Lisbet Tellefsen Recounts Her Life as a Memory Keeper
Play • 56 min

Lisbet Tellefsen is an activist, publisher, producer and archivist that has served the Bay Area’s LGBT community for over 3 decades.

In 1989 she co-founded Aché: a Black Lesbian Journal —which served as an cultural, political and social nexus for LGBT communities of color both nationally and internationally. As a producer her production credits include over 50 events ranging from drag king shows to the landmark 2006 production “Sister Comrade” celebrating the lives of Black lesbian icons Audre Lorde and poet Pat Parker. She was a co-founding committee member of the Sistahs Steppin’ in Pride Festival & Dyke March which ran for 10 years in Oakland, CA. A former board member of the GLBT Historical Society, during her tenure helped oversee the opening of the GLBT History Museum in San Francisco's Castro district where she co-curated the exhibitions: “From Feminists to Feministas” (2017), and “Angela Davis OUTspoken” (2018). In 2012 the Lisbet Tellefsen Papers—including the Aché journal archives, were acquired by Yale University and in 2018 were featured in “The Art of Collaboration” exhibit at Yale's Beinecke Library.

These days her primary work is as an archivist and collector. As an archival consultant she has worked on numerous projects including the documentary films “Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution” and “Free Angela and All Political Prisoners”. Her collections have been exhibited most recently in “Get With the Action: Political Posters from the 1960s to Present” at SFMOMA (2017-18); “All Power to the People: Black Panthers at 50” at the Oakland Museum of CA (2016); and the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) where a dozen pieces from the Tellefsen collection were included in their inaugural 2016 exhibit. Over 100 objects from her collection now reside in the permanent collections of SFMOMA, the Oakland Museum of CA, and the Smithsonian NMAAHC.

Currently she is working on an Angela Davis retrospective opening in the Fall of 2020 at the Zimmerli Gallery at Rutgers then traveling to the Oakland Museum of CA in 2021.

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