University of Houston Libraries, Special Collections

Guide to the Hazelwitch Productions Inc. Records



Overview of the Collection

Creator Hazelwitch Productions
Collection Title Hazelwitch Productions Inc. Records
Dates 1981-1998
Identification 1997-004
Physical Description 1.75 Linear Feet
Language of Materials English
Repository University of Houston Libraries
M.D. Anderson Library, 4333 University Drive, Houston, TX, 77204-2000, URL: http://info.lib.uh.edu/, Phone: 713-743-9750

Historical Note:

Hazelwitch Productions was established in 1981 by a group of women dedicated to bringing lesbian and feminist performers to the Houston community. The organization was incorporated in April 1983 and, over a fifteen year period, produced around forty events featuring musicians, comedians, and performance artists. In addition to performances, Hazelwitch presented films, workshops, and counseling sessions.

At any one time there were between three and five active members in the corporation, supported by a network of secondary members and volunteers. Key members were Cheryl Wolfarth (the organization's founder), Tori Williams, Pokey Anderson, Cindy Edwards, Katherine Hubbard, Kathy Wilcox, and Gail Eldridge. Remembering Hazelwitch, Kathy Wilcox stressed the cooperative nature of the corporation's management and pointed out that officers were chosen for legal reasons only; decisions were made by consensus in an atmosphere of mutual support and with a strong commitment to feminist ideals.

Although Hazelwitch did not publish a newsletter, events were promoted through the local gay/lesbian press. One notable publicity outlet was "The Wand," the newsletter of the lesbian collective "Womynspace" which had been active since the mid 1980s and has produced the group "Lesbians Over the Age of Fifty," or "L.O.A.F." Pokey Anderson and Cheryl Wolfarth also publicized Hazelwitch on a KPFT radio show which aired until 1994.

Typical venues for productions were churches, restaurants, university auditoriums, and theaters, and Hazelwitch engaged the Houston Area Women's Center and local area bookstores, among others, as outlets for ticket sales. The corporation also enjoyed the sponsorship of organizations such as the University of Houston chapter of N.O.W. and the Montrose Counseling Center. In turn they donated proceedings to groups such as the Aids Foundation of Houston and KPFT Radio.

Despite frugal financial management the 1990s brought difficulties for the corporation due to a decline in ticket sales to Hazelwitch events. Patty Larkin's appearance at the Heinen Theatre in March 1996 was the corporation's last major production, and the process of dissolution was initiated that same year. As lesbian performers have begun to enjoy more mainstream success, their need for the kind of close-knit community support, which Hazelwitch provided, has apparently waned. Nevertheless, it is largely due to the groundbreaking efforts of organizations such as Hazelwitch that this on-going transition to the mainstream is possible.


Scope and Contents

The collection contains financial, promotional, and managerial records of Hazelwitch Productions from the date of its receipt of Certificate of Operation in July 1981 to its final production in 1996. With the exception of some of the financial records, there was no consistent scheme of organization in the collection. Material is arranged in five series: Financial Records, Production Management, Promotional Material, Dissolution Materials, and Miscellaneous. Financial records constitute two-thirds of the collection. Although there is no documentation of finances before the organization's incorporation in 1983, evidence of detailed accounting, and tax records from 1984-1996 provide insight into the day-to-day running of the corporation during these years.

There is very little correspondence in the collection, but dated notes and performance agreements document management of the corporation's productions from 1989-1996. The collection provides very little coverage of performances before 1989, beyond an inclusive collection of promotional material from 1982-1996.

The last two series in the collection, Miscellaneous and Dissolution Materials, were added to the collection separately during the summer of 1998, and were therefore processed separately. They contain financial materials and material pertaining to productions. The collection also contains two placards; both have been placed in the Miscellaneous sub-series. The larger placard has been stored separately from the Hazelwitch collection; it is stored with oversize materials from other collections.


Restrictions

Conditions Governing Access:

Open for research.

Conditions Governing Use:

Special Collections owns the physical items in our collections, but copyright normally belongs to the creator of the materials or their heirs. The researcher has full responsibility for determining copyright status, obtaining permission to publish from copyright holders, and abiding by current copyright laws when publishing or displaying copies of Special Collections material in print or electronic form. For more information, consult the appropriate librarian. Reproduction decisions will be made by Special Collections staff on a case-by-case basis.


Access Terms

This Collection is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.
Corporate Name:
Hazelwitch Productions
Genre/Form of Material:
Administrative records
Financial records
Fliers (printed matter)
Topical Term:
Entertainers -- Texas -- Houston
Lesbians -- Texas -- Houston

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation:

Hazelwitch Productions, Inc. Records. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. To cite a specific item from this collection, please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting. See the Citing Special Collections Materials page for more information.

Acquisition Information:

Donation, 1997. Additional materials acquired summer 1998.


