Earlier this year, LA as Subject was announced as one of the 17 recipients of the Cal Humanities Community Stories grant. Community Stories (formerly the California Story Fund) gives expression to the extraordinary variety of histories and experiences of California’s places and people.
The grant project, Monomania LA, captures compelling passions, myths, and community stories that lay hidden in the Los Angeles past. Through a series of three 7-‐10 minute online videos, LA as Subject will investigate unique, L.A.-‐based historical collections and the passions of the individuals who collect and preserve these rare materials.
Without private collectors and community archives, many fascinating portions of the historical record would be lost. The videos will feature LA as Subject members David Boule from the Orange and the Myth of California; Dr. Joseph Hawkins from the ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives at the USC Libraries; and Carol Wells from
the Center for the Study of Political Graphics.
The videos will also explore the motives and passions of three collectors and archivists who document underexplored aspects of our region’s history: 1) the citrus industry’s role in shaping the myth of the “California dream” that inspired people from around the world to believe they could remake themselves in California; 2) gay and lesbian sci-‐fi reading circles in the 1950s and 1960s, and 3) the early contributions of Southern California activist movements to national struggles for labor rights, racial and gender equality, and other causes.
The videos will be shared on public television station KCET’s website and through public programming.