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Los Angeles Women's Community Chorus records, 1977-1990
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Restrictions on Access
  • Restrictions on Use and Reproduction
  • Preferred Citation
  • UCLA Catalog Record ID
  • Provenance/Source of Acquisition
  • Processing Information
  • Biography/History
  • Scope and Content
  • Organization and Arrangement
  • Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements
  • Related Material

  • Title: Los Angeles Women's Community Chorus records
    Collection number: 2171
    Contributing Institution: UCLA Library Special Collections
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 2.8 linear ft. (2 document boxes, 3 flat boxes, 1 record carton)
    Date (inclusive): 1977-1990
    Abstract: The Los Angeles Women’s Community Chorus is a Los Angeles based non-profit chorus of and for women. Established in 1976, the chorus intended to raise feminist and political consciousness by presenting choral music of all genres (historical, contemporary, classical, folk, popular, and ethnic) for women, by women and about women. This collection contains administrative and documentary material recording the functioning and public presentations of the Los Angeles Women’s Community Chorus. Administrative papers covering 20 years of the collective’s functioning, photographs and audio/video material provide a view of the LAWCC’s core values as part of the gay and feminist activism of Los Angeles in the 70s and 80s.
    Language of Materials: Materials are in English
    Physical Location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact the UCLA Library Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.
    Creator: Los Angeles Women's Community Chorus.

    Restrictions on Access

    COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF: Open for research. Advance notice required for access. Contact the UCLA Library Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.

    Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

    Property rights to the physical object belong to the UCLA Library Special Collections. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Los Angeles Women's Community Chorus records (Collection 2171). UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library.

    UCLA Catalog Record ID

    UCLA Catalog Record ID: 7197672 

    Provenance/Source of Acquisition

    Provenance unknown, 2013.
    This collection is part of an outreach and collection-building partnership between the June L. Mazer Lesbian Archives,   the UCLA Center for the Study of Women (CSW)   and the UCLA Library.  

    Processing Information

    Processed by Pallavi Sriram in 2013 in the Center for Primary Research and Training (CFPRT), with assistance from Jillian Cuellar.
    The processing of this collection was generously supported by Arcadia.  

    Biography/History

    The Los Angeles Women’s Community Chorus is a Los Angeles based non-profit chorus of and for women. Established in 1976, the chorus intended to raise feminist and political consciousness by presenting choral music of all genres (historical, contemporary, classical, folk, popular, and ethnic) for women, by women and about women. Over the next decade and half, the collective sought to foster an environment of openness and positivity while encouraging excellence in musicianship. Its members were committed to combating discrimination based not only on gender, but on sexuality, race, age and disability.
    Starting from a small group of founding members – Carol Petracca, Joelyn Grippo, Lynn Wilson, Anna Rubin, Silvia Kohan, Faye Haines and Sue Fink – the Chorus soon grew to between 60 to 100 members. Beginning in its first year, the Chorus presented a fully produced concert annually in May or June and generally held a benefit dance in February to raise funds. The LAWCC was also funded, in part, by grants from the City of Los Angeles. In addition to the annual concerts, the Chorus performed with a significant number of other organizations at events throughout its season. This included the Southern California Women for Understanding, The National Organization for Women (NOW), Women against Violence against Women (WAVAW), Gay Atheists League of America (GALA), Connexxus Women's Center/Centro de Mujeres, the Gay and Lesbian Center (GLCSC), Christopher Street West and others. The LAWCC’s network of collaboration also included other choir organizations like the American Choral Directory Association, the Choral Directing Guild and the Gay Men’s Chorus, as well as a number of lesbian and feminist publications and organizations like Hotwire, Lesbian News, Lesbian Central, and Handywoman Collective.
    In the spirit of open community, the Chorus held a period of open rehearsals every season and included music composed and arranged by its members. A feedback system was set up that would allow for a safe space for productive critical feedback. Music was included from outside the classical western canon and printed materials in programs and song books included Spanish and Braille translations. Childcare was regularly provided at rehearsals and performances. As evidenced in meeting minutes and other materials in this collection, the values of the Chorus were constantly negotiated as it grew in size and organizational complexity over its years of existence. Discussions about how to keep open rehearsals but also put on a professional-level fully produced annual show that required a regular time commitment from its members continued into the Chorus’s later years. There was a constant negotiation of political ideologies and musical professionalism with the aim of not sacrificing either.
    The Chorus’s 10th anniversary year, in 1986, was marked not only by a major recording project for a 10th anniversary album despite significant financial and logistical hurdles, but also by the transition from one conductor to another. Sue Fink, conductor and general leader of the Chorus for its first 10 years left the collective after the anniversary concert in order to pursue her own music career and was replaced by Kay Erdwin. Despite such changes in leadership, committee members and overall participation, there was always a core group of women who kept the LAWCC running from its inception in 1976 to the end of available record in 1990. A 20th anniversary reunion event in 1997 brought many of its former members back to Los Angeles for a celebration of the LAWCC’s work and its history of feminist consciousness-raising and community building in Los Angeles through music.

    Scope and Content

    This collection contains administrative and documentary material recording the functioning and public presentations of the Los Angeles Women’s Community Chorus. The administrative records, including meeting minutes, committee papers, programs, song books and tickets from the Chorus’s annual shows, and publicity and fundraising materials, cover a twenty year span from the LAWCC’s inception in 1977 to its 20th anniversary reunion in 1997. These materials provide a view into the daily functioning of the collective and its organizational structure. They also illustrate the organization’s core feminist values and objectives and provide evidence of how these values translated into decision-making and policies. They provide a view into the networks that LAWCC was a part of, both in the lesbian and feminist communities and the choir communities in Los Angeles and California more broadly.
    The collection also contains photographs and audio/video material of LAWCC events. The Chorus’s 10th anniversary concert, 13th anniversary concert, and other social gatherings are represented in the photographs and photo albums. The collection also includes copies of an album produced by LAWCC in 1986 in celebration of their 10th anniversary.

    Organization and Arrangement

    This collection has been arranged in the following series:
    • Series 1: Administrative Records, 1977-1990
    • Series 2: Photographs, 1982-1989
    • Series 3: Audio/Video 1986-1987
    Series are arranged alphabetically.

    Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

    Collection includes 11 video cassettes in the following formats:
    • U-Matic KCA-60BRK cassettes (6)
    • U-Matic S KCS-20BRK cassettes (2)
    • U-Matic S KCS-10BRK cassette (1)
    • U-Matic S KCS-20XBR (2)
    Collection includes the following audio material:
    • Compact Discs (9)

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