Performing Arts Legacy Project

An online platform to document and represent the careers of older performing arts professionals


PAL is a website where every contributing professional gets to create their own child site within it. It includes a grid mapping one’s professional history, places for audio and oral histories, video and curated life reviews, links to actual performances, journals, blogs and stories. It is built on a WordPress platform and can be edited and changed with help from a Contributor Manual, video tutorials, a Legal Guide to Clearing Rights as well as through a “Help” email, and includes letters and forms to guide professionals in requesting permission to publish uploaded works. PAL is:

Captures memory
Shares collective histories
Life Review
Positive Aging
Enhances the quality of people, their communities and society

Our mission is to preserve the legacies of professionals in the performing arts and entertainment, and to achieve this aim we must begin with the basics of digitizing and documenting your work. You may wish to find a student, assistant, or family member to help you with this process, but we are also confident that with some essential tools and the resources we have collected, you can begin to document your career and preserve your legacy through this site.

The first step of beginning to document your career is to consider where and how your records may be stored or kept. We recommend familiarizing yourself with PAL Founder Joan Jeffri’s Guide to Getting Organized and exploring the guide to personal archiving and digital preservation prepared by the Library of Congress: there is a video and a text version available.

Helpful Tip: Mike Ashenfelder, PAL Advisor and former Director of the Digital Personal Archiving with the Library of Congress, has written many articles on digital archiving. You might find them useful as you get started and organized, and are available on our Reference Materials page.

Important Note: The Performing Arts Legacy Project allows people from various disciplines and roles within the performing arts to tell their stories. We acknowledge that people in every role and discipline create in a unique way.  The first few Professionals were actors so they have specific memorabilia and resources available that makes sharing “easier,” such as through videos and photos. However, some disciplines and roles might not have that available. And it is your story that gives special insights and knowledge, however it is told. As you get started, we recommend looking at what memorabilia you have, and thinking about the arc of your story, and how you might best share career moments that are more than a resumé. From there we can help you find ways to bring that alive on the PAL site.

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