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Sunday, January 20, 2013

Squeezebox Stories: Rural music, immigration, & the accordion

This event takes place on Thursday, January 24, 2013, 6:00pm

Reservations are required
Free event at the California Historical Society
678 Mission Street
San Francisco

Squeezebox Stories: Rural music, immigration, and the accordion in California's Central Valley
When Carlos Mendoza immigrated to California from Oaxaca in the 1980s to work in the fields outside Madera, he brought his beloved Chilena music along with him. Now a full-time musician, Mendoza will play some of these traditional Oaxacan songs and talk with producers Julie Caine and MariƩ Abe about the role the accordion has played in carrying culture to a new land.
Squeezebox Stories is an award-winning public radio documentary that uses the rich history of the accordion to tell immigration and migration stories to California.  Produced by radio journalist Julie Caine and Boston University ethnomusicologist MariĆ© Abe, this project is supported by the California Council for the Humanities and the Arhoolie Foundation.
During this event, we'll hear the story of some of rural California's newest residents, and learn how their journey north has given new life to traditional music that embodies cultural pride in a new land. The most recent wave of Mexican immigrants to California are mostly indigenous people from the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca–many of whom don’t even speak Spanish as their first language, and who are often discriminated against within mainstream Mexican culture for their indigenous heritage. We hope you can join us for this special event. Light refreshments will be served. 

Please RSVP at and we'll see you there!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

An Evening with Deborah Miranda, author of Bad Indians

Thursday, January 17, 2013, 6:00pm

Reservations are required
Free event at the California Historical Society
678 Mission Street
San Francisco

Join us for an evening with author Deborah Miranda. Her book,Bad Indians, part tribal history, part lyric and intimate memoir. Deborah A. Miranda tells stories of her Ohlone Costanoan Esselen family as well as the experience of California Indians as a whole through oral histories, newspaper clippings, anthropological recordings, personal reflections, and poems. The result is a work of literary art that is wise, angry, and playful all at once, a compilation that will break your heart and teach you to see the world anew. Deborah A. Miranda is an enrolled member of the Ohlone Costanoan Esselen Nation of California, and is also of Chumash and Jewish ancestry. The author of two poetry collections—Indian Cartography, which won the Diane Decorah Award for First Book from the Native Writer’s Circle of the Americas, and The Zen of La Llorona, nominated for the Lambda Literary Award—she also has a collection of essays, The Hidden Stories of Isabel Meadows and Other California Indian Lacunae, forthcoming from the University of Nebraska Press. Miranda is an associate professor of English at Washington and Lee University and says reading lists for her students include as many books by “bad Indians” as possible.

RSVP at and we'll see you there! 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

100 Years of Rural California in Print

Saturday, January 12, 2013, Timed entry at 1:30pm, 2:15pm, 3pm, 3:45pm, reservations required
$5 general admission (includes gallery admission), Free for California Historical Society members

Join us for a special afternoon in the library of the California Historical Society where you will have the opportunity to hold history in your hands. Our archivists and librarians will gather an array of printed materials from the Collection – including commercial catalogs for farm implements, tack and saddlery, and seeds and nursery stock, as well as books, pamphlets, periodicals, and printed ephemera from counties, businesses, and organizations throughout the state that document various aspects of life in rural California – and make them available on tables in the library for visitors to look at up close. This event organized in connection with our ongoing exhibition I See Beauty in This Life: A Photographer Looks at 100 Years of Rural Californiahelps to expand upon our understanding, and image, of rural California over the past 100 years. Due to the delicate nature of the material, reservations are required and can be made at