On February 10, 2019, The Chinese American Museum was honored to march in the DC Chinese New Year Parade. As host of the parade, the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association (CCBA) choreographed the biggest and most diverse parade ever with an estimated 30,000 spectators and participants. This year, 4717 in the Chinese Lunar Calendar, is the Year of the Pig.
By request, a replay of the performance by Lili Zhang of the Jasmine Guzheng Academy.
Major General Joseph Carvalho was one of many distinguished speakers. As a third-generation Chinese American from Hawaii, he told a powerful story of overcoming financial barriers and of his thirty-eight-year career in the U.S. Army. General Carvalho grew up in a blue-collar family of five children with aspirations of becoming a physician. Initially signing up for an ROTC program to pay for his college tuition, he found a passion for serving our nation, a true testament to American patriotism that transcends one’s ethnicity. He served in a variety of positions during his long tenure as well as fulfilling his childhood dream: serving as an Army physician, retiring in 2017 as a Major General. However, throughout his life journey thus far, he emphasizes that he “never thought of [himself] as disadvantaged…all [he] ever wanted was to have a chance.” Although claiming at the beginning of his speech that his upbringing was “atypical,” his unique story perfectly embodies the complexity of Chinese Americans experiences. At the end of his speech, he puts forward a strong call to action: “tell the myriad stories of Chinese Americans who, together, paint the picture of integral contributions that forged this country into the greatest nation on Earth.”
Dr. Phylis Lan Lin discusses her unique Chinese American experience at the Chinese American Museum in DC.
Christina Poy, Governor's Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs & South Asian American Affairs, reads a congratulatory letter from Maryland Governor, Larry Hogan, at the Chinese American Museum announcement event on November 8, 2018, Washington DC.
Since its major announcement event in November 8, 2018 at the Willard Hotel, the Chinese American Museum in DC has been working diligently to create partnerships that will shape the reach, depth, and content for the future museum. The more than 160 people in attendance included leaders from the Chinese American and Asian American community, museum experts, historians and artists.
That evening’s speakers were a prologue to the museum being built. A museum built by Americans of all backgrounds and designed for visitors from every nationality and background. The Chinese American Museum is dedicated to telling an American story … one that is relevant to all.
Executive Director, David Uy, interviewed by SinoVision
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Plans Announced to Build Chinese American Museum in Washington, DC
November 9, 2018
WASHINGTON, DC – The Chinese American Museum Foundation, a non-profit management team of museum, historical, and operational professionals, has revealed that for the past year they have been working on the preliminary stages of a museum focusing on Chinese American history and culture. The museum will be located in downtown Washington, DC. The foundation made the announcement at a dinner event held at the Willard InterContinental Hotel on November 8th attended by nearly 160 leaders from the museum, art, historical and academic, government, and business communities.
The museum began as a concept in early 2017 and the newly-formed Foundation acquired a building that November through the support of two founding board members. The museum will begin hosting and curating content online and special events as early as Winter 2018 and expects to open to the public as a physical museum in phases from late 2019 through 2020.
The building is located at 16th Street and M Street NW, adjacent to The Jefferson Hotel. The five-story, 1907 Beaux-Arts style mansion has been undergoing renovations to update and modernize the building for museum use to accommodate exhibitions of historical and contemporary artifacts and interpretations, Chinese American art, cultural and educational events, and interactive multimedia experiences.
The Chinese American Museum plans to develop the museum in a collaborative approach drawing on and amplifying efforts from a wide variety of historical and cultural experts from around the country and abroad including academic historians, authors, and other Chinese American and Asian American museums and organizations. As part of this alliance-building approach, the museum will expand participation in its Governing Board, Museum Board, and Academic Advisory Board drawing from a broad range of experts and backgrounds.
Executive Director, David Uy, presented the case for the new museum, “There are a number of excellent, compelling organizations across the country that are telling the Chinese American story on a local or regional level. This museum has a unique opportunity to bring that dialogue to the nearly 22 million annual visitors to the DC area. Currently, a relevant and important component of American history and culture is not reaching a significant part of the population. The Chinese American story is an American story. It must be told.”
The museum will start from a story-driven approach. Uy continued, “It will take time to build an object-driven collection, however, a core part of our strategy is curating stories online through the museum’s web site and online magazine. There are important stories to tell that are relevant to all Americans. The past history of Chinese in America is a timely and meaningful reflection on how diverse groups made this country what it is today. And looking forward, we want to showcase the amazing contributions of contemporary Chinese Americans.”
The Chinese American Museum Foundation is a non-profit, non-political, non-geopolitical 501(c)(3) organization based in Washington, DC. Its mission is to advance the understanding, knowledge, and appreciation of the Chinese American experience by highlighting shared cultural exchanges and stories of the spirit, resilience, and contributions of Chinese Americans throughout our past, present, and future. More information can be found at www.chineseamericanmuseum.org.