--Greetings/Intro. --This presentation is not only about the CBMR. It’s ultimately about what I think is the inherent the nature of diversity in the arts and how we might support it by recognizing archives as an important hub in our arts ecosystems. --”Always/Already”: It’s an adverb. The “always” describes an ongoing state. The already describes a state of being that is independent of and previous to any of our efforts to “work” on its behalf. Diversity is what the arts do. It’s what they are. It’s about essence. It’s that the very concept of the performing arts can be fully grasped only through their connection to diversity.--This is at the core of the awesome power the arts have to inspire, elevate, to mobilize. --Historically there have been structural, cultural and political challenges and obstructions to everyone having access to that power (and empowerment) in and through the arts. Those challenges still exist and they manifest in ways that we don’t always even see.--We’ve inherited habits of thought and practice that don’t serve our purpose well. NEXT SLIDE
--Sometimes we talk about and treat diversity in the arts as a rare condition or a limited resource. Precious, attractive, but also, somehow additive and ultimately finite.--Examples: programming diversity once or twice a season…or during a particular month out of the year. --recruiting A woman of color to our board to do the heavy lifting --or when our organizational Statements of commitment to diversity become a kind of public relations or a one time audience engagement campaign. (the document itself stands in for the ongoing persistent action around diversity efforts).--Critical race theorist Sara Ahmed calls these kinds of acts or language about diversity non-performatives meaning that they don’t do what they say they are doing. That ultimately , they maintain what is supposedly being redressed. Diversity as scarcity or as something only some of us do some of the time.--Diversity in the Performing Arts is “always-already.” NEXT SLIDE
--I know that diversity is an “always/already” condition of the arts in part because of my time at the CBMR. --The Center is unique because of its scope. Because it is ultimately concerned with exploring cultural connections across time and space, it actively collects across all genres, styles and idioms of black music. --So it represents a very rich musical diversity that is barely represented in textbooks, repertoires, and elsewhere.--I am not saying diversity just happens naturally so we don’t have to work at it. I want to suggest that we shift our efforts from the limited resource model to building the infrastructure that reveals and supports what already is. --THAT’s what’s going to be really powerful. THAT’s what’s going to be transformative! --The question is how we, by working together, can expand our means of circulating knowledge of and information about the arts as “always already” diverse.NEXT SLIDE
--Successful arts ecosystems reflect and sustain that condition! --One way we can do this is by: --Engagingarts and culture archives in our deep collaborations.NEXT SLIDE
--Engage=understand, activate and build.--Understand (how archives, research centers and their staffs can support your efforts and serve as resources and collaborators). --Activate archival materials (bringing them to life in new ways). --And Build (contribute)--So it’s a cyclical process that circulates and preserves knowledge and builds strong foundation for current and future generations to experience arts diversity as everyday.NEXT SLIDE
--When I use the phrase deep collaboration, I mean for us to move beyond simple support across the walls of academia, across sectors, towards collaborations whose results are more than the sum of their parts. --Not the logo exchange model --Not the one-time programming partnership model but--Cross sector and cross platform--Multifaceted: activate multiple parts of ecosystem--Leverage serendipitous resonance/ improvisatory--Long-tail or spiraling effectNEXT SLIDE
--Whether we are talking about the CBMR, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, the jazz archives at Rutgers, Tulane, or the University of Chicago, the archives at our HBCUs, our own organizational archives or countless others—there’s one in your town—we all know what archives are.--a collection of historical records, or the physical place they are located; normally unpublished and almost always unique--On last count, the CBMR holds 88 discrete archival collections; material there that does not exist elsewhere.--Wacky wikipedia quote: archivists understand archives to be records that have been naturally and necessarily generated –more like the "the secretions of an organism” than records that have been consciously written or created to communicate a particular message to posterity.--Strange way of putting it, but another way of saying that the job of a good arts and culture archive is to represent the “always/already.”--So, activating, and re-activating archival materials in all corners of our ecologies is a very good way of INSISTING on that state of affairs. Of saying NO to diversity as limited resource or a nonperformative.NEXT SLIDE
