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Finding Aid for the League of Allied Arts records, 1940-2011
1856  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
This collection documents the history and administration of the League of Allied Arts, one of the oldest existing Black women's non-profit arts organizations in Los Angeles. Founded in 1939 by Dorothy Vena Johnson and Juanita Miller, the League was established to promote and support the arts in Los Angeles by providing cultural enrichment programs for the community, honoring the creative accomplishments of Black artists, and awarding scholarships to talented students from Los Angeles pursuing scholarly studies in the arts. The collection consists of administrative documents such as meeting minutes and agendas, financial reports, ephemera from various arts programs and events, correspondence, newspaper clippings, photographs, and media.
Background
The League of Allied Arts is one of the oldest existing Black women’s non-profit arts organizations in Los Angeles. Founded in 1939 by Dorothy Vena Johnson, a poet and creative writing teacher for the Los Angeles Unified School District, and Juanita Miller, a social worker for the County of Los Angeles and wife of distinguished civil rights attorney Loren Miller, the League of Allied Arts was established to support and promote the arts in Los Angeles. Langston Hughes was one of the League’s first beneficiaries. When the young Harlem Renaissance poet and playwright came to Los Angeles to visit friends, he wanted to present a play. However, due to racism, no theater would allow Hughes to present his work. The industrious and civic-minded Juanita Miller and Dorothy Vena Johnson thereby pooled their resources together to help support Langston Hughes successfully present his play, Don’t You Want to Be Free? at his recently established New Negro Theater. From this experience, Johnson and Miller went on to officially establish the League of Allied Arts whose mission is to promote and support the arts in Los Angeles. The League provides cultural enrichment programs for the community, honors the creative accomplishments of Black artists, and awards scholarships to talented students from Los Angeles pursuing scholarly studies in the arts. The League estimates that since its inception it has given away over $500,000 in scholarships and charitable donations to students and various organizations in Los Angeles and nationwide.
Extent
16 document boxes (8.0 linear ft.) 2 flat boxes
Restrictions
Copyright of this collection has been assigned to UCLA Library Special Collections. The library can grant permission to publish for materials to which it holds the copyright. All requests for permission to publish or quote must be submitted in writing to UCLA Library Special Collections. Credit shall be given as follows: © 2012 The Regents of the University of California on behalf of UCLA Library Special Collections.
Availability
Open for research. STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact UCLA Library Special Collections for paging information.