Oral history provides a medium by which we can share our voices and stories. The Archives of American Art has one of the oldest collections of oral histories in the United States, and the largest related to the visual arts. In this episode, we reflect on how oral history enriches our understanding of art and the people who create it. 

What makes an activist group, how do they come together, and how are they most effective? This episode traces the rise and impact of ACT UP, or the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power, how it grew from other queer activist groups while engendering more, and how its influence remains with us today. 

The Archives’ debut podcast episode focuses on the New Deal arts initiatives, providing an overview of their major features and a wide perspective on their histories and legacies. Drawing from the Archives’ first and most ambitious oral history collecting drive, the words and experiences of the artists and administrators who made the New Deal happen convey the stakes of these enormous national undertakings, while insight from contemporary experts provides context for the ongoing importance of those initiatives. 

The Archives of American Art is pleased to invite applications from postsecondary teachers to participate in a series of two professional development workshops, held virtually in August and September 2021, focused on teaching the history of American art with primary sources.

Though our offices are closed, we're always here for you online. Our staff is available to respond to your questions at aaaemref@si.edu. More than ever, during this uncertain time, we hope our collections serve as a source of endless discovery and inspiration.