An exhibit at University of Houston Libraries Special Collections features selections from the New Music America Collection. Materials document New Music America (NMA) festivals, which began as “New Music New York” in 1979 and were produced annually by the New Music Alliance in cities across North America from 1980-1990. A large part of the collection focuses on the 1986 NMA in Houston, and was donated by Michael Galbreth, part of the duo known as The Art Guys whose records also reside at UH Special Collections.
Courtney Tutt, a graduate student at the University of North Texas, collaborated with Mary Manning, university archivist and curator of the Performing and Visual Arts Research Collection; Joseph Lueck, coordinator of archival processing; and Bethany Scott, coordinator of digital projects, to process the physical and digital files of the NMA Collection. Tutt is pursuing a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) degree with a focus on archives and imaging technology. Her work at UH Special Collections fulfilled a practicum requirement and a desire to earn experience in the field.
Among Tutt’s project tasks was the selection of items for an exhibit, now on display at the MD Anderson Library second floor near Special Collections.
“I have been fortunate to work on this compelling project which is both fascinating and relevant to the cultural identity of Houston,” Tutt said. “One of the many interesting things I learned from this collection was the festival’s opening day featured the world premiere of John Cage’s Ryoanji concurrently with the opening of MFAH’s Lillie and Hugh Roy Cullen Sculpture Garden. A parade was held before the performance on Montrose Boulevard with art cars and performers celebrating the kick-off of the festival. This was the very first Art Car Parade in Houston.”
The collection is open for research in the Special Collections reading room.