Rock the Archive – Creative Source Panel with Gretta Harley, Sheila Jackson H., and KItty Wu


Moderator: Angela Macklin

Gretta Harley: She began speaking about the work of Home Alive and the two films that have emerged about the organization. Work interested in looking at how women have been left out of the archive of history of grunge. The Women Who Rock archives have given their support for the interviews she has been doing with women. Currently, she has a play THE STREETS on stage in Seattle; a non linear play that focused on women’s contributions to the grunge scene.

Sheila Jackson H.: Still in production on NICE AND ROUGH. Film has been a journey; as I uncover more and more black women in rock, discover that they are all over the world, not just in Los Angeles. About a year ago, hit a funding wall, and discovered the need to expand the scope of the project. Wish to see black women in rock get recognition as established figures in rock. Established a website “” where people can go to learn about the scope of the music produced by black women in rock. The typical number people imagine of black women in rock is 5, at most 25, when in actuality the numbers are much greater and need to be documented. NICE AND ROUGH still unfolding as a mission, a lesson that shows we all want the freedom to be who we are and to do our art regardless of race.

Kitty Wu: I feel a lot of parallels with both of you. I work for 206Zulu here in Seattle. I’ve been working with many collaborators around archiving work in Seattle. I’m happy to be here. We have about 750 episodes with a lot of footage of people and shows that we are working to put into the archive. Being here in the building with the space to create is an incredible thing and want to encourage people to create.

Macklin: There’s always the question of where do you store your work and who’s going to house it. There’s also the issue that for every hour that makes it into the archive, there are about 60 hours that don’t. Can you talk about the experience of doing the interview?

Harley: A lot of the women we have been interviewing do not have a presence on the Internet. We have a site, “” in which there are pages and links; archiving is an incredible asset we have that we didn’t 20 years ago, when remembrance was not even part of the process. Right now we are dealing with raw footage and Wes Hurley has been releasing 3 minute clips on TheProjectRoom website. We feel we are at the beginning of a project. Each interview is about an hour long; we work to keep the interview footage as whole as possible.

Sheila: Editing is such a daunting process. Before I first began and conceptualizer documentary, I went though an outline of my anticipated outcome. Kind of a double edged sword. You can look at your expectations but the outcome leads to something else. I try to keep my vision but remain open at the same time. when I look at the interviews, I try to think what part of the journey of women in rock that the interview belongs to. I’m excited about the aspect of just staying open to the stories that unfold through the interviews.

Kitty: Technically what we do when we make a show is pick out a sentence or paragraph. For the documenting, we were lucky to get some funding.

Angela: Each of your projects have a community building component.

Harley: When I was growing up there wasn’t a lot of role models; the goal is to create those for the next generation.

Shelia: important to be reflective and document what does not presently exist; so important for us on a spiritual and psychology level for us to see ourselves reflected in the media. So many of the women feel that they are alone in their work. To me, the healing is in putting out the stories.

Kitty: the community component is in the consumption and why audience is so importance.

Angela: Please follow the websites of each of these presenters. Thank you all for the work you are doing and we look forward to seeing all of your work in the women who rock archives.

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