Community

May 24, 2021

Music and Memories: A Love Letter to Chinatown

Community

By Christina Lehua Hummel-Colla, Library Collections Assistant

It is a weekday morning, and I am exploring a playlist titled “Chinese Rap Collection 2021,” by user XHZY on Spotify. The music keeps me company and helps me focus as I settle into the workday. A song by Vava, a rapper from Ya’an, Sichuan, China catches my attention and I switch over to the artist page so I can listen to more of her work. The second song under the “Popular” section of her page, 我的新衣 (wǒ de xīn yī) (My New Swag) begins with a rich instrumental section featuring traditional Chinese... Read more

May 19, 2021

Kimchi Fried Rice at the End of the Jar

Community / DIY

By Jen Kim, Conservator

So grateful am I for my colleague Christina Lehua Hummel-Colla’s post on the AAPI experience and comfort food, that I am chiming in with my family’s own style of kimchi fried rice. It’s a very basic version of the dish that’s great for using up leftovers. In fact, it’s better with leftovers. Like Christina, I don’t have a formal recipe, and no measurements, but hopefully this description can impart some sense of how I make it.

I always use older kimchi (there are many types but I’m referring to the bright red stuff with napa... Read more

May 18, 2021

How I Owe My Life to Spam (Plus a Recipe for Spam Fried Rice)

Community / DIY

By: Keisha Raines, Communications and Digital Marketing Manager

There doesn’t seem to be a middle ground for Spam. You either think it’s weird (which it is) and gross or you love it and think it’s delicious (which it also is.) For my family in war-torn Guam, it was salvation. Without Spam, I might not be here today. To understand how canned pork plays into my creation, you need to know how it got to Guam.

To say the residents of Guam love Spam is an understatement. The people of Guam eat an average of 16 cans per person annually, more Spam per capita than... Read more

May 18, 2021

Garlic, SPAM, & Rice: A Comfort Food Trinity

Community / DIY
By Liza Posas, Head of Research Services and Archives

I am joining in on the fried rice game with my Autry colleagues Jennifer, Yuki, Keisha, and of course the woman who led the charge, Christina.

Like my colleagues, my version of fried rice is derived from something that is as familial as it is familiar. Growing up, my father was the fried rice maker in the house. And our fried rice was synonymous to GARLIC fried rice that included just a few ingredients, basic instructions, and the promise of comfort food savoriness (or dare I say “umami”).

Dad’s Garlic Fried... Read more

May 13, 2021

Spam Fried Rice for the Soul

Community / DIY

By Christina Lehua Hummel-Colla, Library Collections Assistant

The years of our coronavirus, 2020 and 2021, have been hard on us all—including Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities, targeted as scapegoats for the COVID-19 crisis from the start. Given the co-morbidity of disease and racial violence, from anti-Jewish pogroms during the Black Death to 19th century anti-Asian racism during the 1817 Cholera Pandemic , I am hardly surprised, yet... Read more

April 5, 2021

The Zoom Classroom: Online Learning During a Pandemic

Community / The Autry's Collecting Community History Initiative
By Marina Nye, Curatorial Research Assistant and PhD Student, UCLA History Department

Students and teachers across the United States have had to adjust to a new online learning environment due to COVID-19. From kindergarteners to college students, this new Zoom platform has created unprecedented challenges. The submissions to the Collecting Community History Initiative (CCHI) shed light on student’s day-to-day online schooling.

Students are doing their best to conduct business as usual in a home setting. Elementary school student Jimmy explains “my mom is the ‘principal’ and my dad... Read more

April 5, 2021

What’s Cooking in Quarantine?: The Importance of Culinary Arts During the Stay-at-Home Order

Community / The Autry's Collecting Community History Initiative
By Marina Nye, Curatorial Research Assistant and PhD Student, UCLA History Department

Not even a year ago, a baking craze swept over the nation as Americans were confined to their homes. Everyone sought new hobbies to occupy their time during the stay-at-home order such as cooking and baking. Sourdough starter kits flew off the shelves and bakers exchanged family recipes in online forums. The submissions to the Collecting Community History Initiative elucidate how important baking was during unprecedented times.

Americans gravitated towards culinary arts because baking is often... Read more

March 8, 2021

Ingenuity in Scarcity: Sustainable Solutions to Material Shortages during the Pandemic (The Autry’s Collecting Community History Initiative)

The Autry's Collecting Community History Initiative / Collections / Community / DIY

Nicole Mitchell: “I custom-designed, and dyed antibacterial hemp face covers, Made-in-LA. I chose hemp because of its natural antibacterial properties, UV, and mold resistance. Hemp fabric gets softer and more durable with every wash cycle. Our first production runs, I decided to keep a minimalistic design with no logo or prints because our top priority was to produce quality protection for the people a quick as possible. Urbane face covers represent a movement of unity not only to protect our global health but to consume items where the product lifecycle will benefit... Read more

March 8, 2021

Words on Walls: Messages of Resistance in Public Spaces (The Autry’s Collecting Community History Initiative)

The Autry's Collecting Community History Initiative / Collections / Community / DIY

Banner image by Jonathan Moller

By: Marina Nye, Curatorial Research Assistant and PhD Student, UCLA History dept.

Contributors to the Collecting Community History Initiative (CCHI) captured powerful images of the Black Lives Matter protests. Some of the photographs captured messages of resistance that were inscribed across public spaces such as buildings, storefronts, sidewalks, vehicles, and statues. Whether these messages were written hastily with spray paint or took hours of careful precision, they all express the importance and... Read more

March 8, 2021

Celebration in Isolation: Socialization and Community in a Pandemic world (The Autry’s Collecting Community History Initiative)

The Autry's Collecting Community History Initiative / Collections / Community

Añalisa Siemsen-McQuaide: “These were special fancy dress masks for a social distancing version of The Met Gala we did with the neighbors (socially distancing). It was for our daughters to have something to work on to take their minds off of being 'stuck in the house' and have a reason to dress up and feel fancy. My daughter loves fashion, so she was disappointed not see the outfits at the Met Gala, so we decided to do our own home version.“

By: Marina Nye, Curatorial Research Assistant and PhD Student, UCLA History dept. ... Read more