Tel: (818) 347-9665 PST

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Congratulations to Oakwood HS students & team on winning Oscar for Best Documentary Short

Congratulations to local high school students, producers and everyone involved with winning an Oscar for Best Documentary Short at the 2019 Academy Awards for the film Period. End of Sentence.

The film, which was created by Oakwood High School students in North Hollywood who also founded a nonprofit organization called The Pad Project, which aims to fight the stigma of menstruation. The program initially focused in a rural village outside of Delhi, India.

                                                                                             Photo credit: AFP

For decades, the women there didn’t have access to pads, which resulted in health problems and girls missing school or dropping out entirely. But when a sanitary pad machine was installed in the village, the women learned to manufacture and market their own pads. The ladies felt so inspired that they named their brand Fly because they want women “to soar.”

“When we started this project, we really had no idea how far it would come,” Avery Siegel, Period’s executive producer and former Oakwood High School student.

Siegel and her classmates Ruby Schiff and Claire Sliney’s efforts started almost six years ago with simple fundraisers in their Los Angeles community.

The students raised money via bake sales and a yoga-thon.  They promoted via word-of-mouth to raise funds for the project and in October of 2016 launched a Kickstarter campaign.

Talking about periods and having these women work on the machine makes people comfortable with the discussion.  Women in the village felt better about themselves and even the men in the village noticed a change in the community’s attitudes.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Sunday, February 24th,
Historic walking tour of Van Nuys
2:00- 3:00 pm
RSVP in advance (appreciated) on EventBrite HERE

Learn about the origin of the Daily News and the company which was a nationwide maker of silent movie theatre organs. Who were Hobart Johnstone Whitley, Wayne E. Bechtelheimer and Whitley Van Nuys Huffaker? Relive "Wednesday Nights on Van Nuys Boulevard." We will have historic photographs and stories to share as we wander this surprisingly historic San Fernando Valley treasure. Tour highlights include:

•    Van Nuys Bungalow           
•    Women’s Club
•    Old Van Nuys Library (1927)       
•    United Methodist Church
•    Municipal Building Fa├žade       
•    Van Nuys Post Office

•    Van Nuys Fire Station
•    Abeles Map               
•    Fernando Statue, Crystal Plunge
•    Bob’s Big Boy, Busch Gardens       
•    Lankershim, Van Nuys, Whitsett, Whitley

The development entity known as The Syndicate began the process in 1910, but William Paul Whitsett saw it through to the end. Originally a barley field, Van Nuys became a prosperous center of City Government, agriculture and industry. Come explore what remains to be appreciated: original 1911 buildings hidden beneath modern facades, first churches, a civic center with many special revelations, one of the main hubs of social and official activity, the Women's Club building, Los Angeles Historic Cultural Monuments #201, #202, and #911, and National Register of Historic Places Monument #2509.

Please RSVP and pay in advance with:                                          
EVENTBRITE - Search under: Van Nuys Historic Walking Tour  (Okay to walk-up and pay)
Cost:        $10 per person donation; Also, please visit
Parking:    Street & metered parking in area

RSVP:     1-818-347-9665, email at

Please consider inviting a family member, colleague or friend.

Attendees will meet under the "Bridge/Archway" of the Braude Constituent Center, 6262 Van Nuys

Friday, February 1, 2019

Black History Month - origin; The Museum SFV programming

February is Black History Month.

Do you know about the origin of this designation and who is the person recognized for its creation?

Black History Month, a federally recognized, nationwide celebration that calls on all Americans to reflect on the significant roles that African-Americans have played in shaping US history.

Carter G. Woodson, considered a pioneer in the study of African-American history, is given much of the credit for Black History Month.

The son of former slaves, Woodson spent his childhood working in coal mines and quarries. He received his education during the four-month term that was customary for black schools at the time.

He established the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History. He also founded the group's widely respected publication, the Journal of Negro History.

In 1926, Woodson developed Negro History Week. He believed "the achievements of the Negro properly set forth will crown him as a factor in early human progress and a maker of modern civilization."

At the time of Negro History Week's launch, Woodson contended that the teaching of black history was essential to ensure the physical and intellectual survival of the race within broader society:

If a race has no history, it has no worthwhile tradition, it becomes a negligible factor in the thought of the world, and it stands in danger of being exterminated. The American Indian left no continuous record. He did not appreciate the value of tradition; and where is he today? The Hebrew keenly appreciated the value of tradition, as is attested by the Bible itself. In spite of worldwide persecution, therefore, he is a great factor in our civilization.

Woodson chose the second week of February for his celebration because it marks the birthdays of two men who greatly influenced the black American population:

  • Frederick Douglass, who escaped slavery and became an abolitionist and civil rights leader; though his birthdate isn't known, he celebrated it on February 14th.
  • President Abraham Lincoln, who signed the Emancipation Proclamation, which abolished slavery in America's confederate states; he was born on February 12th.
Black History Month was first proposed by black educators and the Black United Students at Kent State University in February 1969. The first celebration of Black History Month took place at Kent State one year later, from January 2, 1970 – February 28, 1970.

In 1976, Black History Month was being celebrated all across the country in educational institutions, centers of Black culture and community centers, both great and small, when President Gerald Ford recognized Black History Month, during the celebration of the United States Bicentennial. He urged Americans to "seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history".

Sources:  Various; Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum