What’s New


Martinez adobeThe California and the West Study Group is sponsoring an event on September 30th open to the whole Institute membership.  We will be attending a fandango in Martinez at the historic Martinez adobe, with a number of added inducements. The fandango, a traditional community dance, has been organized by a group that sings historic Californio songs and also plays for dancing, Los Arribeños.  At the fandango, the group will teach a few of the dances and songs for anyone who would like to try.  This is a public event attended by all ages, as befits the original fandangos of the era (roughly 1815–1848). Observers are also welcome.

Institute members will have a mid-afternoon talk by Lance Beeson, director of the group, about the elements and sources of the music, how he got interested and put his group together, and some history of the era.  There will be Q and A. At about 5 pm we will adjourn to one of the many Mexican restaurants in Martinez. We will return for the fandango about 6:30.  The event lasts until dark, but Institute members may of course leave whenever individual carpools decide.

Admission to the adobe and the Muir house are free at all times.  There is also no charge for the fandango.  Mr. Beeson is being paid by the Institute, so there is no charge for his lecture.  However, members will pay for their own dinners, although we will make a group reservation to make sure we can be accommodated.

martinez_adobe_small_plaque_thumbThe 1849 Vicente Martinez Adobe is on the property of the John Muir National Historic Site.  Although seeing John Muir’s mansion is not part of our “official” program, interested members could certainly visit the residence before the talk, which will start about 3:30.

If you plan to attend—and especially if you want to be in on the dinner reservation—please email Jody Offer by September 23rd.

It’s Mini-Grant Time!

Screen Shot 2017-07-17 at 5.42.41 PMThe Institute Board of Directors is pleased to announce the Mini-Grant Program for 2017-18. The deadline for this year’s application is September 15. The Mini-Grant Committee will examine the applications and report its decisions to the Board, which will have the final say. Checks will be issued by October 15.

The purpose of the program is to assist Institute members in good standing to complete worthy, sound and original projects of historical scholarship. Past mini-grants have been used to pay for duplicating, translation, travel, and conference registration, but are not limited to these uses. The size of mini-grants varies, but usually they are in the range of $500 to $750.

For more information, see Information for Mini-Grant Applicants. Download the application form here.

Mother Lode Trip, Sept. 23–25, 2016

Angelo Rossi family store, Volcano, CA, early 1878. The bundle of white in Maddalena Quirolo Rossi’s arms is her infant son, Angelo J. Rossi, future mayor of San Francisco. (from original tintype, courtesy Rose Marie Cleese)

Angelo Rossi family store, Volcano, CA, early 1878. The bundle of white in Maddalena Quirolo Rossi’s arms is her infant son, Angelo J. Rossi, future mayor of San Francisco (from original tintype, courtesy Rose Marie Cleese).

Members of the Institute, along with members of the Italian-American Studies Association, had a fabulous history trip to the heart of California’s Gold Country the weekend of September 23–25, 2016.

Thank you to Rose Marie Cleese for organizing it! For a report on the weekend, see our Fall 2016 newsletter.

History of Art Venues in Berkeley

It’s Mini-Grant Time!

Annual Meeting New Member Presentations

Report on San Francisco Main Library Tour

SFPL Tour 1/31/15

Public Program: World War I Films

Local History Field Trips for 2015

Report on Richmond Waterfront Field Trip

Report on Los Gatos Field Trip

Los Gatos Field Trip

History Expo

Visit to Juana Briones Exhibition

Report on Archives Program

Public Program on Archives, October 10

Annual Potluck, September 7

Trip to Green Gulch Farm Zen Center

Vallejo Outing April 13, 2013

2012 Annual Dinner Lecture Report