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ART Holiday Party: Prohibition Centennial & Virtual Speakeasy

  • Friday, December 11, 2020
  • 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
  • Online


  • Donations benefit the Archival Workers Emergency Fund.
  • Proceeds donated to the Archival Workers Emergency Fund.

Registration is closed

The Archivists Round Table of Metropolitan New York (ART) invites you to join us for a virtual holiday party celebrating the centenary of Prohibition with Barchives NYC and Van Brunt Stillhouse!

Learn how to craft Prohibition Era cocktails (and mocktails) with Daric Schlesselman, Master Distiller at Van Brunt Stillhouse. Attendees will receive a custom drink menu and list of ingredients to follow along at home.

Refreshments will be followed by "Discovering the Drunken "Aristocrats of Harlem" in the Archive," a talk presented by theatre and performance scholar Dr. Chloë Rae Edmonson.

Though technically outlawed during Prohibition, New Yorkers still found all sorts of clandestine ways to drink to excess. Drawing on archival documents and ephemera, Dr. Edmonson critically examines Prohibition Era “slumming,” a recreational practice in which monied white thrill-seekers would travel to predominantly black neighborhoods to immerse themselves in libations, music, and "authentic" culture. While contemporary "speakeasy" bars tend to romanticize Prohibition as a bygone era of hot jazz and strong cocktails, the archive reveals an darker truth: that illegal alcohol consumption during this time also served to augment the same white racial fantasies and anxieties that continue to shape social consciousness today.

Virtual breakout rooms will be provided during the breaks throughout the evening for attendees to connect with ART colleagues and friends.

Advance registration is required. ART members enjoy complimentary registration. Guests are welcome. All proceeds will be donated to the Society of American Archivists' Archival Workers Emergency Fund (AWEF).

Come learn and celebrate with us! We hope to see you there!


Chloë Rae Edmonson is an Assistant Professor of Theatre History and Dramaturgy at the University of Central Florida. Her forthcoming manuscript New York Under the Influence: Immersive Theatricality and American Drinking Culture reveals how the dual forces of theatre and alcohol have historically shaped New York City in a variety of sites including concert saloons, tiki bars, dinner shows and immersive theatre.

Husband and wife team Daric Schlesselman and Sarah Ludington founded Van Brunt Stillhouse in the pioneering spirit of Cornelius VanBrunt, a farmer in the Dutch colony of Breukelen, modern day Brooklyn. The Stillhouse has been producing farmhouse style whiskeys in the heart of Brooklyn since 2012. As master distiller, Daric works creatively within the traditions of distilling fine spirits with small batch whiskeys that showcase the flavorful essence of the grains.

Barchives is an ongoing event series organized by NYC-based archivists and ART members, Lindsay Anderberg and Cristina Fontánez Rodríguez. The idea originated in 2018, when they hosted the event Before This Was A Bar It Was A… as members of the Archivists Round Table’s Outreach Committee. One year after that sold-out event, they struck out on their own and have been bringing local histories and collections to life in bars, pubs, and breweries throughout the five boroughs since June of 2019.

Questions? communications@nycarchivists.org

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