A Partnership with The Tenement Museum & the 1882 Foundation Network
Through our annual Symposium program, the 1882 Foundation convenes a national network of museums, community-based organizations, educational institutions, and federal agencies to foster collaboration around civil rights and migration education with a focus on the history and legacies of the United States’ Chinese Exclusion Acts. By creating space to build partnerships across sectors, we preserve and interpret the experiences of Chinese Americans through creative, generative projects, a core of which is the 50 Objects Initiative.
Ever since the start of our Symposiums in 2012, we have emphasized the importance and effectiveness of digital collaboration. As we learned of the Tenement Museum’s Your Story, Our Story (YSOS) Platform at Symposium V in 2017, the idea of bringing together our diverse network of stakeholders through the platform was imagined.
Through object-based storytelling, the collection of objects reflects the breadth of efforts occurring across the country to document Chinese American history. Under the stewardship of diverse organizations and individuals, these stories are powerful touchstones to our nation’s past—demonstrating how personal experiences resonate collectively and reinforcing how Chinese American history is American history.
In its first year, the 50 Objects Project collected 56 object-based stories, bringing together over three dozen organizations and representing more than 20 community histories across the United States.
That was just the beginning. Coming out of Symposium VII (May 2019), we are excited to announce an on-going collaboration with the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) as the 50 Objects Initiative contributes to the digital presence of their upcoming exhibition.
Gathering: Collecting and Documenting Chinese American History (October 3, 2019 – March 22, 2020) at MOCA will tell the origin story of historical societies, museums, and organized projects that document and make public the history of Chinese throughout America.
This first-of-its-kind survey exhibition is part of the national commemoration of the contributions of Chinese railroad workers in the completion of the transcontinental railroad 150 years ago. MOCA’s goal is to showcase the breadth, depth, and investment of organized documentation and collection of Chinese history in America.
Gathering, alongside the 50 Objects Initiative, hopes to expand the dialogue, strengthen connections, and increase collaborative work among these organizations, the exact mission that the 1882 Symposium and network stands for.
This partnership will also serve as a topic of discussion in Symposium VIII, on the theme of digital collaboration, in May 2020.
Participating Organizations (as of July 2019):
- Chinese American Museum of Chicago
- Mai Wah Society (Butte, MT)
- Chinese American Museum Los Angeles (Los Angeles)
- Chinese Historical Society of New England (Boston)
- Chinese Historical Society of Southern California (Los Angeles)
- Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation (San Francisco)
- Chinese Historical Society of America (San Francisco)
- Kam Wah Chung State Heritage Site (John Day, OR)
- Mississippi Delta Chinese Heritage Museum (Cleveland, MS)
- Wing Luke Museum of the Asian American Experience (Seattle, WA)
- San Diego Chinese Historical Society and Museum (San Diego)
- Walk of Remembrance (Monterey, CA)
- Portland Chinatown Museum (Portland, OR)
- Chinese American Museum of Northern California (Marysville, CA)
- Chinese Bunkhouse Preservation Project (Fremont, CA)
- Chinese Historical & Cultural Project (San Jose, CA)
- Hawaii Chinese History Center (Honolulu, HI)
- Temple of Kwan Tai (Mendocino, CA)
- Locke Foundation (Locke, CA)
- China Alley Preservation Society (Hanford, CA)
- Save Our Chinatown Committee (Riverside, CA)
- Augusta Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association (Augusta, GA)
- Asociacion China de Mexicali (Mexicali Baja California, Mexico)
- Wo Hing Museum and Cookhouse/Lahaina Restoration Foundation (Lahaina, HI)