Holly born into a family that encourages creativity.
Having made friends with Native American children at grammar school, begins to witness racism for the first time.
Sings in a talent contest in Ukiah, at a Veterans of Foreign Wars talent competition.
Sings at Talmage Mental Hospital - an experience that shapes young Holly's consciousness of mental illness, as well as how many of the programs in mental hospitals and prisons are under-funded
While at the Perry-Mansfield music camp in Colorado works with nationally acknowledged dance, theater and music teachers
Starts high school in Ukiah, California. Joins a student committee dedicated to changing the dress code.
Near family gets a TV. News footage of the civil rights movement very influential on young Holly.
Sings with a high school folk group called The Freedom Singers, unaware of the original Freedom Singers in the Civil Rights Movement.
Protests the military recruiters on campus at Ukiah High School
Wins Bank of America Achievement Award in the field of Fine Arts
Starts school at UCLA. Auditions for theater arts program singing Pirate Jenny from Three Penny Opera
Plays lead in Guys and Dolls at UCLA, gets laryngitis, discovers she has nodules on vocal chords
Goes into several weeks of silence to heal vocal chords, works with a voice teacher in Philadelphia who suggests Holly study to be an opera singer. Holly declines.
Back in LA, Holly works with Another Mother For Peace in Beverly Hills, along side her sister, Timothy Near.
Holly and Timothy sing in a few prisons. Very challenging.
Gets job in her first film, Angel, Angel Down We Go
Lives in Venice, California. Continues working in film and TV - Partridge Family, Mod Squad. Tries to balance Hollywood life and racial strife in Venice.
Lands spot in Broadway cast of Hair. Cast does silent vigil in response to Kent State massacre.
Returns to California to do a film, The Magic Garden of Stanley Sweetheart. Holly tells a friend, "Women's lib is OK for women who need it." Lives long enough to laugh at that remark.
Attends a meeting with her sister Timothy, put on by Hollywood people who want to oppose the war – EIPJ – Entertainment Industry for Peace and Justice.
Auditions for Free the Army; cast includes Michael Alaimo
Touring in Pacific with FTA inspires her to write over a dozen songs, many of which will be on her first solo recording, Hang In There
Works as receptionist for Pentagon Papers trial.
Is approached by Tom Hayden to participate in the Indochina Peace Campaign and becomes a founding member
Writes her first feminist song, It's More Important To Me
Lands role in the film, Slaughterhouse Five
Starts Redwood Records to support the release of first album, Hang In There
Tours US with Jeff Langley, singing at union halls, churches, prisons, and universities.
Releases A Live Album, dedicated to Ronnie Gilbert. Goes to Vietnam with Jeff as guest of Vietnamese Musicians Union.
Sings in Building Women show in L.A. with Lily Tomlin, Meg Christian, Cris Williamson, Margie Adam, and the Alice Stone's Ladies Society Orchestra.
Does support work with United Farm Workers
Records the album, You Can Know All I Am
Participates in the "Women on Wheels" tour of California. Sister, Timothy, signs songs at concerts, introducing American Sign Language for the first time to many hearing audiences and instrumental in developing access for hearing-impaired
Comes out publicly as a lesbian at 1st Michigan Womyn's Music Festival.
Begins working with American Sign Language interpreter, Susan Freundlich
Writes Fight Back for feminist anti-violence demonstration in L.A.
Takes a women's peace delegation to Hiroshima that includes Bernice Reagon and Amy Horowitz
Writes Singing for Our Lives for Harvey Milk memorial.
Plans 26-city tour for a Nuclear Free Future - then hears news of Three Mile Island disaster
Sings at National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights
Redwood releases Sweet Honey in the Rock's B'lieve I'll Run On... a first coalition effort
Receives Bay Area Music Award (Bammie) 1979 Best Independent Label Album, Imagine My Surprise. An unusual achievement, this being an out lesbian recording.
Sings with Ronnie Gilbert (of The Weavers) for the first time, as seen in the film Wasn't That A Time!
Speaks on art and politics at National Mobilization for Survival Conference
Goes on tour to save Womens' Studies programs
People magazine runs a story on Holly and she becomes, perhaps, the first out lesbian to be interviewed in a popular "supermarket" magazine
Releases Fire in the Rain
Sings at huge June 12th anti-nuke rally, 1 million people gather in Central Park
Creates and performs a show with her sisters called "The Near Sisters" bringing theatre and dance back into Holly's work
Does 50-city tour: "Be Disarming-Challenge the Nuclear Mentality." Sings to 200,000 at Artists for Disarmament rally in W. Germany.
