Descendants Research Workshops Our Research Workshops are always open to the public for historical research. Event hours are from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and are usually held on the 2nd Floor of the McCoy House in Old Town. Event dates for 2018 are March 10, June 24 and September 15 at the McCoy House, Old Town State Historic Park.
Play Writing Project - TwainFest In cooperation with Write Out Loud and in association with the Playwrights Project, the Descendants of Early San Diego announced a play writing project where submissions are to be used for TwainFest at Old Town San Diego State Park August 2018.
The Descendants of Early San Diego (Formerly known as the Old Town San Diego Descendants Group or Committee), announces that they are soliciting submissions of short monologues for presentation specifically for TwainFest to be held at Old Town San Diego State Park in August annually. TwainFest is an annual event celebrating the 1800’s with a specific focus on literature from that period, which is sponsored by Write Out Loud. The Descendants Group has partnered with Write Out Loud in this event to present, among the other activities of the day, theatrical portrayals of people that actually lived in the San Diego Region during that period. Previously these organizations have worked cooperatively in creating enjoyable and educational portrayals of people who actually were here in the San Diego region during the 1800’s. Content, historical information, stories, etc. had been incorporated in performances by professional actors during the event that have grown to be extremely popular. In reviewing the events and preparing for the next Twainfest, the concept of dedicating one of the performance areas specifically to real people who lived in the region was adopted. Although the goal of having real people recreated from San Diego history may not be completed in one year we have decided to make an annual outreach for new scripts and stories. This effort will continue each year building a library of such pieces to be used for Twainfest or other events sponsored by these efforts to celebrate local history. This is part of the ongoing activities of the Descendants Group to celebrate the people who helped develop the area we know as the greater San Diego Region. Submissions of original monologues from 3 to 10 minutes in length are being solicited for possible inclusion in the activities of TwainFest, and possible other educational / entertainment presentations celebrating the targeted historical period. The monologues are to depict real people who actually lived in the Region, share with the audience their individual stories and to get a glimpse of life in the 1800’s. Previous works have told the story of specific people and explored such topics as: Toys of the 1800’s, Women Gambling acceptable in California, the Cattle Industry of Early California, the changing of the flag from Spain to Mexico, the real life people that the legion of Zorro is based on among others. Monologues are to be written in the first person as spoken by the actual person who lived in the period speaking to a group of people who have come to San Diego. The piece should assume the character knows nothing of today’s events or evolution. The life of the character must be historically accurate and the slice of life must also be accurate. Topics of inclusion may include historical events of the day, foods, clothing, politics, customs, lifestyles, daily chores, transportation, social interactions, etc. The selected pieces will be performed by compensated actors during the activities of TwainFest and performed several times during the course of the day’s activities. Set up of piece should be introducing themselves to a group by identifying themselves then telling their story. Within the context of their speaking they will share something about life in California during the 1800’s. Previous works have welcomed guests to San Diego and asked if they are looking for cattle or if they might be interested in gambling, then proceeded to expand on themselves and their slice of life. A committee from Write Out Loud, Playwrights Project, and the Descendants of Early San Diego will review submitted material to select pieces which will be compensated at $100 each script. We look to find 2 – 3 new scripts a year. Depending on the quality of submissions there is no specific limitation on awarded scripts. The committee may refer a script for assistance with the Playwrights Project, not be included at this time or compensated for submission. Compensated scripts and authors will be announced at the annual Descendants Reunion weekend which is held the last weekend of June yearly. Submissions will be accepted from anyone but must meet the criteria for the project.
August (dates to be announced and may be expanded to more than one day) performances of pieces at TwainFest activities Criteria for submitted pieces/monologues
Depict a person who actually lived in the San Diego Region during the 1800’s with factual information about them.
Length of piece should be between 3 and 10 minutes of actual performance time.
The piece should be written in the first person from the perspective of the historical person identified.
The piece must also include something about the times, either: events, culture, music, foods, clothing, customs, social interactions of the times, weapons, tools, transportation, etc. within the context of what the character says. It should be informative but remain primarily as entertainment. This is not meant to be a lecture or lesson but will gently inform the audience about the target period of history while also entertaining them.
