I’ve always loved history, but in school the focus has always been on centuries past; we rarely have the opportunity to study recent or particularly, local history in class. However, last week I happened to get an informal lesson in exactly that, local history, courtesy of the dA.
Armed with binders, post-its, and an impressive stack of plastic sheet protectors, I set out to archive a seemingly innocuous box of newspaper clippings by sorting its contents into chronological order. On papers already yellowed with age, I found articles on Pomona and its neighboring cities, the Arts Colony, and the dA itself. Recognizable in various photographs are the same walls as the ones in the dA now, but the art hanging on them in different exhibitions varied from celebrating Dia de los Muertos (the Day of the Dead) to showcasing various student works. My fingers quickly found themselves coated in ink as I leafed through pages dating all the way back to 1987, recounting events like the “Fringe of the Fringe Arts Festival” and “Smogdance Film Festival,” which I previously had no idea existed. I had the biggest kick reading about “The Looky Loo Tour,” a self-guided walking tour of over 20 downtown toilets that took place in November 2000.
While my task took several days and multiple hand scrubbings to wash off all of the ink, it was fascinating getting to know more about the dA. Sorting through all the stories, it’s clear that rich histories aren’t just found in ancient civilizations. Just ask the six new binders filled with dA clippings – a slice of recent past.