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Guide to the Kearny Street Workshop Archives CEMA 33
CEMA 33  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access Restrictions
  • Use Restrictions
  • Preferred Citation
  • Scope Note
  • Series Description
  • Biographical/Historical note
  • Related Collections
  • Acquisition Information
  • Processing Information

  • Title: Kearny Street Workshop Archives
    Identifier/Call Number: CEMA 33
    Contributing Institution: UC Santa Barbara Library, Department of Special Collections
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 8.5 linear feet
    Date (bulk): Bulk, 1980-2002
    Date (inclusive): 1972-2002
    Abstract: The nonprofit agency Kearny Street Workshop (KSW) is the oldest multidisciplinary Asian American arts organization in the United States. Established in 1972 as a collective of artists in San Francisco's Chinatown/ Manila town neighborhood, KSW is now a nonprofit agency that serves many Asian/Pacific American communities from its office in San Francisco. This collections covers material from 1972 - 2002. It contains posters, publications, and photos. The struggles of the neighborhood such as low-income housing, strikes by garment and electrical union workers, and the eviction of the elderly tenants defines much of the art in this collection.
    General Physical Description note: 6 document boxes, 5 oversize boxes and 176 posters
    Physical Location: Del Norte
    Language of Materials: The collection is in English.

    Access Restrictions

    The collection is open for research.

    Use Restrictions

    Copyright has not been assigned to the Department of Special Collections, UCSB. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Department of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which also must be obtained.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of Item], Kearny Street Workshop Archives, CEMA 33. Department of Special Collections, University Libraries, University of California, Santa Barbara.

    Scope Note

    The KSW Archives include administrative records, photographs, artwork, press materials, ephemera, publications, regalia, and audiovisual materials. The items in this collection reflect activities from performing arts events, community work, KSW Press, program planning, and grant proposals. The photographs in this collection are from the 1977 International Hotel evictions and protest to these evictions. To date, the collection consists of 11 boxes (6 document boxes and 5 oversize boxes) that occupy 2.65 linear feet and 176 posters. They are divided in eight series. The series are arranged by subject and then alphabetically by type of material or event. Date spans for some folders are not inclusive.
    A majority of this collection, at this point, consists of KSW workshop and performing arts press materials, I-Hotel photo documentation, and grant application materials. The collection also holds a complete run of the KSW News from 1995- to the present.
    KSW materials created before 1980 (with the exception of the I-Hotel contents) and audiovisual materials are sparse. There is also an archival copy of one published work by KSW Press, Ed Badajos: A Retrospective. Some circulating copies of KSW Press titles can be found by looking in "Pegasus," the UCSB Davidson Library Catalog. The overall collection reflects the activities of the organization, information about individual KSW members and artists that are not yet represented in as much detail. Some artists' information can be found in Series I: California Arts Council (CAC), Artists-in-Residence and in news press releases found throughout the collection.

    Series Description

    Series I: Administrative Records. This series contains unpublished materials such as correspondence, grant proposals, applications, event planning records, and institutional reports. The years represented are from 1973-1997. These files are alphabetically arranged by type of material, then year.
    Series II: Classes andamp; Workshops. This series contains flyers, publicity materials, and schedules for classes and workshops sponsored by KSW. The years represented are from 1982-2002. Materials are arranged by type of class or workshop, then year. In some instances, the artist who instructed the class is noted between type of class and year.
    Series III: External Materials. This series consists of non-KSW related publications such as programs, flyers, press releases, and periodical articles. They reflect related events or events that mention the KSW organization or affiliated artists from there. Materials in this series are organized by type of material and then by year. In some instances, they have an added note of the event being publicized.
    Series IV: Graphic Arts. This series lists 176 posters by various artists. The posters are stored in the map cases in Del Norte. In addition, there are two Broadsides, both anniversary events dating from 1979, found in Box 3.
    Series V: Performance and Visual Arts Events. This series consists of press materials and schedules for KSW dance, music, theatre and spoken word, and showcase events. Showcases highlight the works of different types of artists in one event. This series is arranged by type of material, type of event, and then year. The years represented in this series are from 1985-2002. Some folders are additionally noted with a specific event name such as the "Asian American Jazz Festival."
    Series VI: Publications and Public Relations Materials. This series consists of promotional material for KSW, informational brochures, published artwork, published written works, and newsletters. Also included are the records of KSW Press, which include correspondence, catalogs, and flyers. The years represented are from 1985-2002. They are arranged by type of material and then year. For published written works, the name of the title is included.
    Series VII: Special Events. This series consists primarily of press materials, flyers, and photographs from special events or programs outside of the KSW regular arts series such as conferences, benefits, symposiums, anniversary celebrations, and special projects. Includes the publicity, regalia, and photo documentation from the I-Hotel evictions exhibit in 1977 and the commemorative events to follow years later. The years represented in this series are from 1974-2002. The materials are arranged by type of material, event, and then year. Some titles of specific events are also noted.
    Series VIII: Audiovisual Materials. This series consists of video and sound recording materials produced by KSW. Currently there is only one sound recording from 1981 in the form of a kit entitled "Pan Asian Holiday Tour" that includes audio cassettes, a songbook, and original artwork from Nancy Hom. The printed materials are stored separately from the cassette tapes.

    Biographical/Historical note

    Kearny Street Workshop (KSW) is a nonprofit agency in San Francisco, California and the oldest multidisciplinary Asian American arts organization in the United States. Their mission is "to produce and present art that enriches and empowers Asian Pacific American communities."
    KSW was established in 1972 as a collective of artists in San Francisco's Chinatown/Manila town neighborhood. The social climate of the time and region played an influential role in shaping the artwork, activism, and community involvement by KSW members.
    KSW supports the efforts of Asian Americans in the visual, performance, and literary arts and encourages intergenerational and cross-cultural history. Through local and national collaborations with other arts organizations and cultural communities, KSW provides a forum for Asian American artists to reach a wide, diverse audience. They have developed programs focusing on four areas: adult arts education, next generation arts support and training, multidisciplinary arts presentations, and publications. KSW also offers workshops, classes, and arts management seminars; they produce a Bay Area resource guide for Asian American artists and present works by established and emerging artists. KSW has hosted events such as the The I-Hotel Symposium, Angel Island Immigration Station exhibit, and the annual Asian American Jazz Festival. More information about KSW history, programs, and artists can be found on their web site www.kearnystreet.org.

    Related Collections

    Nancy Hom Papers, CEMA 46

    Acquisition Information

    Donated by the Kearny Street Workshop, May 1999. On April 23, 2011 Lora Jo Foo donated 4 additional posters to this collection.

    Processing Information

    Anna Liza Posas, Benjamin Wood, Alexander Hauschild, 2010. Updated by Callie Bowdish, Julianne P. Gavino, Louise Iremedio and Douglas Ramos, 2010. Updated by Mari Khasmanyan, December 2012. Updated by Suzanne Im, 2013.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Asian American artists -- California -- 20th century
    Asian American theater -- California -- San Francisco