise Up L.A.: Voices From the Women’s Movement
Rise Up L.A.: Voices from the Women’s Movement is an engaging conversation between Jenny Bokoch Gillett (of the Natural History Museum’s Performing Arts program) and three of the women interviewed for the Rise Up Los Angeles Oral Stories Project, an initiative supported by a grant from the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs. Ms. Gillett has conducted over 30 interviews of women in Los Angeles over the age of 65. These interviews have prompted many fascinating stories on how gender equity and activism has grown and changed, both in terms of personal experiences and as a national and global movement, in these women's lifetimes. In this online event, to premiere on the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment, you will meet Dorsay Dujon, Janice Lipeles, and Barbara Sanchez, as they share transcripts from their interviews. We’ll also hear from Sarah Crawford, Senior Manager of Exhibition Design and Development at NHMLAC, and the story they hope to tell with the Rise Up L.A. exhibition.
The Rise Up L.A.: Voices From the Women's Movement online event is made possible in part by a grant from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs.
Barbara Sanchez and Family
Jenny Bokoch Gillett / Natural History Museum Performing Arts Program
Sarah Crawford/ Natural History Museum Exhibition Design and Development
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QUOTES FROM OUR INTERVIEWS
We are inspired by the strong women who have contributed to this project thus far and selected quotes from their interviews below:
When I was a teenager, I was poking around in our garage and I found a stack of books that my father intended to give away, and one of them was Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique. And I brought that inside and I was reading it and I thought, ‘Yeah, women shouldn’t all have to be housewives! You know? We’re individuals, why can’t we do different things with our lives too?
As a retired educator, I firmly believe that from an early age girls should have opportunities to develop the tools necessary to support resilience and highlight the brilliance that resides within them.
LISTEN TO THE FULL ORAL STORY ARCHIVES
Over 30 women took part in interviews during which the subject of feminism, womanhood, and the importance of exercising your right to vote were discussed, among many other interesting personal stories.