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Keepers of the Culture | Bring Your own Story

Saturday, February 8, 2020

4:30 pm Scanning event begins
5:30 pm Reception
6:00 pm Program begins
7:30 pm Program ends

The 3rd Annual Keepers of the Culture is a celebration of Black Heritage and the individuals who have dedicated themselves to making sure African American culture continues to have a meaningful presence in San Diego.The San Diego African American Museum of Fine Art (SDAAMFA) in collaboration with the San Diego History Center are hosting the reception which will give San Diego an opportunity to say “thank you” to the three honorees.

The reception will be held on Saturday, February 8, 2020 from 5:30- 8:00 PM at the San DiegoHistory Center, 1649 El Prado #3, San Diego CA 92101. It is free to all.

The distinguished honorees include:

  • Common Ground Theatre-  for implementing the vision the late Rufus Dewitt and Dr. Robert Matthews to start a theater in 1963, has allowed San Diego to experience the stories and voices of the Black community for over 50 years. The importance of their efforts to produce works by and about people of African descent cannot be underscored.
  • Ms. Starla Lewis– for her work in higher education, and various programs and initiatives developed with an appreciation for Black culture. Her multi-generational productions with her daughters continues to offer a unique way to educate people from all walks of life about the brilliance of African Americans culture.
  • Dr. & Mrs. Robert L. Matthews– for establishment of the Common Ground Theatre with the late Rufus Dewitt, the Martin L. King Parade and Pageant, leadership and financial support of organizations such as the Jackie Robinson YMCA Board, RADY Children’s Hospital Auxiliary, Common Ground Theatre, Jack and Jill, Tema Ghana Sister City, and the Elementary Institute of Science. San Diego has benefited greatly because of their unwavering commitment to the cultural life of our city.

This year we have included a special opportunity. Prior to the start of the reception the San Diego History Center will host a scanning session where participants are invited to bring their own their own photographs and documents to be scanned for consideration for in an upcoming exhibition reflecting the timeline of African American history in San Diego, as well as potentially added to the SDHC archival collections. Items will be scanned on-site and returned to the owner. Maximum photo size is 8.5x11. This activity will begin at 4:30 PM in the Thornton Theater located in the San Diego History Center’s Thornton theater. (Limit five items per person.)


February 8, 2020
4:30 pm - 8:00 pm


San Diego History Center
1649 El Prado, Suite 3
San Diego, CA 92101 United States