We celebrate the impact of creative countercultures on American cultural heritage and work intergenerationally to inspire purposeful participation and revolutionary change in arts and culture.

About Us

The Punk Archive Initiative is a DIY effort that invites critical and creative engagement with the rich history of Punk as an artistic, social and cultural movement in the United States, and promotes the identification, preservation and curation of its artifacts, memories, stories and music.

Drawing on established and emerging Digital tools, the PAI empowers the people who were there - musicians, promoters, club owners, and scenesters - to share their personal collections and recollections, and to weave them together with others - crowdsourcing and co-creating a social and musical history of Punk across America.

The PAI works to

- identify, document, collect and connect public, personal, corporate and other collections of Punk culture, and facilitate networks and practices to ensure their sustainablity;

- leverage and develop powerful digital tools that activate, engage and harness collective memory to capture stories, artworks, information, contexts, voices and perspectives that might otherwise be lost or left incomplete;

- create innovative opportunities for interpretation, presentation and access, through publishing, public programs and other events.

Designed as a prototyping project, the Punk Archive will generate replicable models, data management tools and cultural archiving processes and artist supports that can be used to document and preserve the cultural product and creative expression of a range of communities, particularly those with pre-digital practices. 

The PAI, headquartered in DC with outposts in Texas and LA, is a major program of the Cultural Archive Initiative, an emerging 501(c)3 dedicated to promoting and empowering DIY cultural preservation across America's creative countercultures. 

Rooted in a DIY ethos and a perspective informed by contemporary archive, folk and heritage practices, the nonprofit Cultural Archive Initiative works to preserve the creative output, collective memory and living cultural archives of American Punk, Jazz, Street Art and other independent and experimental artistic, spiritual and social movements working at the edges of the dominant cultures of the 20th century.