Women of the 60s Counterculture: Planting the Seeds of Liberation


Wednesday, May 24, 2017 5:30PM

Women of the 60s Counterculture: Planting the Seeds of Liberation
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Join California Historical Society at the San Francisco Public Library Koret Auditorium for an engaging conversation centered on the rich stories of women from the 1960s Counterculture. Hear stories connected to why and how they created or participated in the counterculture, on sexism and misogyny and how they responded, and suggestions and thoughts for future generations.

Participate in an interactive activity utilizing words as jumping off points to discussion. We invite guests to share words they associate with freedom and liberation and words they associate with the world they would like to see/create.

Gretchen Lemke-Santangelo, author of Daughters of Aquarius: Women of the Sixties Counterculture will moderate the discussion.

Gretchen Lemke-Santangelo is professor of history, women’s studies, and ethnic studies at Saint Mary’s College of California, and the author of several publications including Daughters of Aquarius: Women of the Sixties Counterculture, Abiding Courage: African American Migrant Women in the East Bay Community, and Competing Visions: A History of California. Daughters of Aquarius, the first book to focus specifically on the experience and contributions of countercultural women, digs beneath the myths and stereotypes that relegated “hippie” women to the margins of history and uncovers how they shaped and sustained utopian experiments while articulating a feminist vision that emphasized the dignity, if not superiority, of female values and labor. As she notes in the book’s conclusion, “they left us with a ‘usable’ past, a store of practical skills and knowledge that can help us address current issues and problems. Renewable energy alternatives, voluntary simplicity, recycling, “green” buildings, cohousing, organic gardening, composting, community-supported agriculture, farmers’ markets, preventative and holistic health, bioregionalism, ecofeminism, and earth-creation reverent spirituality all have their roots in the counterculture, and all hold out hope for a more sustainable future.”

Interested in attending? Reserve at the yellow "attend" button on the left.

Speakers include:

Denise Kaufman (born and raised in San Francisco) is a child of the ’60’s. As a freshman at U.C. Berkeley in ’64, she was arrested at Sproul Hall in the Free Speech Movement. In 1965, she joined Ken Kesey and traveled “on the bus” as one of the Merry Pranksters along with the Grateful Dead. She is a member of the Ace of Cups, San Francisco’s first all female band, rocking their music and babies from 1967 through the present when they are recording a triple album for release on High Moon Records this summer. These days Denise teaches yoga, surfs plays music with whomever wants to jam!

Delia Moon was ten years older than most of those in the counterculture movement, but threw herself into the New Age happily. Her Counterculture activities in Berkeley were limited to shared childcare, delivering Counterculture news to local communes, contributing to the Black Panthers’ Children’s Breakfast Program and participating in the creation of the short-lived People's Park, playing the banjo to the police during the riots protesting its demolition, and helping to fund the book that memorialized it, Peoples Park, published by Penguin.

In 1968 she and her husband purchased land in Bodega and formed a commune. When they divorced in 1971 she remarried and moved to a neighboring commune. In 1976 she started a small Bodega arts and crafts coop, The Full Circle, and formed, with Salli Rasberry, the artist support group, Common Ground. In 1979 she co-founded the Family Publishing Company, where her editorial training proved useful in creating Zero Weather, a cult favorite novel by Ramon Sender. So Fine Bovine by Una Edwards, a manual for raising cows at home, was, unfortunately, never published, as times changed and the call for such a book dwindled. Their third book, Pipe Dreams, an attempt to rescue an addicted friend who had smoked his oriental rugs and his Porsche, never saw the light. Delia has a license from the Universal Life Church and has successfully married several couples. She is a mother, grandmother and great–grandmother. She has been, and still is, a communal god-mother, mentor, guide and supporter. Her Publishing Company, Petaluma River Press, has published three poetry books. She lives in Bodega and Santa Barbara with her partner, Jaclyn.

