Oregon State University Libraries and Press

Sybil Perkins Oral History Interview, March 27, 2017

Oregon State University
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00:00:32 - Early Life

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Partial Transcript: You weren't born here in Washington, right?

Segment Synopsis: Perkins shares that she was actually born in Texas, but she moved Oregon shortly after and was raised in Springfield, OR. She shares that her parents divorced really early in her life. Perkins shares some of her early memories of growing up. She says she had a lot of freedom growing up, she says she spent a lot of time outside and running around the neighborhood. She shares that Springfield felt like a really magic places, and she remembers there were a lot of rainbows all the time. Perkins also shares that her mom was a student at University of Oregon while she was growing up so she spent a lot of time on campus in the art buildings. She shares that she went to Catholic school when she was young, and she shared that she hated it. When she was twelve, she moved to Portland, but she quickly moved back to Springfield and lived with her Grandma. She says that she started playing flute when she moved back, and wanted to be a professional musician. She shares that she spent a year on the East Coast and studied music while there.

Keywords: Activist; East Coast; Eugene; Flute; Military Familes; Oregon; Outside; Parks; Pennsylvania; Portland; Railroad; Springfield; Texas; Univeristy of Oregon; Westchester Univeristy; art; rainbows

00:13:54 - Life in Pennsylvania as a musician

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Partial Transcript: So, what was the, how different was it moving from the West coast to Pennsylvania?

Segment Synopsis: Perkins shares that moving to the East coast was a great experience, she says that she was young and wanted to experience life and a new place. She shares that music drew her to politics. She says that music had this attitude, especially classical music that it only belonged to the elite of society. She shares that after attending a National Flute Association meeting she realized how competitive it would be to be a professional musician. She says that how you get ahead in music a lot of the times depends on who you know, instead of your actual talent. She shares that she became disenchanted with music and then decided to work as a political activist.

Keywords: Classical Music; East coast; Elite; Music; National Flute Association; Pennsylvania; Philadelphia; Politics; Socialism; University of Oregon

00:21:27 - Moving around/Life in New York City

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Partial Transcript: Did you ever think about going into arts education?

Segment Synopsis: Perkins shares that she never really had interest in becoming a music educator. She shares that she was very introverted at the time and still very shy so the thought of teaching a class was very scary. Perkins shares that she stayed in Philly for two years, moved to Kansas City, then to Seattle, then to New York City, before finally moving back to Seattle. She shares that she loved living in New York City and liked the people in NYC because they were real. Perkins shares that she worked in politics for most of her time in New York.

Keywords: Art; Attitude; Education; Graphic Design; Kansas City; Music; New York City; Print Shops; Seattle; Teaching

00:28:09 - Interests in home brewing/working at Boeing

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Partial Transcript: So at that point, I know you became a home brewer, were you interested in beer and food culture?

Segment Synopsis: Perkins talks about becoming a home brewer and exploring how she could be creative and artistic with beer creation. She says that she bought a ticket to attend the Craft Brewers Conference and while there it really cemented to her that her two passions were graphic design and craft beer. Perkins shares a little bit about her careers before becoming a graphic artists, especially her time at Boeing.

Keywords: Boeing; Craft Brewers Conference; Graphic Designer; Home brewing; Pink Boots Society

00:36:06 - Activism in Graphic Design

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Partial Transcript: So, when you were doing activism were you kind of focused on union activism, employment equality, that kinda of thing that was your facet of activism was that what you identified with?

Segment Synopsis: Sybil shares that she was a member of the socialist workers party for 10 years. She shares that it was at its core a workers' rights movement, but she also remember organizing rallies to fight for other social issues. She shares the importance of graphic design as work, and tells how she only liked to work and do designs for companies that she believes in. Perkins shares an experience of sexism at work from back when she lived in Philadelphia.

Keywords: activism; apartheid; propaganda; sexism; social issues; women's march

00:50:10 - Sexism in advertisements

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Partial Transcript: I wonder as a graphic designer who now is working so much in the food beverage and beer area, how do you have those conversations and do you feel like you need to have those conversations about representation regularly?

Segment Synopsis: Perkins shares that she sees sexism in the craft beer industry a lot less then she finds in other industries and big beer. However, she says that it does happen every once in awhile, but she pushes back against that when it has an anti-feminist message.

Keywords: Budweiser; Pink Boots Society; advertisements; sexism

00:56:21 - Role in the Pink Boots Society

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Partial Transcript: So talk about Pink Boots Society, when did you join? Why did you join?

Segment Synopsis: Perkins shares that she joined the Pink Boots Society in 2012, and discusses a little bit about the mission of Pink Boots. She shares some of the challenges that Pink Boots has had, and a little bit about her role in the organization. She shares that there about 1,000 paying members who are in the organization internationally. Perkins tells about the qualifications to be a member, and why they opened it up a little bit.

Keywords: Board of Directors; Pink Boots Society; expansion; financial dues; local chapters; organization; scholarships; volunteer

01:08:11 - Disparities in beer

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Partial Transcript: I am curious too about the definite arrow though of pointing at gender, how is that, i don't know within this larger beer has no gender kind of context do you feel any conflict there?

Segment Synopsis: Perkins explains that women are a pretty small minority of people who have jobs in the beer industry. She shares that the only way to change that is to really focus in on it and highlight the disparities that are present.

Keywords: Gender; breweries; differences

01:10:44 - Future of Pink Boots Society

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Partial Transcript: What about the, you mentioned, the women who put together the book of recipes brewed by women and I think about that as an archivist, the importance of, of history, and of recording things?

Segment Synopsis: Perkins shares that there is a historian within Pink Boots Society, who posts articles about the history of women in brewing and things like that. However, she discusses how they would like to have a lot more history around women in brewing. Perkins shares some goals she has going forward for Pink Boots are to really expand their efforts in that area.

Keywords: Historian; History; connections; growth; purpose; women

01:16:30 - Beer scene in Washington

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Partial Transcript: What was something that you thought that I would ask about that I haven't? What did you think I would focus on? Is there anything that you want to share?

Segment Synopsis: Perkins shares a little bit about the beer scene in Washington state and discusses how the government has a commission in place that really helps promote beer culture in the state. She talks about how the state is lucky because you can sources everything from Washington to go into Washington beer. Perkins shares some of the benefits and the limitations of having the state government so involved in the alcohol industry.

Keywords: Beer Culture; Craft Brewers Conference; Farmers Market; Gluten Free; Grain; Hops; Washington; agro-tourism; distilling; organic

01:26:31 - Closing thoughts

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Partial Transcript: What has been the impact of legalized marijuana in Washington?

Segment Synopsis: Perkins shares that she hasn't noticed since the legalization of marijuana any adverse effects of the beer industry. She discusses the national landscape around recreational marijuana, and forecasts that it will eventually be legal in the whole country.

Keywords: advertisements; breweries; marijuana; medical research