Donna Graves


Donna Graves is an independent historian/urban planner based in Berkeley, CA. She develops interdisciplinary public history projects that emphasize social equity and sense of place. Her involvement in projects that weave together local histories, preservation, art and community participation began with her tenure as executive director of The Power of Place, which received national acclaim for its ground-breaking work in interpreting the history of downtown Los Angeles through urban design, historic preservation and public art. Graves served as project director for the Rosie the Riveter Memorial and was instrumental in establishing and developing California’s Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historical Park. She served on the team contracted to develop permanent exhibits for the Park Visitor and Education Center and is currently curating an exhibit on LGBTQ home front histories. Graves is director of Preserving California’s Japantowns, a statewide effort to identify and document what remains of the many pre-WWII communities destroyed by forced removal and incarceration. She is an Advisor to the National Park Service’s Asian American/Pacific Islander Theme Study and co-directed a national crowd-sourced mapping project, East at Main Street, to bring community-based knowledge to the federal landmark documentation process. She recently co-authored (with Shayne Watson) a citywide study of LGBTQ historic places in San Francisco and is developing interpretive strategies for a new regional park on a former naval weapons station.

Relevant Projects

Citywide LGBTQ Historic Context Statement for San Francisco; Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historical Park (; Preserving California's Japantowns (


Independent Public Historian


Humanities, Public History, Public Art, Museum, Preservation


United States