We just celebrated our 10th Anniversary! Thanks to so many of you for joining us for this successful event. If you missed the party, you can still contribute to making our next decade even more significant.
In 1999 we became an organization “on paper” and on January 1st, 2000 we moved boxes of tapes into our present space. We built shelves. We started to gather equipment and began sorting through many thousands of hours of materialsa task that continues today. We continue to add to the growing audio and video collection. Ten years ago we began with a modest budget of $100 per month which covered rent, phones, and little else. As you may know, we’ve never requested government or corporate funding. We receive no operating support from large foundations. We raise funds among a small number of people. We knew then that a community-based, grassroots approach would lead to a much stronger type of organization – an archive not tied to any outside agendas or funding trends.
Today we have a viable community organization that works with high school and college students in an active youth training program and serves as a source of unique historical materials for researchers, teachers and documentary producers. In ten years, we’ve produced CDs and videos, catalogued thousands of hours of media, been sampled by garage bands and professional rockers, spoken-word artists, jazz musicians, and DJs. These amazing sounds also live at the Museum of the African Diaspora, in murals on the streets of the Mission, and in documentaries done by independent artists who seek context and content. The audio and video collection of the Freedom Archives is sampled, broadcast, and web streamed in schools, festivals, and community centers. Our materials are used throughout the world.
We’ve met amazing people and collaborated in creative waysacross generations and with all the richness that collectivity promotes. Our video Legacy of Torture played an important role in the victory of the San Francisco 8. We’ve gained support and supporters by organizing, rather than turning to the corporate and non-profit game. We are there for the community, and that community is there for us. That’s why we’re celebrating ten strong years!
We’ve enclosed a flyer that lists the CDs and DVDs we have produced and announces our next film – COINTELPRO 101 – which will be released in the spring of 2010.
Looking toward the future, our ability to maintain our integrity and continue to expand our capacity depends on you. Every contribution counts, no matter the amount. Please show us that you agree with our goals – the need to preserve radical history and culture – the need to spark the imagination of new generations by introducing them to the inspiring voices and images of the past – and the need to create tools that can succeed in strengthening social justice work for years to come.
Thanks to those of you in the Bay Area who joined us to celebrate the Archives’ anniversary with a great party. Thanks to our contributors who have provided the “fuel” for the first ten years of the Freedom Archives.
Please consider supporting our work. You can make a donation by sending us a check or by making an on-line contribution.
Through our website you can also become a monthly sustainer. Here’s to the next ten years!
Our sincere thanks,
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110