Keeping Jazz Alive in Louis & Lucille Armstrong's Neighborhoods
This is a programming series created and developed as a result of being awarded a grant from the Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation, Inc over twelve years ago. This grant was made possible after meeting Mrs. Phoebe Jacobs at a career day at the first school named after Louis Armstrong, PS 143Q. Mrs. Jacobs now serves as Executive Vice President of the Foundation and was personal assistant to Mrs. Armstrong.
When asked why the Armstrong Foundation never funded the Queens Library, her response was ”you never asked.” Since that time, over twelve years ago, the Library has received between five and ten thousand dollars, to create and develop programs. These programs all share the theme, "Keeping Jazz Alive in Louis Armstrong's Neighborhoods" and include programs about music, drama, workshops, author talks, activities, crafts, etc., for all genres, ages, and ethnic groups.
The Armstrong House & Museum, located in Corona, is in walking distance of the three Queens Community Libraries: Corona, East Elmhurst and Langston Hughes. The Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation, Inc., has funded the Queens Library @ East Elmhurst for the past 12 years.
The Queens Library @ East Elmhurst is home to a “mini archive” of Armstrong memorabilia, including items bought from the gift shop, such as his beans & rice recipe, t-shirts, personal items such as his coat hanger, monogrammed book bags, postage stamps, media and books. Additionally, we have other music related items, bought as souvenirs, including mini musical instruments of all types. Also included in the archive are Jazz VHS videos of Armstrong and many jazz artists. A teen workshop on how to interview people, resulted in a video entitled, “We Knew Louis & Lucille,” a unique and resourceful oral history where the teens interviewed numerous community members who knew the Armstrongs.
The very large Jazz CD Collection at East Elmhurst, is one of the three most popular collections in the library system. The Jazz collection was also featured in ALA’ s special section in it’s May/June (2010) edition entitled, “A Neighborhood That’s Alive with Jazz and More.”
For more information on the Louis Armstrong legacy, visit the Louis Armstrong House.