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Memory Bank is a major film and photographic project capturing a generation that lived, loved and worked in Napa before it was famous.

Preservation Napa Valley and Napa Valley           Museum present

Memory Bank II: An Exhibition of Place and People.

Preservation Napa Valley is a grass roots, non- profit, cultural heritage conservation organization doing great work outside of the proverbial preservation box...work that is successfully demonstrating the power and importance of actively stewarding cultural resources in communities. We need your help to fund the production of this extraordinary exhibition: from the limited edition book and DVD, to curating costs, to framing  and  and other project costs.

BUT WE NEED YOU TO HELP US TELL THIS STORY, PLEASE DONATE! THIS IS EDUCATION, ARTS AND CULTURE ON AN INNOVATIVE, ACCESSIBLE LEVEL!

Barbara Dulinsky, photo by Sally Seymour
Barbara Dulinsky, photo by Sally Seymour

Memory Bank II is Preservation Napa Valley’s 2012 community preservation project: an annual, intensive endeavor to celebrate and build awareness for the cultural heritage of Napa County. Partnering with the Napa Valley Museum, Old Timers have been gathered from eight county areas, from American Canyon to Calistoga. Six professional photographers and one filmmaker are capturing the people and places during an era of great transition in Napa’s history.

What results is one of Napa’s most important arts and cultural exhibitions: an unprecedented chronicle of the generation who were part of the transformation of Napa...from untold pasts to a world famous wine region. 

For many, Napa is a beautifully bucolic, vacation destination just 55 miles from San Francisco. Yet beyond the rows of vines, far deeper than the hundreds of Valley wineries, are stories of a place quite different than the landscape we see today. Memory Bank II is an unprecedented look at the people who lived and worked in this County when it was industrially and agriculturally diverse...full of poultry farms, dairies, lamb and cattle ranches, fruit orchards, one room schools, shipyards, tanneries, glove factories and more.

Old Carneros orchard and barn, photo by Jess Knubis
Old Carneros orchard and barn, photo by Jess Knubis

Reminiscent of Dorthea Lange's work, the photographs are black and white, beautiful, powerful and unforgettable. Four short documentaries will also take us to incredible locations while interviewing people who lived and worked in a Napa very different than today.

Memory Bank is not pursuing nostalgia but asking us to see, feel and understand how this Valley came to be, to the place it is now...to get beneath the golden shimmer into a long and fascinating heritage. If we understand the past, we are richer for it and may perhaps see today and the future clearer.

This year we have dedicated a significant portion of the project to capturing the true Napa, one reflective of all peoples. The project brings one face to face with the many cultures that have come to this county and shaped its evolution across generations -- among them, the Chinese, Japanese, Mexicans and Europeans who came and stayed -- for a job, for a farm, for adventure, or for a new life.

Bessie Wong, photograph by Chere Pafford
Bessie Wong, photograph by Chere Pafford

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  • Pledge $15 or more
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    3 backers

    Beautiful Poster from Memory Bank II exhibition.

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  • Pledge $40 or more
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    7 backers Limited (33 left of 40)

    Signed catalog with text, photographs and documentary DVD included from the exhibition.

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  • Pledge $100 or more
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    3 backers

    A private tour of the exhibition with one of the awesome Memory Bank photographers plus a signed book. (if done between 8/12-8/19, Preservation Napa Valley Director Wendy Ward can be your guide!!)

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  • Pledge $250 or more
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    2 backers Limited (8 left of 10)

    Lunch for 2-4 people at Yountville's Bouchon Bakery (yum) with a Memory Bank photographer. Then stroll over to the museum to get a behind the scenes, private tour of the exhibition. Very cool, very rare. (if done between 8/12-/19, Preservation Napa Valley Director Wendy Ward will hop on board this rare train! Don't miss this opportunity!)

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  • Pledge $500 or more
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    0 backers Limited (8 left of 8)

    Signed, framed and one of a kind photograph from exhibition. Beautiful, powerful, classic. Preservation Napa Valley Director Wendy Ward will also call you to thank you!

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Funding period

- (60 days)