The Ara Jo Memorial Fund (AJMF) was established in 2018 to honor the creative legacy of Ara Jo, who was among those lost in the 2016 Ghost Ship fire in Oakland, CA. Ara was a dedicated member of Rock Paper Scissors Collective (RPSC), a DIY community arts non-profit that has provided community-driven, low-cost arts programs in downtown Oakland since 2004.
Zines quickly emerged as the most common AJMF project type, a testament to the strong independent publishing culture in the Bay Area that is fostered by SF Zine Fest (SFZF), East Bay Alternative Book & Zine Fest (EBABZ), Bay Area Queer Zine Fest (BAQZF), and others. In this interactive reading room, copies of zines from the AJMF project archive are presented alongside the Ara Jo Zine Library collection and select genres from the RPSC Zine Library. These publications represent the diverse, queer, and contemporary creative voices of the East Bay and showcase the vibrant independent publishing scene of Oakland and beyond.
The Do It Together popup exhibit will be on view on October 7, 2023 from 3:00-7:00 PM at ONE Gallery, 626 N Robertson Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069.
About the Programmers
Rock Paper Scissors Collective is a member-led, all volunteer-run 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that fosters creativity and collaboration in order to strengthen local communities, encourage sustainable creative practices, and explore alternative models through non-hierarchical, consensus-based organizing. We promote the sharing of ideas, skills, and resources through the celebration of art, craft, education, and performance. Visit https://www.rpscollective.org/ajmf.
Peter Pendergrass is the program manager of the Ara Jo Memorial Fund. They have been a volunteer with Rock Paper Scissors Collective since 2010, through which they became close friends with Ara. Peter is a multi-disciplinary, inter-media artist. Their work explores the intersections of queerness, beauty, sex, spirituality, transcendence, nature, and human culture.
This exhibit is organized by Peter Pendergrass and Rock Paper Scissors Collective as part of the 2023 Circa: Queer Histories Festival, presented by One Institute.
Rock Paper Scissors Collective currently realizes its mission through low-cost creative workshops, a variety of community events, curated and open-call gallery exhibitions, retail of independently produced goods, and youth involvement.