This installation in the Gallery of California History co-curated with faculty and students at California State University Fullerton focuses on the effects of the 2008 recession in Orange County. Hard Times in the OC is the second in the series titled What’s Happening, California? a partnership between OMCA and California State University in which professors and students co-create exhibitions on topics affecting communities throughout the state. Led by OMCA’s Associate Curator of Contemporary History and Trends Suzanne Fischer and CSU Fullerton history professor Dr. Benjamin Cawthra, the exhibition explores the theme of resilience in the face of economic setbacks, through a presentation of artifacts including protest puppets, tools of laid-off workers, and oral history interviews. The resulting exhibition portrays a range of experiences and challenges of the people of Orange County during the recession, reflecting the Oakland Museum of California’s mission to connect communities to the cultural and environmental heritage of California.
This project is supported in part by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.