Judy Goldhaft is an activist who has used art, theater and education to further social change. She has taken place-based theatrical performances and workshops to urban and rural locations to promote community empowerment and bioregional ecological education. Judy has performed dance, street theater, life acting, multispecies theater and single person performance pieces. Among her achievements is founding and performing in The Reinhabitory Theater; writing and performing Water Web; dancing a featured role in Human Nature, and performing in a variety of early SF Mime Troupe presentations including Jane Lapiner’s Bodies and her own collaborative piece Jack Off! A Girlie Show.

Judy has been a guiding force with the ecological educational nonprofit Planet Drum Foundation since its inception in 1973. Over the years she has contributed as a lecturer, writer, editor, workshop leader, art director, event producer, and administrative coordinator. She is currently the Director of Planet Drum Foundation , gardens, studies tap dancing, and is a maker, repairer and reuser.

Alexandra Jacopetti Hart has been part of the Bay Area counter-culture since her arrival in 1958. As one of the originators of the 1966 Trips Festival she made her public debut along with the counterculture itself. Her fiberarts career took off in 1971 with public installations of large-scale tapestries. She was a Baulinas Craftsman’s Guild master weaver, building Macramé Park in Bolinas in 1973-74.

Native Funk and Flash: An Emerging Folk Art, 1974, book with photographer Jerry Wainwright on counter-culture fashion and folk art has remained popular with generations of needlefolk then yet unborn. It inspired the SF MOMA’s 1999 exhibition “Farout: Bay Area Design 1967-1973” and this year, Counter-Couture, a major exhibition at Bellevue Arts Museum near Seattle, WA. which is now opening at NY MAD.

By the 1970s high fashion was intrigued by handworked folk clothing, causing Alexandra and Wainwright’s clothing designer wife, Ann, to start a clothing pattern company named Folkwear, still supplying authentic sewing patterns to costumers, handwork enthusiasts, wearables artists, and home sewers.

In 1959 Salli Rasberry traveled to San Francisco in a Pullman sleeping car with her husband David Freiberg who cofounded Quicksilver Messenger Service and later was keyboardist and bass player for Jefferson Starship. Salli taught at the Hearth Shire School in the Mission District of San Francisco. Many of the children of the musicians, visual artists, writers, poets, activists and performance artists of the counterculture attended the school including Salli’s daughter.

Salli lived in the Haight and Fillmore Districts until 1968 and then moved to Sonoma County to raise her daughter in a safe and healthy environment. For many years they lived off the grid, first in a Tepee, and then a small cabin in a Northern California intentional Community made possible by her friend (and fellow panelist) Delia Moon. A school was created there and still thrives.

When she was 30, she co-authored with professor Robert Greenway a best selling, self-published book entitled Rasberry Exercises: How to Start Your Own School and Make a Book. Based upon both of their passion for teaching/learning, they dedicated their book to “The millions of children still in prison in the United States and to the handful of adults trying to spring them”. Their oversized book with it’s brightly colored cover resonated with people across the country, some of whom showed up in VW buses hoping to live with them, as they were desperate to find a school for their children.

Salli was a founding member of the San Francisco International Book Fairs that showcased underground comics, the new oversized paperback books and the crème de la crème of self-published books. She has written eight books. While assisting Laird Sutton as sound woman in his creation of sex education pattern films for the National Sex Forum, Salli edited several sex positive books and through a grant produced an extremely popular erotic film festival in San Francisco. She was the sex editor for the Whole Earth Catalog.

Currently Salli and her husband Michael Eschenbach live in a senior mobile home park that provides an active, supportive, creative community. She is writing her memoirs and tends a small garden that gives her and her neighbors great pleasure. She is actively involved in community and grandchildren and lives a life of creativity and love.

Hosted generously by the San Francisco Public Library

In partnership with:

StoryCorps and San Francisco Public Library

Photo Courtesy of Judy Goldhaft


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