Sixth album released, Speed of Light
Sings in Brussels for International Women's Day
National tour and live album Lifeline with Ronnie Gilbert
Forms Redwood Records Cultural and Educational Fund
Receives Detroit City Council Testimonial Resolution honoring Holly Near. Receives City and County of San Francisco Certificates of Honor
"Journeys Down Under" tour in late '83, organized by Margret RoadKnight's Honky Tonk Angels for concerts in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra, Adelaide in Australia
During that tour Holly also arranged and recorded back up vocals for Judy Small on her recording of the song, Bridget Evans
Does National "Defeat Reagan Tour" with Ronnie Gilbert
Releases ninth album Watch Out with John McCutcheon and Trapezoid.
Goes on national tour and records live album Sing to Me The Dream with Inti Illimani
Tours with Arlo, Ronnie and Pete; releases live album HARP
Receives NAIRD (National Association of Independent Recording Distributors) Indie Award for Lifeline, the album with Ronnie Gilbert
Receives LACAAW (Los Angeles Commission on Assults Against Women) Humanitarian Award
Presented with the Key to the City of Fresno
Receives the 1984 Cable Car Award: Outstanding achievement by a recording artist, Holly Near's Journeys
Peace Music Festival in Ecuador with Pete Seeger, Leon Gieco, Holly Near, Inti Illimani, Silvio Rodriguez, Sweet Honey In The Rock, Grupo Raiz, and many others
Nominated Ms. Magazine 1985 Woman of the Year "For fulfilling and expanding our ideals of excellence"
MCs and sings at first annual Redwood Records Festival.
Performs for Margaret Randall Defense Fund
Sings at a benefit for the Sanctuary Movement with Jackson Browne and Mandy Patinkin in Washington, DC
Named The Women's Foundation "Woman of Note" for her outstanding Achievements in Music
Receives City and County of San Francisco Certificates of Honor
Releases Singing With You album with Ronnie Gilbert
Receives Sixth Annual Woman's Building Vesta Award
Presented with the Lesbian Rights Award by the Southern California Women For Understanding.
Presented with the California Senate Lesbian Rights Award
Receives National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights Award of Distinction
Wins 1988 Cable Car Award, Outstanding Recording Artist for Don’t Hold Back
Receives Indie Award in the category of Women’s Music for “SkyDances”
July 7, 1989 declared Holly Near day by Art Agnos, Mayor of San Francisco
Receives World College West honorary Doctor of Humane Letters.
Releases Singer In The Storm
Receives “Hot Wire” Readers’ Choice Award for outstanding contributions to Women’s Music and Culture
Presented with the Unity Award by the The National Conference Fairfield Region
Performs her one woman show, Fire in The Rain at the San Jose Rep, Mark Taper Forum in LA, and then off-Broadway in New York, at the Union Square Theatre
NAIRD (National Association of Independent Recording Distributors) Award 1993 Honorable Mention to Redwood Records for Musical Highlights from the play Fire in the Rain by Holly Near in the category of Soundtrack/Cast Recording
Receives Bay Area Theater Critics Circle, Outstanding Achievement Award 1993, for Fire in the Rain, Singer in the Storm
American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California ACLU celebrates Freedom of Information and honors Holly Near for the tremendous commitment shown toward fighting for equality and justice for others
Receives Los Angeles Commission on Assaults Against Women (LACAAW) 1994 Humanitarian Award
Awarded Gala Choruses 1996 Legacy Award, in recognition of unique contributions to the Lesbian and Gay Choral Movement
Releases This Train Still Runs with Ronnie Gilbert
NARAS Governor’s Award to Redwood Records 1997 for outstanding contributions to the cultural fabric of the community. "Their vision and struggle to create a better world has enriched all our lives."
Releases With A Song In My Heart
Awarded Ukiah High School Alumni Association Distinguished Graduate Class of 1967.
