• Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre at Lummis Day Festival

    June 2, 2016

    On Saturday, June 4th, Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre will bring its site-specific brand of immersive performance to the historic Southwest Museum site as part of the annual Lummis Day Festival!

    Every June, events, live music, arts, crafts, and cultural performances take place throughout Northeast LA to celebrate and honor Charles Fletcher Lummis, founder of the Southwest Museum of the American Indian. This year, the Southwest Museum site will host a special, one-time-only performance of “143 Days”, a modern retelling of Lummis’s epic 143-day trek from Cincinnati to Los Angeles. This mobile dance performance will take the audience through the historic 1914 museum building that was Lummis’s grand vision and continues to be an enduring icon of Los Angeles.

    Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre company members Nicholas Heitzeberg, Teresa Barcelo, Zoe Nelson, and Micah Abbrey will be joined by So You Think You Can Dance season 12 contestant, Lily Frias, and Glee’s Matthew Peacock. Local composers Chris Garcia and Jeronimo Rajchenberg will accompany the dancers, playing live musical arrangements.

    Tickets are required for this special event. Space is extremely limited, but there are still some tickets available! Following the performance, audience members will have the opportunity to meet the artists during an informal reception. Staff from the Autry and the National Trust will also share information about the architecture, our work at the Southwest Museum site, and Lummis himself.

    This special performance will take place on Saturday, June 4th, from 4–5 p.m. at the Southwest Museum, located at234 Museum Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90065.

    photo by: Sean Deckert

  • Spotlight Returns to Southwest Museum Founder Charles Lummis

    May 9, 2016

    On Saturday, May 7, 2016, to kick off the new season of KCET’s Artbound, an award-winning arts and culture series, the Southwest Museum Site hosted a panel discussion of the program’s upcoming debut episode on Charles Fletcher Lummis (1859-1928), founder of the Southwest Museum of the American Indian. The one-hour documentary, Charles Lummis: Reimagining the West, highlights the fascinating legacy of one of Southern California’s most larger than life figures.

    Moderated by Juan Devis, KCET’s Senior Vice President of Content Development, panel participants included William Deverell, Director of the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West, Liza Posas, Head Librarian at Braun Research Library at the Autry Museum of the American West, and Suzanne Lummis, poet and educator.

    photo by: KCET

    Panel discussion of the upcoming documentary Charles Lummis: Reimagining the West at the Southwest Museum Site. Left to right: Juan Devis, KCET’s Senior Vice President of Content Development; Liza Posas, Head Librarian at Braun Research Library at the Autry Museum of the American West; Suzanne Lummis, poet and educator; and William Deverell, Director of the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West.

    For the dozens gathered at the event, the panel discussion provided an opportunity to re-discover the multifaceted Lummis—writer, publisher, editor, photographer, ethnographer, collector, and founder of Los Angeles’s first museum—and the Southwest Museum Site’s contributions to the city’s early embrace of indigenous and regional Southwestern history and culture. As Angelenos continue to revisit their history, the evolving conversation also turns to a reimagining of the future of the city’s icons—a conversation that the National Trust is pleased to be a part of at the Southwest Museum Site.

    The hour long documentary was also selected as a must watch by the Los Angeles Times, drawing attention to its “handsome historical images.” Read the article here.

    Artbound's season eight debut episode, Charles Lummis: Reimagining the American West, premieres in Los Angeles on Tuesday, May 10 at 9 p.m. Learn more about Charles Lummis and watch a preview of the episode here or check for rebroadcasts here.

    More events are planned in 2016, including Museums of the Arroyo Day (MOTA) on Sunday, May 15 and Lummis Day on June 4, featuring a special site-specific performance by Heidi Duckler Dance Theater exploring Lummis’ 143-day trek across the country from Cincinnati to Los Angeles. Get your tickets here! And check out treasureSWM.org for the latest updates!

    photo by: Braun Research Library Collection, Autry Museum of the American West

    Charles F. Lummis, circa 1890

  • Explore the Online Survey Results in our New StoryMap!

    March 28, 2016

    Many of you took time out of your busy schedules to tell us about the future of the Southwest Museum site and I’m sure you’re wondering what the results revealed. While we’ve given “sneak peeks” of the results at a number of community meetings over the last few months, you can now view and explore the full results on our new, interactive StoryMap!

