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Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Press Release.
October 11, 2021Washington, D.C. — The 1882 Foundation has been awarded a $500,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation through the inaugural Humanities in Place program. The grant will support the expansion of the organization’s cultural programming and the transformation of the 1882 Foundation’s Chinatown headquarters into a story center and social workspace that will welcome allied non-profit Asian American and Pacific Islander organizations and partners in the Washington, D.C., area.

“From its formation, the 1882 Foundation has been guided by two core principles –that we will be grounded in our community expressed in vibrant Chinatowns, and that our strength will come from building collaborations among the diversity of people who share with us America’s ideals,” said Ted Gong, Executive Director of the 1882 Foundation. He further notes, “it is so humbling and exciting to have the Mellon Foundation affirm our direction with this grant. It enables us to move our programs forward to new levels. I am particularly grateful for Justin Garrett Moore, Achille Tenkiang, and their team at the Mellon Foundation for their advice and encouragement.”

This project has been ten years in the making; established in 2011, the grassroots organization has operated entirely by volunteer leadership and support. The 1882 Foundation’s national reach draws energy through its spirit of collaboration and D.C.’s Chinatown continues to be the connecting fabric that brings together our communities over the years.

We are thrilled to be among the first cohort of grantees of the Mellon Foundation’s new Humanities in Place program. Mellon Foundation is the largest supporter of the arts and humanities in the country and it is an honor to be recognized alongside this remarkable community of people championing place-based projects to tell the stories of lived experience and culture.

For decades, we’ve been inundated by speculations about D.C.’s Chinatown future by outsiders that have centered a narrative of a “dying Chinatown.” It seems like every ten years, a newspaper article is written about the shrinking of our community. We have been here, we will always be here, and we are proud to be given the opportunity to enable greater visibility of the work we and our community of storytellers, educators, and culture-bearers do to support the Asian American and Pacific Islander community.