Receives The Legends of Women's Music Award (Lesbians of Achievement, Vision, and Action)
Releases Simply Love: The Women's Music Collection
Awarded the Women in the Arts, Inc Jeanine C Rae Culture Award For the Advancement of Women's Culture
Releases Early Warnings and HARP: A Time to Sing
Participates in Women of Voice and Vision, Scripps College, celebrating their 75th Anniversary
Releases And Still We Sing: The Outspoken Collection
Releases Crushed: The Love Song Collection
Releases Lifeline Extended
Releases Cris & Holly with Cris Williamson
Participates in Vagina Monologues gala event in Florida
Presents at the National Women’s History Project’s conference at Smith College
Participates in "The Ohio Conversation," a discussion of political song and responsible citizenship with Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon, Harry Belafonte, and Pete Seeger
Releases Show Up
In 2004, Holly joined Eve Ensler in the Mexican city of Juarez to march against the uninvestigated killing of hundreds of young women. In Toledo (Ohio), she sat as a witness to the testimony of women reporting rape and other violence against women. Holly helped raise funds for 10,000 Kites, a collaborative anti-war project between young people from Israel and Palestine who, in the spring of 2005, flew kites over the wall that separated them.
Sits witness to the testimony of women reporting rape and other violence against women in Toledo, OH
Nominated as one of the "1000 Women for the Nobel Peace Prize 2005" - congratulated by City Council of Oakland
Speaks to employees at Intel’s Albuquerque, NM facility about tolerance and diversity
Delivers the prestigious Ware Lecture for the Unitarian Universalist General Assembly
Participates in Legends of Women's Music-part of the 2006 Gay Games in Chicago, with Teresa Trull, Barbara Higbie, Nedra Johnson, and MC Vickie Shaw.
In 2006, and once again in 2007, Holly was among thousands of protesters in Columbus (Georgia) to demand the closure of the infamous School of the Americas, where military police from around the Americas are trained in the methods -- include repression and torture -- used to undermine democracy around the region.
Presented with the Key to the City of Chico, California
Holly Near will also participate in the 100th-year commemoration of the massacre of Santa Maria de Iquique, where some 3,000 striking miners and their families were killed by government troops in the Chilean port city of Iquique. In 1907, workers from northern desert nitrate mines went on strike against deplorable working conditions. Local government authorities sent troops to confront strikers occupying the Santa Maria School, opening fire against the unarmed crowd. This horrific event, which took place on December 21, is now viewed as the catalyst that eventually forced the Chilean government to improve labor laws and social programs. In memory of this event, renowned Chilean composer Luis Advis wrote the Cantata Santa Maria de Iquique, first performed in 1970 by Quilapayún. On December 21, 2007, Quilapayún will perform at the final concert of the 100th year anniversary and has invited Holly to join them on stage. She has signed on in support of the 100th anniversary events along with hundreds of other social change artists and international activists.
On December 9, Holly joined human rights activists and relatives of the detenidos-desaparecidos at the Parque por la Paz - better known as Villa Grimaldi -- for the closing ceremony of a year-long initiative to honor and remember the women "disappeared" by the Pinochet dictatorship. Some 4,500 people were imprisoned in the Villa Grimaldi detention center between 1973 and 1978; most were tortured and 226 are among the desaparecidos who have never been seen again.
Holly Near reunited with Inti Illimani in Chile on December 7 for a concert at the Lo Blanco stadium in the El Bosque sector of southern Santiago. The concert was organized by the EPES (Educación Popular en Salud) Foundation, a not-for-profit group working for community health and social justice. The concert, which marks the celebration of EPES 25th anniversary, was also a tribute to Holly's three decades of international solidarity. Sponsored by the Casa de Cultura (Cultural Center) and Mayor's office of El Bosque, the concert gathered 1,500 people to join with Holly and Inti Illimani in this celebration of song and solidarity. The concert featured the re-launching of the CD Holly recorded with Inti Illimani in 1984.
Re-releases Sing To Me The Dream
Meets with Mohawk and European-American women to invite spiritual healing
January 12, 2008: School of the Americas protest at Los Angeles State Historic Park with Fr. Roy Bourgeois, Martin Sheen, and many other activists
March 11: Spoke at Sonoma State at the class room of Don Romesburg on subject of gender
Releases We Came To Sing with Emma's Revolution
Sings at 35th Anniversary of The Michigan Womyns Music Festival
In Chile for 8.8 magnitude earthquake on Feb 27