Dear CCOH Community,
With the New Year fast approaching, we wanted to use this opportunity to catch you up on some of the exciting news from the last year here at the Columbia Center for Oral History (including a new name!). Thanks so much for your continued support and we look forward to another tremendous year of advancing this important work. Also, remember, you can always stay connected to CCOH by joining us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube and subscribing to our blog.
FUNDING AND SUPPORT
This year CCOH received generous funding and continued support from both The Atlantic Philanthropies and the Carnegie Corporation of New York.
Previous funding from The Atlantic Philanthropies already enabled us to undertake dynamic projects in the areas of human rights and constitutional freedom. The new round of funding from Atlantic supports the expansion of the CCOH team, project capacity, and public programming.
A third round of funding from the Carnegie Corporation will expand the Carnegie Corporation Oral History Project and explore the philanthropy’s most recent 14 years, which coincides with the arrival and leadership of current President Vartan Gregorian. The oral history project has already covereda wide range of social and cultural developments in the United States and abroad including Carnegie Corporation’s sustained support of antiapartheid efforts in South Africa.
We also completed two generously funded video oral history projects: The Apollo Theater Oral History Project funded by the Apollo Theater Foundation, and the Women in the Visual Arts History Project, funded by Agnes Gund in memory of Elizabeth Murray.
Throughout the year we have hosted dozens of events ranging from book talks to conferences to our intensive Summer Institute. These events have attracted hundreds of attendees and we have partnered with organizations and centers like Voice of Witness, the Center for Human Rights Documentation and Research, Maison Française, the Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy, and many others. The events have been marked by tremendous exchanges about “living archive” projects from sharing the testimony of AIDS activists to preserving the stories of genocide survivors to our efforts to gather the recollections of September 11 and its aftermath. We also supported the continued development of oral history as a methodology through workshops such as “What Interviewers Bring to the Table.”
Through these events we have welcomed dynamic and powerful educators, advocates and public figures to Columbia University’s campus, including acclaimed choreographer Rachid Ouramdane, activists Jim Hubbard and Sarah Schulman, Voices of Rwanda Founder Taylor Krauss, and Scribe Video Center founder, filmmaker and activist Louis Massiah. Starting in January 2012 we will resume our public programming, bringing noted speakers such as Dr. Mindy Fullilove and Dr. Rita Charon — stay tuned for more.
SUPPORTING COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS
In December the CCOH team conducted our first oral history workshop for
Community History Workshop, December 2011
community organizations. We were joined by a diverse group of New York-based leaders, educators and change agents seeking to learn more about oral history as a methodology and a tool to actively facilitate social change. This seasoned group of 23 advocates spanned organizations from UN Women to Picture the Homeless to Make the Road New York. Participants shared ideas about documenting the intellectual history of their organizations for the benefit of future community leaders, as well as using oral history interviews to bring important social issues to the national stage. The conversation opened new pathways to understanding how oral history can be deployed at the community level and will resume in February.
This year we were pleased to welcome a number of new faces to the CCOH team as we continue to expand one of the world’s leading centers for the practice and teaching of oral history. Our newest member is Sarah Dziedzic, a graduate of the CCOH supported Oral History Master of Arts program. She will take the lead on an exciting continuation of our Carnegie Corporation Oral History Project.
Joining longtime CCOH Director Mary Marshall Clark and Office Assistant Charis Shafer this year includes: Assistant Director Elizabeth Pope, who previously served as an archivist for the National Archives and Records Administration; Director of Education and Outreach Terrell Frazier, previously of Freedom to Marry; and Gabriel Solis, a former associate director of the Texas After Violence Project, who is project coordinator of our Guantánamo Bay/Rule of Law Oral History Project.
Look forward to a comprehensive update from CCOH in the form of our Ten-Year Report to be released in early 2012!
There is much to anticipate in the New Year, but for now let us wish you and yours a joyous holiday season!
The Columbia Center for Oral History