What better way to prepare for the extravaganza that is the 2009 SAA Annual Meeting than to look fondly back at last year’s program?  OK, there are probably better ways to prepare, but since I hadn’t gotten around to it until now and am taking refuge from the heat until it’s time for the bats, here goes.

For those of you who were in San Francisco and in Austin today, try to summon the memories of  those brisk San Francisco evenings and sit back and relax.  For those of you who weren’t in San Francisco and aren’t here in Austin, I guess you can just picnic and dream.

Chinese hammered dulcimer or yangqin

Chinese hammered dulcimer or yangqin

Session 406 of SAA2008, you may recall, was a program organized by the Performing Arts  Roundtable entitled, “Getting to the Heart of Performance: Archivists as Creative Collaborators.”   Its main purpose was to encourage archivists to work with performers, practitioners, and, yes, even amateurs, to utilize those performing arts materials in your collections through live performance; to bring them to life.

The first part of the session, introduced by Scott Schwartz, featured a brief talk by Anthony Brown, director of San Francisco’s own Asian American Orchestra explaining how he had used archival material to inform his own innovative musical arrangements.  Brown’s discussion was followed by a performance by ensemble member, Zhao Yangqin on her instrument, the Chinese hammered dulcimer or yangqin.  You can see a few more (admittedly not very good) pictures on our Flickr site or you can watch a clip of the Asian American Orchestra at an anniversary celebration that took place just a few weeks later: