|LEGACY ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM
Images from the collection.
The Museum’s Legacy Oral History Program -- conceived and initiated by Jeff Friedman in the late 1980s -- is recognized nationally and internationally as a model for performing arts documentation using oral history methods.
The Legacy Oral History Collection holds more than seventy oral histories of significant members of the Bay Area dance, music, and theater performing arts communities. The collection is a true time capsule revealing nearly a century’s worth of vital facts, personal perspectives, and valuable recollections regarding a particularly vibrant Bay Area performing arts scene, long known for experimentation.
Legacy’s oral histories—in leather-bound volumes as well as state-of-the-art digital media such as DVD and web-based presentations—speak with passion and insight, reflecting artists’ authentic voices. Collectively and individually Legacy narrators have made, and continue to make the Bay Area an important performing arts hub.
LEGACY ORAL HISTORY WORKSHOP
Annually, Jeff Friedman, Ph.D. and Basya Petnick lead a stimulating and informative three-day workshop provides the training necessary for participants to launch their own oral history projects.
LEGACY ON THE WEB
Through a generous grant from LSTA, digitized selections of Legacy Oral Histories are now available on the internet. Click here to sample these fascinating recordings.
Basya Petnick, Program Manager began her work in oral history in 1990, specializing in working with families and institutions. Intrigued by Legacy’s unique position at the intersection of scholarship and the performing arts, she has worked closely with founder Jeff Friedman since 2004 to maintain the quality of the collection’s past achievements and to envision new methods, technologies and applications for Legacy’s future. In addition to oral history, Petnick has been acknowledged for editorial contributions to a number of books, including Branching Streams Flow in the Darkness, Enlightenment Unfolds, and Moon in a Dewdrop. She was the lead interviewer and senior editor of Sojun Mel Weitsman, Berkeley Zen Master. She is an experienced workshop leader and meditation instructor.
Jeff Friedman, Ph.D. founder and senior advisor is now a faculty member at Rutgers University’s Department of Dance, Mason Gross School of the Arts, Jeff Friedman publishes nationally and internationally on oral history theory, method and practice, including book chapters and journal articles in Britain, Spain, and New Zealand, where he was visiting lecturer at the University of Auckland in 2006. Workshops, lectures, and performances of Friedman’s oral history-based solo dance work Muscle Memory include audiences from the American Folkdance Federation, San Francisco Unified School District teachers, historical societies, and universities including Stanford, Berkeley, Duke, Cornell, Ohio State, University of Calgary, University of Bournemouth (UK), and Victoria University (NZ). Friedman was a performer and choreographer in the San Francisco Bay Area from 1979 until 1997.
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