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Why do story a nd photograph work so well together?

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How is it that a wonderful story told to me on a front porch

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can be enhanced so much by black and white photography in a way

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tha t the human brain responds viscerally and takes in the entire world?\n

- UCR Creative Writing Professor Susan S traight

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The essays of Joan Didion and James Baldwin were early inspirations to renowned writer Su san Straight who has collaborated with eminent photographer Douglas McCullo h for More Dreamers of the Golden Dream. “Didion wrote about Calif ornia as no one else had\, but though I learned so much from her elegant an d incisive sentences\, I felt as if she didn’t know my people – here in inl and Southern California – and I determined to write about them. The history of Riverside’s Eastside\, in particular\, is part of my family\,” says Str aight. Unique to Southern California\, the inland area saw an epic migration of former military men from a wide range of places\; Straight’s father-in-law and many of his neighbors were black men from Oklahoma\, Geor gia\, Louisiana\, Mississippi\, and elsewhere who chose Riverside after bei ng stationed at March Air Force Base. Their stories of life in Southern Cal ifornia always fascinated Straight\, and her generation heard amazing stori es of the Old South and the New California. The community has remained clos e and strong\, but the older people are disappearing now and the Eastside i s becoming fragmented due to fire\, loss\, and development.

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Straight and McCulloh present several stories for More Dreamers\; some feature older residents and high school athlete s\, and some about the actual physical place\, including The Place – a land mark club now gone – and Daisy Carter’s house\, which burned down in 2012\, but remains a legacy of the Eastside.

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The photographs taken of Eudora Welty\, Mary Ellen Mark\, Don Bartletti\, and others were also inspirations for Straight’s novels and short stories. Straight and McCulloh have been working together on KCET’s ArtBound projec t\, as well as on assignments for BOOM and The Huntington Library. “To see the landscape through photography and pair that with the stories people are willing to tell me is a wonderful confluence and a great chance to help ot hers see my particular world\,” says Straight.

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Douglas McCulloh is an artist\, writer\, and curator. He is an ho nors graduate of the University of California\, Santa Barbara\, and holds a n M.F.A. in photography from Claremont Graduate University. He is a three-t ime recipient of project support from the California Council for the Humani ties and has curated 14 exhibitions\, including three for the California Mu seum of Photography. McCulloh is one of six artists who transformed an aban doned Southern California F-18 jet hanger into the world’s largest camera t o take the world’s largest photograph. He views this photograph as a marker of the border crossing between 170 years of film-based photography and the era of digital dominance.

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McCulloh e xhibits widely in the U.S.\, Europe\, China\, and Mexico and has shown at t he Victoria and Albert Museum\, London\; Central Academy of Fine Arts\, Bei jing\; Musée de l’Elysee\, Lausanne\; Musée Nicéphore Niépce\, Chalon-sur-S aône\; Institute de Cultura de Barcelona\, Barcelona\; Art Center College o f Design\, Los Angeles\; Southeast Museum of Photography\, Florida\; Asian Cultural Center\, New York City\; and UCR/California Museum of Photography\ , Riverside.

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McCulloh’s most recent c uratorial project focuses on international blind photographers. Since 2010\ , Sight Unseen has traveled to ten institutions\, including Kenned y Center for the Arts\, Washington D.C.\; Centro de la Imagen\, Mexico City \; Manuel Alvarez Bravo Center for Photography\, Oaxaca\; Center for Visual Art\, Denver\; Flacon Art Center\, Moscow\; and Sejong Center\, Seoul.

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Susan Straight has published eight novel s: Aquaboogie\; I Been In Sorrow’s Kitchen and Lic ked Out All The Pots\; Blacker Than a Thousand Midnights\; The Gettin Place\; Highwire Moon\; A Million Nightingales\; Take One Candle Light a Room\; and Between Heaven and Here. Her first middle grade reader\, The Friskative Dog\, was published b y Knopf in March 2007. Her picture book\, Bear E. Bear\, was published in 1995 by Hyperion Books.

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In 2011\, Straight received the Gina Berriault Award fo r Fiction from San Francisco State University. In November 2007\, Straight received The Lannan Award for Fiction for her body of work. In 1998\, she r eceived a Guggenheim Fellowship for Fiction.

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She has published essays and articles in numerous magazines and jou rnals\, including The New York Times Magazine\, The Los Angeles Times M agazine\, Harpers\, The Believer\, The Nation\, Reader’s Digest\, Real Simp le\, Family Circle\, Salon\, Oxford American\, and Ms.

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She has also been a regular commentator on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered.

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Born in Riverside\, California\, in 1960\, Straight still lives here with her three daughters. She is Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing at the University of California\, Riverside\, where she has taught since 1988. She received the University’s Distinguished Teaching Award in 2008. Curren tly\, she is the Director of the Master of Fine Arts Program and serves on the Academy of Distinguished Teachers at the university.

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* Zacateca's Rest aurant on Riverside's Eastside is the place where Riversiders have eaten lu nches and dinners and planned weddings and business ideas and proposed to e ach other since 1963\, when Oscar and Josephine Medina opened it with three tables\, 12 bar stools\, and remarkable menudo.

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* Tony and Sarah Lopez sitting on the brick planter outside Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine where they were married 73-and-a-half years ago. T hey made sure we noted the half. They are both 95. Our Lady of Guadalupe Sh rine -- where Tony rang the bells for more than 40 years\, and where Sarh's father\, Felix Vasquez\, opened the church at dawn and closed it long afte r dark -- was built in 1929 on the corner of Ninth and Park in Riverside. " We met here\, in church\," Tony said. Sarah was 19\, a soloist in the choir that sang in Latin. "When I heard her voice\, singing by herself...." "Wha t did you feel?" Sarah demanded. "I felt...something." They both grin.

DTEND:20130725 DTSTAMP:20141023T023545 DTSTART:20130426 GEO:33.981805;-117.370465 LOCATION:Riverside Art Museum\,3425 Mission Inn Avenue \nRiverside\, CA 925 01 SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY:More Dreamers of the Golden Dream\, Douglas McCulloh UID:264479 END:VEVENT BEGIN:VEVENT DTEND:20130426T210000 DTSTAMP:20141023T023545 DTSTART:20130426T190000 GEO:33.981805;-117.370465 LOCATION:Riverside Art Museum\,3425 Mission Inn Avenue \nRiverside\, CA 925 01 SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY:More Dreamers of the Golden Dream\, Douglas McCulloh UID:264480 END:VEVENT END:VCALENDAR