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The Holiday Bowl History Project

3-D Model: Pragya Tomar, Kristin Hargrove, David Balian, Jeremy Clifton
Database designs: Chris Kampmeier
Documentary: Edward Mejia
Researchers: Laura Barraclough, Nicole Padilla, Katherine Seymour
Principal Investigator: Sharon Sekhon

Launched in the Spring of 2004, the Holiday Bowl History Project began as a series of conversations about Los Angeles history, bowling, preservation, and the Holiday Bowl in discussion with John Guzman and Sojin Kim of the Japanese American National Museum; Alexis Moreno of the Southern California Library; Arthur Hansen and Stephanie George of the Center for Oral and Public History at California State University Fullerton, La'Tonya Rease Miles of the University of California, Los Angeles, and Dace Taube of the Regional History Collection at the University of Southern California. The Holiday Bowl features significantly in the memories of those who frequented the place and there were many who were touched by it enough to share their memories here. In addition to one-on-one interviews, this Project included many shared experiences. In consultation with the amazing and inspiring La'Tonya Rease Miles, the project was launched with a Lecture Series and Walking Tour where John Arroyo, John English, Matthew Haskins, Etta Hollins, Christopher Jimenez y West, Nina Revoyr (who read from her novel Southland), Josh Sides & Michael Steiner all gave generously of their time, expertise, and support in guiding these place-based forums and exercises. This site is an invitation to explore the history of the Holiday Bowl communities through specific subjects and issues: the history of postwar Los Angeles, the building and continuing evolution of the Crenshaw, the role of sports in negotiating culture and politics, as well as looking at different models of history and community. The Holiday Bowl coffee shop was saved for a Starbuck's coffeeshop and is a thriving business.

Working with various digital technologies and grappling with different questions about preservation made this project richer and worth pursuing. Who gets to be included in history "worth preserving?" How does that list dwindle in a region already financially strapped? Can the digital and the web in its disseminating force provide pathways to future scholars? Indeed, the nature of social movements today require such avenues of exploration and as this project's Resources page demonstrates, preservation movements as well as scholars are taking more heed of this new information pathway. How does one approach a place that materially may be gone but whose memory abounds? This website, rich in multimedia, reveals only one facet of a broader project that strives to invoke memories and install more complex and different paradigms in regional representation and to do so without digressing into nostalgia.
Likewise, this project hopes to root the history of the Holiday Bowl within its immediate context; to those who went to the place and made it a viable space. It is for this reason that oral history has served a central role in this documentation of the Holiday Bowl.

The success of any project is the joint effort of many. There are numerous people to thank which testifies to the spirit of the Holiday Bowl and how it made an impression on those who went there and how this model of community resounds with those of us who may not have gone there but worked extensively on this project. First and foremost-- many thanks go to those who donated their histories and photographs to this project through interviews or by attending the October 2004 Forum at the Japanese American National Museum: John English, Barbara Fuller, Olivia Guevara, Renee Gunter, Ken Hamamura, Clara Harris, Judy Heimlich, La Verne Hughes, Sam James, Tony Nicholas, Nina Revoyr, Arthur Sutton, Ugene Song interviewed by Klementine Song, and George Takei.

Many scholars influenced the creation of this project in content and trajectory including John Arroyo, David Balian, Jeremy Clifton, Kristin Hargrove, Mike Jones, Clara Irazabal, Chris Kampmeier, Edward Mejia, Nicole Padilla, Laura Pulido and Pragya Tomar. Students in USC's AMST 206: Politics and Culture of the 1960s course also provided important research and observational data towards this project, some of which are available through this site. Laura Barraclough provided a great sounding board for my ideas, helped in doing interviews, and was an indefatigable researcher for this project. Nicole Padilla wrote a powerful poem as part of the project and contributed to the research. Karen Wade of FSS-Project TECH helped me spread the word through the Tom Bradley Family and Youth Center, which is a Center that provides social capital in ways like the Holiday Bowl.Sp ecial thanks to the Japanese American National Museum that hosted the Forum and Collection Day in October and Alexis Moreno and the Southern California Library for hosting a Film Screening in conjunction with the project. Thanks go to the Institute for Multimedia Literacy at USC's Annenberg Center for Communication, especially Janine Fron and Vanessa Lee who provided early support for this project. Finally, thanks to Edward Mejia for help in interviewing participants in the project as well as directing its forthcoming documentary. Without Eddie's help this project would not have happened.

This website is an ongoing database. Anyone are interested in learning more or donating an interview should contact me. Thank you. Sharon Sekhon.