We are currently establishing our project advisory group and lining up teaching artists, guest curators, student team members, and volunteers.
Project Director and Co-Leader: Char Miller, Pomona College
Char Miller is the W. M. Keck Professor of Environmental Analysis and History at Pomona College, in Claremont, California. His most recent books include West Side Rising: How San Antonio’s 1921 Flood Devastated a City and Sparked a Latino Environmental Justice Movement (2021), and Hetch Hetchy: A History in Documents (2020). He is a frequent commentator for the LA Times, NPR, Washington Post, among other national and regional media and has appeared in more than a dozen PBS environmental documentaries. Recently Miller has served as Co-PI for the CLIR-Western Water Archives grant, the Mellon Foundation-funded Collection-As-Data grant, and the Luce Foundation-funded EnviroLab Asia grant–all at The Claremont Colleges. A Humanities Scholar for funded library and museum exhibits in the United States and a faculty fellow at the Pomona College Humanities Studio, he and his students routinely research in the Western Water Archives and conduct field work in the Los Angeles and Santa Ana watersheds. Char will co-lead the project with Tilly Hinton.
Project Curator and Co-Leader: Tilly Hinton, Independent Cultural Producer and Founder of LA River X
Tilly Hinton is a cultural producer, scholar, and strategist. An Australian who calls Los Angeles home, her current creative projects include LA River X, I Am The LA River, and Storytime for the Apocalypse. She coaches people seeking arts, education, and community grants, and has herself won well over half a million dollars in humanities funding (including City of Santa Monica, The Awesome Foundation, the City of Sydney, the Commonwealth Government of Australia, and the Australian Learning and Teaching Council). Her cultural production work in the humanities and social science has attracted corporate sponsorship exceeding $150,000 and she has produced volunteering programs for national and international arts and cultural events. Tilly serves as an Advisory Board member for Riverpark Coalition in Long Beach. She wrote the learning and teaching impact policy for the Commonwealth Government of Australia, and her approach underpins more than $14 million of funding. In 2020, Tilly was startup catalyst for the Rose River Memorial project, a handcrafted national monument to COVID-19 deaths. Tilly’s research explores the ecological and socio-cultural importance of damaged urban landscapes. She has a Masters and a Ph.D. about the LA River’s recent social history, and she took Lewis MacAdams seriously when he told her that her job was articulating and protecting the river’s future mythology. Tilly will lead on curation and community engagement, an extension of her existing volunteer role as founder and curator of LA River X. Tilly will co-lead the project with Char Miller.
Subject Matter Expert and Western Water Archives Curator: Lisa Crane, The Claremont Colleges Library
Lisa Crane is the Western Americana Manuscripts Librarian in Special Collections, TCCL, which is the central library for the seven individual Claremont Colleges. Her responsibilities include collection development of Special Collections Western Americana materials, teaching with primary source materials, overseeing the archival processing and management of Special Collections’ manuscript and archives collections. She will be overseeing the processing of the born-digital LA River X collection once it is donated to Special Collections and producing a finding aid for the collection. She has also managed the Library’s digital production work and continues to liaise with Digital Scholarship and Strategies (DSS), the division now responsible for the Claremont Colleges Digital Library (CCDL), on materials and collections originating from Special Collections. Lisa currently serves as the Project Director for a CLIR Digitizing Hidden Special Collections and Archives grant which involves digitizing a critical mass of over 30 archival collections with a focus on water from seven partner institutions. The Western Water Archives website is the portal to materials digitized under the CLIR grant. Lisa’s project role for this grant will be to liaise between Special Collections and DSS regarding the ingest of LA River X materials into the Western Water Archives and to contribute to the building of the Omeka exhibits featuring LA River X images. As a team member, she will also participate in program planning and helping to connect Claremont Colleges students, faculty, staff, and the wider water research community as well as other water resource archives to this project.
Authorizing Official: Martina Ebert, Pomona College
Martina Ebert is the Senior Director, Foundation Relations and Strategic Initiatives, at Pomona College. Prior to this position, she was the Administrative Director of the European Union Center at Scripps College. She earned her master’s degree in English and German Literature from the Eberhard Karls Universitaet Tuebingen and her Ph.D. in English from The Ohio State University. In her free time she enjoys gardening, cooking for friends and family, and walking in the foothills above Claremont. Having grown up near a river, she is excited about the LA River project and looks forward to the collaborations it will engender!
Humanities Advisor: Jon Christensen, UCLA
Jon Christensen is an adjunct assistant professor in the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, Luskin Center for Innovation, and Center for Digital Humanities at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is a journalist-in-residence at the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability and a founder of the Laboratory for Environmental Narrative Strategies (LENS) in the IoES. He is editor of LENS Magazine, was previously Editor of Boom California, and is a producer of the Emmy-winning ‘Earth Focus’ documentary TV series produced by Public Media Group of Southern California (KCET| PBS SoCal | Link TV) and the Thomson Reuters Foundation. He is also a partner and strategic adviser at Stamen Design, a National Design Award-winning interactive design studio specializing in mapping, data visualization, and strategic communications. And he serves on the boards of directors of the Liberty Hill Foundation and the Los Angeles River State Park Partners, and on the advisory councils of the Indigenous Law Center at the University of California Hastings Law School and the Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust. As the project’s humanities advisor, Jon will bring his extensive environmental humanities, journalism, educational, and community engagement experience to inform development of all aspects of the project.
The project is supported by our wonderful community champions and collaborators: Tina Calderon, City of Los Angeles Councilmember Bob Blumenfield (Third District), the Elysian Valley Arts Collective and Frogtown Artwalk, LA as Subject, LA River Kayak Safari, Los Angeles Waterkeeper, Las Fotos Project, Photo Friends of the LA Public Library, River Ridge Club and Stables, Riverpark Coalition, and the Society of California Archivists.
The People’s Archive is a public humanities project of LA River X/El Río de Los Angeles X, Pomona College, and The Claremont Colleges Library. This project was made possible with support from California Humanities, a non-profit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Visit www.calhum.org.
Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this website do not necessarily represent those of California Humanities or the National Endowment for the Humanities.