Detailed List of Contents

Financial Records

Scope and Contents
There are forty-six folders in this series dating from 1984-1996. Initially, all receipts of purchases, telephone bills, postal service invoices, and receipts of deposits made, were kept with duplicates of checks written from the Hazelwitch account. These records have been maintained in this order in folders 12-21. After 1987 check duplicates were filed separately and were apparently not retained after 1990. Folder 22 contains a package of records, which had been collected separately, possibly for the purpose of preparing tax returns. In general no consistent filing scheme was used for receipts and bills after 1989 and receipts have been organized in chronological order by date of purchase. Of particular note from this period are the financial statements prepared by Katherine Hubbard from 1992-1995, which reveal the financial status of Hazelwitch Productions, Inc. during its final years of operation. Tax records in the series include franchise tax reports, corporation income tax returns and all supporting documentation. These were filed by year and have been retained in their original order.
Box Folder
1 1 Bank Account Agreements 1986-1996
2 Bank Statements 1986
3 Bank Statements 1987
4 Bank Statements 1988
5 Bank Statements 1989
6 Bank Statements 1990
7 Bank Statements 1991-1992
8 Bank Statements 1992
9 Bank Statements 1992-1993
10 Bank Statements 1994
11 Bank Statement 1996
12-14 Bills, Checks, Deposits, and Receipts
15 Bills, Checks, Deposits, and Receipts 1986-1987
16-21 Bills, Checks, Deposits, and Receipts 1987
22 Bills, Deposits, and Receipts 1987-1989
23 Check Duplicates 1988-1990
24 Check Register Book 1986-1987
25 Checks Returned 1988
26 Deposits 1992
27 Financial Statements 1992-1993
28 Financial Statements 1995
29 Notes and Worksheets 1990-1996
30 Receipts 1989
31 Receipts 1990
32 Receipts 1991
33 Receipts 1992
Box Folder
2 1 Receipts 1993
2 Receipts 1995-1996
3 Receipts - Telephone Bills 1990-1996
4 Tax Records 1984-1985
5 Tax Records 1986-1987
6 Tax Records 1987-1988
7 Tax Records 1988-1990
8 Tax Records 1991-1992
9 Tax Records 1992-1993
10 Tax Records - Amended Returns for 1988 and 1989 1993
11 Tax Records 1994
12 Tax Records 1995
13 Tax Records 1996



Production Management

Scope and Contents
The eighteen folders in this series contain material from 1981-1996. The notes in folders 20-24 document meetings of Hazelwitch members and plans for productions. Folders 25-31 contain papers that cover all aspects of performance agreements with artists: technical, personal and housing riders, exhibit agreements, contract/budget settlement riders, and public appearance agreements. They also contain worksheets drawn up by Hazelwitch staff in preparation for shows. Papers are grouped by performer to reflect their original order. Documents pertaining to the legal status of the corporation are also included in this series.
Box Folder
2 14 Articles of Incorporation and Statutory Filings 1981-1994
15 Blank Forms and Stationery undated
16 Contracts and Policy Statements 1986
17 Correspondence 1993-1996
18 Mailbox Service Agreements 1995
19 Miscellaneous 1995
20 Notes 1989-1990
21 Notes 1991
22 Notes 1992
23 Notes 1993-1994
24 Notes 1995-1996
25 Performance Agreements - Adam, Margie 1992
26 Performance Agreements - Clinton, Kate 1992
27 Performance Agreements - Larkin, Patty 1995-1996
28 Performance Agreements - Reed, Ann 1991-1995
29 Performance Agreements - Roderick, Libby 1991
30 Performance Agreements - Therapy Sisters 1991
31 Performance Agreements - Westenhoefer, Susan 1994-1995



Promotional Material

Scope and Contents
There are sixteen folders in this series containing flyers of productions, completed mailing list request forms, and publicity material which dates from 1982-1986. Four sets of returned invitations mailed during 1995 and 1996 constitute the bulk of the series. Notable in the series is the commemorative packet "A Trip Down Memory Lane With Hazelwitch Productions," a collection of flyers advertising the corporation's productions and events from 1982-1996. These were removed from their original file for the purpose of preservation. This series also contains an oversized promotional display board celebrating fifteen years of Hazelwitch productions.
Box Folder
2 32 A Trip Down Memory Lane With Hazelwitch Productions 1982-1986
33 A Trip Down Memory Lane With Hazelwitch Productions 1987-1996
34 Mailing List Additions A-I undated
35 Mailing List Additions J-Z undated
Box Folder
3 1 Production Lists 1996
2 Publicity Material 1990-1993
3 Publicity Material 1993-1996
4 Returned Invitations A-F 1995
5 Returned Invitations G-O 1995
6 Returned Invitations P-Z 1995
7 Returned Invitations A-I 1996
8 Returned Invitations J-Z 1996
9 Returned Invitations A-Z 1996
10 Returned Invitations A-M 1996
11 Returned Invitations N-Z 1996



Dissolution Materials

Scope and Contents
This series contains fifteen folders, dating from 1990-1998. This series arrived at a later date than the bulk of the collection and was therefore processed separately. The bulk of the series, however, dates from 1996-1998, and holds financial records and correspondence relating to the dissolution of Hazelwitch. The series contains information regarding the disposition of the final funds of the organization, which may be of interest to the researcher.
Box Folder
4 1 Bank Statements 1994
2 Bank Statements 1995
3 Bank Statements 1996
4 Bank Statements 1997
5 Bank Statements 1998
6 Check Register Book 1990-1991
7 Check Register Book 1992-1994
8 Check Register Book 1995-1996
9 Check Register Book undated
10 Financial Statements 1996
11 Franchise Tax and Annual Public Information Report 1997
12 Budget March 3, 1996
13 Final Disbursement Information 1996-1998
14 Miscellaneous Financial Records 1997-1998
15 Mailing List undated



Miscellaneous

Scope and Contents
This series contains six folders, dating from 1994-1996. This series arrived at a later date than the bulk of the collection and was therefore processed separately. Materials include Patty Larkin Performance, Venue Information, Calendar and Miscellaneous Entertainment. This series includes two placards. The larger tri-fold one has been placed with oversize materials from other collections.
Box Folder
4 16 Patty Larkin Performance 1995-1996
17 Venue Information 1995
18 Calendar 1995-1996
19 Miscellaneous Entertainment 1994-1995
20 Miscellaneous 1996
21 Small Placard
Large Tri-Fold Placard undated