Submissions must be received by email or by mail to Project Manager, Victor C. Contreras at email@example.com or 110 N. 2nd Ave. #65, Chula Vista, Ca. 91910. Deadline for accepted submissions is May 31. (Mailed items will not be returned)
Authors of submitted material selected for compensation agree to authorize The Descendants of Early San Diego and Write Outloud to present the piece with a compensated performer without further compensation.
Compensated scripts will be paid $100 per script. Compensated performers will be compensated at a rate of $125 per day of performance.
All decisions including casting will be the purview of the joint committee with weighted votes for the Event Director of Twainfest, Project Manager, within the committee with representation from the Descendants of Early San Diego, Write Out Loud, and the Playwrights Project.
OLD TOWN - Machado-Silvas House Renovation Project In May 2013, Descendant Board members met with California State Park staff and Facilitator Joanie Cahill to discuss the theme for the Machado-Silvas house renovati on project. The building was in need of sizable improvements and we are grateful that this project was approved and funded.
We discussed topics of concern to the descendants group, such as representation of stories for all early San Diegans. Today the Interpretive Period is 1821 - 1872 which does not represent the Kumeyaay families that once settled pre-San Diego.
The renovation project has been underway for several months and we can see improvements are being made to the building. We are excited about re-establishing a Descendant location to meet and showcase our history.
We are seeking stories, artifacts, items that could be exhibited or donated to represent our early San Diego people and families.
SAN DIEGO HISTORY PRESERVATION GROUPS Several groups have joined efforts and support each others planning, fundraising efforts on several projects focused on cultural preservation, education, heritage initiatives of Presidio Hills, Old Town San Diego, and El Camino Real De Las Californias (a multi-national complimentary effort). We are seeking to add more groups as we understand and align our efforts.
The groups are, but not limited to the following:
Boosters of Old Town, California State Park - Jeanne Ferrell (Descendants of Early San Diego - Connie Rascon Gunther)
San Diego Presidio Park Council (City Parks and Recreation) - Ellie Neely and John Anderson, Sr. Park Ranger
Friends of Presidio Park - Michael Slavinski
San Diego History Center - Bill Lawrence
El Camino Real de los California's - David Richardson, Roby Adriance and Connie Rascon Gunther
Presidio Heritage Trust - Dr. Paul Chace
Corredor Historico CAREM A.C., - Hernan Ibanez Bracamontes y Zella R. de Ibanez
California Missions Foundation - Milford Wayne Donaldson, FAI
Boosters of Old Town San Diego, California State Parks Our purpose is to promote the educational, cultural and interpretive activities at Old Town San Diego State Historic Park. BOOT Website: www.boostersofoldtown.com
Friends of Presidio (Presidio Park Preservation) Friends has multiple preservation projects. http://www.friendsofpresidiopark.org Presidio Heritage Trust A project to research, interpret, and publish on the dynamic, final 1821 - 1835 era at San Diego Presidio has been launched by the independent Presidio Heritage Trust. If you are interested in contributing or would like to know more about this project contact:firstname.lastname@example.org
CORREDOR HISTORICO CAREM A.C. - Camino Real de las Californias - UNESCO WORLD Heritage Site A work in progress documentary is being produced to support the UNESCO World Heritage Initiative nomination of the Camino Real de las Californias. It's a journey through the cultural and natural treasures of the region interwoven with testimonials of conservationists, researchers, artists and community people from both sides of the border who have made important contributions to the conversation and appreciation of the peninsula. This project is a Bi-National initiative for the USA and Mexico. U.S.-based California Missions Foundation (CMF) and the Mexico-based Corredor Historico CAREM, AC
California Missions Foundation Dedicated to preserving the landmark California Missions, and associated cultural and historical resources for the benefit of the pubic. CMF Website: www.californiamissionsfoundation.org
San Diego History Center The San Diego History Center tells the diverse story of our region – past, present and future – educates and enriches our community, preserves our history, and fosters civic pride. San Diego History Center Website: www.sandiegohistory.org
First Expedition Presidio Soldiers Plaque The San Diego History Center, Bill Lawrence, CEO and Dr. Iris Engstrand, History Professor at USD are collaborating with descendants of the First Presidio Expedition to establish a plaque. A committee is being formed to further discuss the details of this project for the Sierra Museum. A plaque is being prepared and presented for the Loreto, Baja California location.
Questions regarding the project, contact Victor Contreras (619) 301-8126