--I want to look at two simplified, streamlined ecosystemic processes of archival engagement in relation to the archive as hub. ( I am not a data visualist. But the idea here is that the study of ecosystems is the study of processes that link components)--Scholar Process: what we usually think of. Do the research. Activate archives through creation and dissemination of knowledge./Contribute…--This strand is important because it creates some of the pillars of a diverse arts infrastructure. Trust me. This stuff is not just going to appear in the curricula by itself. Examples: -- Blacks in Classical Music by Raoul Abdul. --I was well into my masters degree before I has the opportunity to take a class that went beyond a nod at Ellington, Armstrong and Joplin. --Sam Floyd’s anecdote--Archival researchers and the ways in which they create and disseminate knowledge can take many forms. CBMR hosts all kinds of Media makers, educators, students, and of course performing artists, composers, program directors, etc can activate archives as well. --CBMR gets stronger, more robust ability to document the always already and to support your efforts to represent it.NEXT SLIDE
--Quickly share highlights from two recent CBMR initiatives:--One of the CBMR’s largest collections is that of Melba Liston: a great but under-recognized jazz trombonist and composer/arranger. We have been working to bring attention to the collection and to her life and work.NEXT SLIDE
--The project is ongoing and continues to be successful.--By engaging in deep collaborations with our partners, we’ve activated and expanded the collection in a number of exciting ways.NEXT SLIDE
--A core aspect of the Florence Price project has been about making her work more accessible—through score recreation and the production of a high-quality recording.--These projects are examples of the kind of deep collaboration that were interested in promoting at the CBMR.NEXT SLIDE
--I want to encourage all of you to think about how these two concepts might apply to your work—the “always/already” and engaging archives. How would you use archives to reflect/sustain diversity in the arts. I’m looking forward to talking with you and hearing your ideas for how we. Together, can better support the “always/already.”NEXT SLIDE
--Thank You!NEXT SLIDE
Artists Make Archives Make Artists
Why We Must Move From Simple Support Towards Deep Collaboration Monica Hairston O’Connell, Executive Director Center for Black Music Research, Columbia College Chicago email@example.com monicaoconnell.com @whistling_girl
Founded at Columbia College Chicago in 1983, TheCenter for Black Music Research is the onlyorganization of its kind. It exists to illuminate thesignificant role that black music plays in world cultureby serving as a nexus for all who value black music, bypromoting scholarly thought and knowledge aboutblack music, and by providing a safe haven for thematerials and information that document the blackmusic experience across Africa and the diaspora.http:www.colum.edu/CBMR
Successful arts ecosystemsreflect and sustain the“Always-Already” We must arts and culture in our !
Deep Collaboration Cross-sector, cross-arts, cross-venue Multifaceted: activates multiple parts of ecosystem Leverage serendipitous resonance/improvisatory Long-tail or spiraling effect
“Records that have been naturally andnecessarily generated as a product of regularlegal, commercial, administrative social[research or artistic] activities. They have beendefined as "the secretions of an organism"—rather than those that have been consciouslywritten or created to communicate a particularmessage to posterity.”--Wikipedia ARCHIVES
Ongoing initiative that generates interest in and multifaceted usage of Melba Liston collection housed in the CBMR Library and Archives.
Collaborations with Chicago Jazz Ensemble,Jazz Institute of Chicago, Chicago Department ofCultural Affairs, and scholars from San FranciscoState, Kansas, McGill, and Ohio Stateuniversities and others resulted in:• Exhibition on Black Women in Music• Creation of the Melba Liston Research Collective• Jazz Camp Workshops• Special Publications• New Work inspired by archival research• Large-scale Performances• Newly accessible arrangements of archival manuscripts
Florence Price Project Highlighted repertoire of Florence Price, an important Chicago-based composer. Re-creation of the score/parts for a major Price work, for which the originals have been lost since the late 1930s. Utilized original and extremely rare manuscripts in the CBMR archives. Major funding from the federal, state, and private foundations. Florence B. Price Orchestral Music: third release on CBMR’s Recorded Music of the African Diaspora series The CBMR’s performance ensembles take the results of scholarly endeavors to the general public.