“There is a Question of trust”: Punk rock, word of mouth, and donor relations

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Donor relations within a subculture can be a challenge, for ideological, emotional, and practical reasons. Special Collections in Performing Arts (SCPA) at the University of Maryland has successfully built connections with donors from the Washington, D.C. punk subculture by showing that the donor-archivist relationship can be the latest link in the chain of their stories. When it comes to strong relations with donors, as the D.C. punk band Fugazi once sang, “there is a question of trust.” Punk has always been about building communities where people could come together to express themselves creatively, politically, aesthetically, and even physically while finding some form of acceptance and this presentation shows how archives and special collections can be a part of that ecosystem.