J. Franklin Jameson Archival Advocacy Award: Tempestt Hazel

Tempestt Hazel, an independent curator, writer, and director of Sixty Inches From Center, is a 2019 recipient of the J. Franklin Jameson Archival Advocacy Award given by the Society of American Archivists (SAA). The award will be presented at a ceremony during the Joint Annual Meeting of the Council of State Archivists and SAA in Austin, TX, July 31–August 6. The award honors an individual, institution, or organization that promotes greater public awareness, appreciation, or support of archival activities or programs.

Hazel is the founder and leader of Sixty Inches From Center, an online publication dedicated to preserving the work of underrepresented artists. In collaboration with the Harold Washington Library in Chicago, Sixty Inches From Center and Hazel work to fill gaps in the Chicago Artist Files, a collection originally created in the 1940s for artists of local, national, and international renown. Her commitment to and advocacy for archives is broad and far-reaching. She encourages these artists to preserve their legacies, provides them with tools to do so, facilitates their inclusion in Chicago-area institutions, and encourages the use of archives to create new projects. Not only has her work led to the inclusion of more artists of color, women, LGBTQ+ artists, and artists with disabilities, she has connected these individuals with the tools needed to control their own narratives and ensure their legacy.

One supporter wrote: “Her work has a direct and immediate impact throughout the Chicago region.” Another supporter wrote, “Tempestt has demonstrated that archives aren’t only a place for academic and scholarly research. They can also be a source of inspiration for artists when they are given access.”