Events Calendar


Alice: Memoirs of a Barbary Coast Prostitute
Thursday, October 27, 2016, 6:00pm
Alice: Memoirs of a Barbary Coast Prostitute: San Francisco Book Launch with SWOP

$5 CHS Members and Heyday Subscribers, $10 General Admission


Join the California Historical Society (CHS), Heyday, and members of the Erotic Service Providers Union for a discussion on the history of sex work in the Bay Area and the contemporary issues facing sex workers today. This program serves to launch CHS and Heyday Books co-published 2015 California Historical Society Book Prize Award Winner, Alice: Memoirs of a Barbary Coast Prostitute. A book signing will be held after the discussion portion of the event.

The program will begin with presentations from the book’s editors, Ivy Anderson and Devon Angus, and will be followed by presentations from Erotic Service Providers. It will then transition into a Q&A with all the presenters from 7:05–7:50pm. Index cards will be distributed to guests to write down their questions. All questions must explicitly state who (of the presenters) the question is intended for. We also ask that any personal stories or opinions beyond the scope of the presentation and discussion be held for one on one time with presenters after the event.

As a special addition, we will have a collection viewing in our North Baker Research Library from 5:45pm to 6:00pm and immediately following the presentations and discussion.

About the Speakers:

Ivy Anderson is a San Francisco–based writer who focuses on issues of ecology and radical history. Her reportage on water management issues was published in Water Efficiency Magazine and her poetry in Poecology. She holds a B.A. in environmental studies with a minor in geography, runs a community garden, and is on the board of a bookstore collective in San Francisco. Devon Angus is an artist, activist, and historian based in San Francisco. He composed and performed a conceptual folk operetta based on San Francisco history, The Ghosts of Barbary, throughout the Bay Area, Switzerland, and Italy. He organized and published a series of oral histories of immigrants in the Catskills region, and was the recipient of an arts grant through the New York State Council on the Arts for his show Songs and Stories of Old New York. Angus is currently pursuing a history M.A. at San Francisco State University. To read more about their work, visit their blog.

Erotic Service Providers Union (ESPU) is by and for those who labor erotically to gain agency through industrial organizing for our occupational, social, and economic rights through affiliating with organized labor. State laws criminalize prostitution. This results in locking out workers from our right to negotiate for our labor, and safe working conditions, by making it specifically illegal to do so. Locking out our specific class of workers has resulted in decades of institutional and systemic violence and discrimination. We ask you to stand in solidarity with all erotic laborers and support the Erotic Service Providers Union’s struggle for decriminalization. This will lead to social and economic justice for erotic laborers. We have impact litigation in federal court right now. Erotic Service Providers, a client, and the ESP Union are plaintiffs arguing that prostitution law deprives us of our freedom of speech, freedom to associate, right to earn a living, and right to privacy that are guaranteed by the 1st and 14th amendments of the United States Constitution. More information about the court case can be found at

More Information on the book:

For the first time in print since 1913, Alice: Memoirs of a Barbary Coast Prostitute presents the memoirs of Alice Smith, a 1913 series titled "A Voice from the Underground," and a selection of letters responding to her story. An introduction contextualizes the series amid Progressive Era sensationalistic journalism and shifting ideas of gender roles, and reveals themes in Alice’s story that extend to issues facing sex workers today. Learn more.

To learn more about the California Historical Society Book Prize Award, go to our website.

The California Historical Society (CHS) and Heyday believe in sharing/telling a diversity of stories, some historic, others contemporary. However, we maintain that the opinions stated in this talk will be that of the speakers' and not necessarily those of CHS or Heyday.

