Editor’s note: In 2008, the San Francisco Performing Arts Library and Museum became the Museum of Performance & Design
Jeff Friedman became concerned about the vulnerability of the dance community to loss of documented work as many of his colleagues in the arts began contracting AIDS in the 1980s. In order to preserve not only the work of younger dancers at risk for AIDS but also the elders in his community, Friedman began the Legacy Oral History Program.
Friedman’s dance heritage program joined with the San Francisco Performing Arts Library and Museum to preserve not only dance but also theater, music, and other performing arts. The collection includes audio and video taped life history interviews, transcripts, photographs and other illustrations, as well as additional ephemera — all of which are available to the public. Spark talks to Friedman about how this project began.