At the Bob Bullock Texas State History museum there’s plenty of artifacts from Texas’ legendary beginning, but go up to the third floor, and you’ll find a different kind of history exhibit. Curated by Jenny Cobb and Erin McClelland, the Bob Bullock’s Roller Derby Exhibit is a unique addition to the museum.
“It [The Roller Derby Exhibit] basically follows the evolution of roller derby from its inception in 1935 to the current evolution of the sport that we’re seeing in Austin today,” said Cobb.
Roller Derby was re-invented in Austin in the early 2000s, beginning a roller derby revival across the world. While many may not know how much Texas is at the heart of the roller derby story, today skaters everywhere view it as the epicenter for the sport.
“I had been skating in the Texas Roller Girls recreational league and what I saw was that the experience that I was having and that a lot of other women were having in the league didn’t match up with the story people were telling about roller derby and I really thought that it was a story that needed to be told more broadly,” said McClelland.
She approached the Bob Bullock Museum with the concept of a roller derby exhibit that would put forth a more well-rounded view of the sport. With contributions from the skating community, the exhibit features everything from dramatic skater ’boutfits’ to a roller derby name generator. It runs through August 8, 2015.
This story airs Saturday, May 23rd, 2015 during PBS NewsHour Weekend at 6:30pm.