Stephen Jarrett, president of the board of the Washington Area Performing Arts Video Archive, announced today that James J. Taylor, the founder of WAPAVA, which for 14 years has produced archival video recordings of Washington area theater and dance productions, died yesterday morning at the Washington Hospice. He was diagnosed with appendiceal cancer last May.
The Archive, one of only two Actors’ Equity-approved theater performance collections, contains almost 400 videos, virtually all of which were shot by Mr. Taylor. For most of its history the Archive has been available to the public at the Washingtoniana Division of the DC Public Library. Last fall WAPAVA announced a co-location agreement by which the collection will be principally housed in the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library at the University of Maryland’s Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center on the College Park campus. Duplicate copies of all the recordings will remain at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library.
According to Mr. Jarrett, WAPAVA will continue to record local professional performances.
Memorial service arrangements are incomplete, but Mr. Taylor’s family has requested that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the James J. Taylor Memorial Fund, c/o WAPAVA, 4205 Glenridge Street, Kensington, MD 20895. Contributions to the fund will be distributed to WAPAVA and the Washington Hospice.