    A very special thanks to our GIS Specialist, Reina Murray, who crunched the numbers and designed a series of maps and graphs to create an informative StoryMap. With this tool, you can walk through the survey methodology and results. If you just want the highlights, you’ll find them in the text box on the left side of the screen. Perhaps you want to delve into the maps to see how respondents from different areas answered? Or see the most common responses to each question? Or maybe a breakdown of the responses from a single area? It’s all possible, and we hope you find it to be useful and informative!

  • Resources Center Trip Showcases Southwest Museum Collection

    March 9, 2016

    Danny Forrest, the Autry's Director of Capital Projects, and LeLena Lewark, the Autry's Senior Director of Collections and Conservation, provided members of the Steering Committee with an informative behind-the-scenes tour of the Autry's Resources Center on March 2nd. Steering Committee members Marshall McKay, Linda Dishman, Frank Parrello, and Christy McAvoy were in attendance, along with Stacy Lieberman of the Autry and me.

    I had a chance to tour the Resources Center at about this same time last year and was amazed to see how much progress has been made on the facility since then. We viewed many of the rooms and the storage systems that have been designed to address the unique requirements of specific objects and collections, such as saddles, historic firearms, textiles, and archaeological objects.

    The ceremonial gardens are still under construction, but when completed they will provide a separate and private space for tribal members to engage with the collection. Research rooms immediately adjacent to the large, main entry space will provide both public and private space for scholars, tribal members, the public, and researchers to learn from the collections and archives. And the new storage areas for the historic Southwest Museum of the American Indian collection have been completed. We were able to see the carefully-documented and conserved collection of hundreds of thousands of objects in the new spaces, waiting to be unpack by the conservation staff.

    The Autry has offered to host a public tour of the Resource Center on Sunday, March 13th, for the Eagle Rock Historical Society and residents of Highland Park, Mount Washington, and other Northeast LA neighborhoods. If you are interested in participating in that tour, please contact the community representative members of the Steering Committee, Frank Parrello and Carol Teutsch, who are coordinating the tour with the Autry.

    Behind-the-Scenes Tours for Steering Committee and Community Members

    photo by: NTHP Photo

    Marshall McKay, Linda Dishman, Christy McAvoy, and Frank Parrello (l-r) gather in the main entry area for an introduction from Stacy Lieberman and the Autry staff.

    Behind-the-Scenes Tours for Steering Committee and Community Members

    photo by: NTHP Photo

    A wall of wood and glass doors allows visitors to see the archaeology collection as soon as they walk in.

    Behind-the-Scenes Tours for Steering Committee and Community Members

    photo by: NTHP Photo

    LeLena Lewark of the Autry explains the new compact storage system for the archaeology collection.

    Behind-the-Scenes Tours for Steering Committee and Community Members

    photo by: NTHP Photo

    The Autry team came up with a new system for storing the saddle collection.

    Behind-the-Scenes Tours for Steering Committee and Community Members

    photo by: NTHP Photo

    LeLena demonstrates the sliding racks that will provide safe and easy access to the extensive textile collection.

    Behind-the-Scenes Tours for Steering Committee and Community Members

    photo by: NTHP Photo

    Touring the large new second-story space designed for the historic SWM collection, which is ready to be unpacked.

  • “Tunnel Entrance” now on display at the SWM!

    February 10, 2016

    It’s only February and 2016 has already been a busy year at the Southwest Museum Site! January included the opening of a new site-specific installation, “Tunnel Entrance,” by artists Brock Enright and Thomas McDonell. Well over 200 people came by to see the exhibit opening on January 29, which draws on the tunnel architecture and the surrounding environment as the starting point for an exhibition of contemporary artwork. You can see photos and learn more about the exhibit here, and read an interview with Thomas McDonnell here.

    SWM Niche #14, Ranchos of California

    photo by: NTHP Photo

    SWM Niche #14, Ranchos of California

    The Steering Committee has also been hard at work. They first met on December 15, 2015, for a kick-off meeting that included an in-depth presentation and discussion of the Stakeholder Interview results and report, a review of the December event series, and a discussion of the Request for Proposals (RFP) for a consultant who will conduct the market research and assessment. The committee held a second meeting at the Southwest Museum (which included a full site tour) on February 2. You can read meeting notes and learn more about the Steering Committee here.

    More events are planned in 2016, including some in conjunction with Museums of the Arroyo Day (MOTA) in May and Lummis Day in June. Check out treasureswm.org for all the latest!

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