Liza Zapol manages and curates the production of new oral histories for the oral history program at the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, where she is the Robert and Arlene Kogod Secretarial Scholar. At the Archives, Liza has finalized the Visual Arts and the AIDS Epidemic Oral History Project, co-created a symposium of the same name with the Whitney Museum, overseen the ongoing acquisition of oral histories, and has trained the national team of collectors in oral history methodology. Liza has also interviewed Martha Wilson and Michael Smith for the Archives.
Liza is an artist and an oral historian. She creates sound, multimedia and performance on the themes of memory and place, using documentary methods. Previously, Liza worked for the Whitney Museum of American Art, creating oral history projects on the Whitney ISP and the Whitney Education Program. She also produced films about the Whitney Women, Vito Acconci, and created the Whitney Education Community Advisory Network.
Liza created the oral history program for the Skowhegan School for Painting and Sculpture, interviewing many artists, including David Driskell, Brice Marden, Alex Katz, and Emma Amos. She has also worked with the National Building Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Historical Society, the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, The Lower East Side Tenement Museum, and Massachusetts General Hospital.
Zapol started her career in performance. Recently, she has collaborated with oral historian Nicki Pombier Berger to create Push Play, an experimental workshop for interviewers to enliven the practice of oral history as art. Liza has also worked with theatre director Julie Kline (Seniors and the City), scenic designer Cameron Anderson, and Elevator Repair Service Theatre. Zapol has taught at Columbia University and the New School, and lectures on the intersection of oral history and art.
She was an instructor for the ART CART: Saving the Legacy project, training graduate students to conduct oral histories with older artists in New York. She earned a certificate in Physical Theatre from the London International School of Performing Arts, and a certificate from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. B.A. with Honours from Northwestern University. M.A. in Oral History at Columbia University. Liza has received grants from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Fractured Atlas, the Puffin Foundation, the Arvon Foundation, and the Center for Interdisciplinary Research in the Arts.