Source: Daily Breeze
The Michigan-based Georgia and Nolan Payton Foundation has offered Carson’s Cal State Dominguez Hills a $1.6 million gift that will help preserve historic musical performances and songs for the new Center For African Diaspora Sacred Music and Musicians.
Formerly known as the African Diaspora Sacred Music and Musicians Program, it already includes the Georgia and Nolan Payton Archive of Sacred Music. The program, which focuses on music created and performed in Southern California, is internationally recognized for its preservation and promotion of African Diaspora music, which dates from the days Black people were enslaved.
“The investment in support of our Center for African Diaspora Sacred Music and Musicians is a cherished gift that will continue to give for generations to come,” said CSUDH President Thomas A. Parham in a statement.
“If the challenge to current generations is to build upon and extend the legacies left by our ancestors,” he added, “then this bestowal by the Payton family will help fulfill that promise.”
The Payton Archive consists of oral histories, as well as audio and visual materials. It includes the works of Los Angeles-based African Diaspora musicians and a number of special collections.
Image from the online exhibit “Will the Circle Be Unbroken: The Sacred Music of the African American Diaspora.” exhibition, curated from the holdings of the Georgia and Nolan Payton Archive. (Courtesy African American Music Collections, Gerth Archives and Special Collections, Cal State Dominguez Hills).
Professor Emerita of Music Hansonia Caldwell, who founded the African Diaspora Sacred Music and Musicians Program at Cal State Dominguez Hills, called the foundation’s latest donation “thrilling.
“Over the years, the programs and materials supported by the foundation have added tremendously to the educational experience we have been able to provide the students of CSUDH,” she said in a statement. “Additionally, it has ensured the preservation and celebration of an important part of the African Diaspora cultural heritage of California.”
Other projects funded by the foundation include, “Will the Circle Be Unbroken: The Sacred Music of the African American Diaspora,” exhibit, curated from the holdings of the archive, which opened on campus in February, but was later moved online.
The exhibit showcases the role sacred music plays in the cultural institutions of the African American communities of Los Angeles and how those traditions have affected the politics and social structures on the region.