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L.A. Artists for Survival records relating to Target L.A.
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Biographical / Historical
  • Administrative Information
  • Related Archival Materials
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: L.A. Artists for Survival records relating to Target L.A.
    Date (inclusive): 1981-1984, undated
    Number: 2017.M.46
    Creator/Collector: L.A. Artists For Survival
    Physical Description: 6.97 Linear Feet (13 boxes, 2 flatfile folders)
    The Getty Research Institute
    Special Collections
    1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 1100
    Los Angeles 90049-1688
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10020/askref
    (310) 440-7390
    Abstract: The collection documents anti-nuclear war festivals in 1982 and 1983 organized by L.A. Artists for Survival, one of the later generation of artists' groups to emerge from the Los Angeles Woman's Building. The materials show the evolution of the festival's development and execution, and comprise largely administrative and production files, photographic documentation, and ephemera.
    Request Materials: Request access to the physical materials described in this inventory through the catalog record   for this collection. Click here for the access policy .
    Language: Collection material is in English.

    Biographical / Historical

    Target L.A.: The Art of Survival was conceived as an anti-nuclear art and music festival by the L.A. Artists for Survival (LAAFS), which formed when David Lumian, the president of the Alliance for Survival, approached the political artist Lee Waisler to encourage artists' engagement in the nuclear disarmament movement. In January 1982, LAAFS held their first meeting and received an overwhelming response with over 100 artists in attendance. In the ensuing months, LAAFS' network expanded to over 300 artists. In addition to coordinating the anti-nuclear artists' group Sisters of Survival's performance "Shovel Defense" in May 1982, LAAFS collaborated with the Asian Pacific Americans for Nuclear Awareness and Asian Americans for Nuclear Disarmament to produce the two-day art and music festival Target L.A.: The Art of Survival, held on the anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The event, held at a two-level parking structure on the corner of Alameda and 3rd Street in Little Tokyo, featured art installations and performances by Mother Art, The Waitresses, UNARM, and others, as well as musical and spoken-word performances, "games of nuclear chance" such as "Pin the Lawsuit on the Reactor" and "Kiss the Bombs Goodbye," children's activities, and the "Fallout Fashion" show.
    A second event was held in 1983 at Brookside Park in Pasadena, with an expansion in time, space, and theme. Artist Cheri Gaulke, known for her role in the feminist art movement in southern California, served as the project coordinator for both events; her involvement with Target L.A. was a direct outgrowth of her work with the Sisters of Survival (SOS), which originated with the Woman's Building, a non-profit arts and education center that operated in Los Angeles between 1973 and 1991.
    John Tain, Acquisition Approval Form for "Target L.A.: The Art of Survival (1982-1983) Archives, 1982-1983, accession no. 2017.M.46," May 16, 2016.
    L.A. Artists for Survival records relating to Target L.A., accession no. 2017.M.46, "History and Organizational Structure," 1982, Box 4, Folder 11.
    L.A. Artists for Survival records relating to Target L.A., accession no. 2017.M.46, Press kit, 1983, Box 5, Folder 13.

    Administrative Information


    Open for use by qualified researchers. Audiovisual material unavailable until reformatted.

    Publication Rights

    Preferred Citation

    L.A. Artists for Survival records relating to Target L.A., 1981-1984, The Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, Accession no. 2017.M.46.

    Acquisition Information

    Gift of Cheri Gaulke, L.A. Artists for Survival. Acquired in 2017.

    Processing History

    Trang Dang processed the collection and wrote the finding aid in 2019 under the supervision of Kit Messick. The finding aid was revised by Kit Messick.
    This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, ST-03-17-0007-17.

    Related Archival Materials

    Woman's Building records, 1973-1991, Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, Accession no. 2017.M.43
    Mother Art records, 1973-2017, undated, The Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, Accession no. 2017.M.60
    Sisters of Survival records, 1981-1985, The Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, Accession no. 2017.M.47

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The collection documents the activities surrounding the production of the 1982 and 1983 Target L.A. festivals. Administrative and production files comprise the bulk of the collection; also present are financial and legal documents, clippings, promotional material, ephemera, and photographic documentation.


    Arranged in two series: Series I. 1982 event, 1981-1983; Series II. 1983 event, 1981-1984.

    Indexing Terms

    Subjects - Topics

    Artists -- California -- Los Angeles
    Art festivals -- California
    Artists -- Political activity -- Los Angeles -- California -- 20th century
    Nuclear disarmament--Citizen participation
    Art and nuclear warfare

    Genres and Forms of Material

    Black-and-white negatives
    Black-and-white photographs -- 20th century
    Clippings (information artifacts)
    Color prints (photographs)
    Color slides -- 20th century
    Open reel audiotapes
    Photographs, Original
    Printed ephemera -- California


    L.A. Artists For Survival
    Gaulke, Cheri
    Woman's Building (Los Angeles, Calif.)