History, Identity, Photography – Tintype Artists Ed Drew and Will Wilson in Discussion
(Left) Zig Jackson, Citizen of the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation, Professor of Photography, Savannah College of Art and Design. Photo by William Wilson); (Right) Ed Drew, Plummie, 2014–15, Tintype, courtesy of the artist and Robert Koch Gallery, San Francisco
Thursday, November 3, 2016, 6:00pm
History, Identity, Photography – Tintype Artists Ed Drew and Will Wilson in Discussion

$5 for CHS Members, $10 General Admission


Join us for a fascinating discussion between two photographers who use the historic and unique tintype process to create thought-provoking images that challenge historic and contemporary perspectives of Native Americans. Ed Drew, the tintype photographer featured in our exhibition Native Portraits: Contemporary Tintypes by Ed Drew will discuss how he got into the field and the medium and about his project, People of the Klamath. William Wilson, a Diné tintype photographer featured in museums including Portland Art Museum and Denver Art Museum, and galleries and museums all over the South and North West, will discuss how he got into photography and chose the tintype as his medium, and about his project, The Critical Indigenous Photographic Exchange (CIPX).

Ed Drew was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY and joined the military in 1999 two days after his eighteenth birthday. He has served for six years in the active duty Air Force and six years in the California Air National Guard as a Staff Sergeant and helicopter gunner on Combat Search and Rescue helicopters stationed in Moffett Field, near Mountain View, California. He is also a recent graduate of San Francisco Art Institute, where he received a BFA majoring in Sculpture and minoring in Photography. He has worked in many private collections as well as the Nelson Atkins Museum in Missouri. He currently lives in Brooklyn, NY.

William (Will) Wilson is a Diné photographer who spent his formative years living in the Navajo Nation and is currently program head of photography at the Santa Fe Community College. Born in San Francisco in 1969, Wilson studied photography at the University of New Mexico (Dissertation Tracked MFA in Photography, 2002) and Oberlin College (BA, Studio Art and Art History, 1993). In 2007, Wilson won the Native American Fine Art Fellowship from the Eiteljorg Museum and in 2010 was awarded a prestigious grant from the Joan Mitchell Foundation. He has held visiting professorships at the Institute of American Indian Arts (1999–2000), Oberlin College (2000–2001), and the University of Arizona (2006–2008). From 2009 to 2011, he managed the National Vision Project, a Ford Foundation-funded initiative at the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts in Santa Fe, and helped to coordinate the New Mexico Arts Temporary Installations Made for the Environment (TIME) program on the Navajo Nation. He is part of the Science and Arts Research Collaborative (SARC), which brings together artists interested in using science and technology in their practice with collaborators from Los Alamos National Laboratory and Sandia Labs as part of the International Symposium on Electronic Arts, 2012 (ISEA). Currently, Wilson's work can be seen at the Portland Art Museum in Contemporary Native American Photographers and the Edward S. Curtis Legacy, Zig Jackson, Wendy Red Star, and Will Wilson.

Community Day
Community Day
Saturday, November 12, 2016, 11:00am - 5:00pm
Community Day

Free Event

Please RSVP:

Join us in celebration of our exhibitions with an all-day free event that includes crafts, pop-up talks, docent tours, special tabling guests, and so much more!

November 12 Schedule of Events:

  • 11:00AM-1:00PM Tule Canoes with Peopleologie

    Limited supply, first come, first served

  • 12:00PM-12:30PM A is for Acorn Read and Show with Artist Lyn Risling

  • 1:00PM-2:00PM Music with Almas Fronterizas

    Bridging a sound that is as much for the Oakland/San Francisco back streets as the ceremonial prayer houses to the glow of LA and back to the people of the rural tribal reservations across the Mexico/United States border.

  • 2:00-2:30PM A is for Acorn Read and Show with Artist Lyn Riesling

  • 3:00PM-3:30PM First Exposures Pop-Up Talk

    Listen to the First Exposures Staff discuss their work and how it has grown as well as hear from Mentors and Mentees about the impact First Exposures has had on their lives and work.

Tabling Guests Include:

  • News from Native California

  • StoryCorps

The event will be photographed. By attending the event you are providing CHS consent to take photos around you or of you. Please inform a CHS staff member at the event if you do not feel comfortable being photographed.

In partnership with News from Native California

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