The Graduate Center Library Spring 2017 Visual Display Award has been granted to the Louis Armstrong House Museum Writers-in-Residence Program.
Louis Armstrong House Museum Writers-in-Residence program, started in 2008, offers MFA candidates a three-month residency to explore new ways of creating work within a socio-cultural framework. As of Spring 2017, over twenty residents have produced an array of prose, poetry, screenplays, plays, and ‘zines in response to a variety of materials and ideas. In addition to the text-based work on display, the posters exhibited were created by undergraduates from the Queens College Art Department through the LAHM Writers-In-Residence Program poster contest.
Collected in this exhibit are text-based and visual art materials created out of a residency program that plunges writers from the Queens College MFA in Creative Writing and Translation into a single archive: the Louis Armstrong House Museum (LAHM). Residents are asked to engage with, to make alive again, and to struggle over how to make factual materials, inanimate objects, and history long since passed, vibrant and urgent for a new audience.
Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong was born in an economically poor section of New Orleans known as “the Battlefield” on August 4th, 1901. His life spanned nearly seventy critical years of struggles and triumphs in the context of civil rights movements and the changing landscape of the United States.
Armstrong’s work collecting and archiving his life is a creative wonder. The Louis Armstrong House Museum Archive is a treasure trove: 1,600 personal recordings, 700 home recorded reel-to-reel tapes in hand-decorated boxes, 86 scrapbooks, 5,000 photographs, 12 linear feet of papers, letters, and manuscripts, trumpets, mouthpieces, awards, and plaques, all of which were discovered inside Louis Armstrong’s home in Corona, Queens.
Louis Armstrong House Museum Writers-in-Residence Program display will be on view:
January 2017 – May 2017
To commemorate the display, a paneled reading of Louis Armstrong Writers-in-Residence will take place on Friday, February 24th as a part of the Performing the Archive event series administered by the GC library.
Tyler Rivenbark, Residency Coordinator, Queens College
Wanett Clyde, Adjunct Reference & Digital Outreach Librarian, The Graduate Center
Shawn(ta) Smith-Cruz, Head of Reference, The Graduate Center
Jill Cirasella, Associate Librarian for Public Services & Scholarly Communications, The Graduate Center