Read about our collaborative Immigrant Voices Workshops at the Chinatown YMCA; CW presentations at Intersection for the Arts and Stanford; and CW Director Rene Yung’s upcoming installation at the San Jose Museum of Art.

Find out about the special CW Mid Autumn Moon gathering on Sept. 19! Meet community members Jennifer Tam of Chinatown YMCA and workshop participant BJ Fong

Join us in bringing forgotten stories to light. Your tax-deductible donation will allow us to continue our innovations in community-based heritage stewardship.

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Upcoming Events

These Are Our Stories
October 21, 2013, 7pm-10pm at Intersection for the Arts,
925 Mission Street, Suite 109, San Francisco CA 94103 Phone: 415.626.2787;
please be prompt as the audience will travel to different locations for the performances.
Tickets: $5-$15, sliding scale. Purchase Here

San José Museum of Art Exhibit
Around the Table, Stage Three: Talk Around the Table
December 19, 2013 through April 20, 2014
Davies Gallery, Historic Wing, 110 South Market Street, San Jose CA 95113 Phone: 408.271.6840
Museum Hours: Tues - Sunday 11am - 5pm, Closed Mondays
Admission: Adults: $8, Students & Seniors $5
Directions: ParkingDriving, Public Transit

Share Your Stories 
about the early Chinese settlers in your community, and members of other cultures that interacted with them.

Story Cookies

Donate $25 and get a special package with 8 cookies (random selection) from the collectible first edition of 15 Chinese Whispers Story CookiesTM ! Each cookie's "fortune" features a quote from a Chinese WhispersSM  story.

Chinese WhispersSM is a research and community storytelling project about the Chinese who helped build the Transcontinental Railroad and the American West. It includes place-based multimedia productions that engage local communities in recounting local stories, innovative public engagement programming, and development of an interactive online mapping platform that brings together research, geography, and storytelling. Visit for more information.

Chinese WhispersSM  is supported in part by the California Council for the HumanitiesSan Francisco FoundationSan Francisco Arts Commission, and individual donors like you.

CW Partners
include the Chinatown YMCA, Center for Sierra Nevada Studies, San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, Chinese Historical Society of America, Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation, Shaping SF, Friends of China Camp, OpenShow, & Placer Arts Council, with special thanks to Malcom Margolin and Heyday. Chinese WhispersSM is a member of the Intersection Incubator, a program of Intersection for the Arts providing fiscal sponsorship, incubation and consulting services to artists. 

Join Us
in bringing forgotten stories to light. Your tax-deductible donation will allow us to continue our innovations in community-based heritage stewardship.
Photo Credit: Matthew Contos, Ford Lee, Jeff K. Lee, Kevin Lee, Bonnie Mak, Dorothy Mak, Turki al-Rwaita, Arlene Sen
Immigrant Voices: CW + YMCA Chinatown

As part of our flagship Bay Area storytelling production Chinese Whispers: Golden GateSM we are excited to collaborate with the Chinatown YMCA on a series of transgenerational workshops about contemporary immigrant experiences. Together with the Y, we created workshops over the summer and fall for young adults as well as recent and longer-term Chinatown immigrants.

In the bright, comfortable environment of the Y’s beautifully renovated Julia Morgan building, participants shared compelling stories about their memories, hopes, and challenges as immigrants to America, and community elders shared their insights about older-generation immigrant experiences.

Long-time Y stakeholder and CW story-contributor Ford Lee and his wife Pat, who together captivated the audience in our April event, The Legacy of Exclusion event, wowed everyone again, this time as chefs serving up delicious meals to workshop participants.

The stories from these workshops will be incorporated into the full production of Chinese Whispers: Golden GateSM, to connect the historical and contemporary immigrant experiences. Stay tuned for developments on the full theater production!

These intimate workshop gatherings were powerful, healing and community-building experiences, and we are deeply touched by and salute the community’s courage, perseverance and resourcefulness. Many thanks to the Y staff, workshop participants, community elders, and to Y and CW volunteers, for making these workshops such a meaningful and continued success.

On the Horizon: San José Museum of Art

CW Director Rene Yung has been commissioned by the SJMA to create a site-specific installation for the upcoming exhibition Around the Table, Stage Three: Talk Around the Table. Located in the Museum’s Historic Wing, overlooking the site of San Jose’s former Market Street Chinatown, Rene’s installation Cauldron reflects on community and cultural sustenance through the terse dialogue between a 12 ft. by 9 ft. charcoal drawing of a single, iconic bowl of rice, and a historic rice bowl excavated from the Chinatown site. An interactive element will incorporate community dialogue on the meaning of rice and of sustenance. The installation opens on December 19th–mark your calendars! See sidebar for details.

Originally developed as a large-scale drawing installation, this iteration of Cauldron is part of Rene’s cross-platform work that connects history, place, culture and community, and is a continuation of her partnership with the Market Street Chinatown Archaeology Project: a community-based research and education collaboration between Stanford University, Chinese Historical and Cultural Project, History San José, and Environmental Science Associates.

CW at Intersection for the Arts

Rene Yung will represent Chinese WhispersSM as one of three panelists at Intersection for the Arts’ event, These are Our Stories on October 21st. The evening will include a roving series of site-specific performances by artists from Intersection’s Triangle Lab project, moderated by playwright and Chinese WhispersSM collaborator Eugenie Chan. For details, please see sidebar.

"Getting the Story Out": CW at Stanford

Chinese WhispersSM will feature in Rene Yung’s presentation “Getting the Story Out: Place and Public Memory in a Changing Social Landscape” at the Chinese Railroad Worker’s Project Archaeology Workshop, at Stanford University in October. The symposium will bring together archaeologists who have been working on sites, collections and topics related to Chinese railroad workers.

Let There Be Light: Autumn Moon Festival

The Mid Autumn Moon Festival is coming up on Thursday, September 19th. It is a time to gather, give thanks for the fullness of the year, and celebrate the moon at its roundest and brightest. Like Us on Facebook to get details about our special moon-viewing gathering that evening!

Wishing you a bountiful autumn!

—The Chinese Whispers Team

Meet the CW Community  

Meet our growing community here! The CW Community is made up of all kinds of people spanning generations -- professionals, scholars, retirees, students, "regular folks" who joined us to bring forgotten stories to light.

Jennifer Tam is the Community Center Director at the Chinatown YMCA and worked closely with CW on our recent collaborative workshops:

"It’s been such an amazing experience working with Chinese Whispers. This Storytelling Project has really been an eye opening experience for me and I’ve enjoyed hearing the immigrant stories that brought both tears and laughter to everyone listening. The struggles and challenges that each person talked about brought the group closer together and has inspired me to work even harder in being a resource and support to them at the Chinatown YMCA."

Young Adult Immigrants Workshop participant BJ Fong will be continuing his undergraduate studies in Psychology at UCLA this fall, after studying at CCSF. BJ's parents are 1st and 2nd generation immigrants, and he shares his reflections on the workshop:

"I thought that as a new generation our stories would be so different from the other, older generation - but I was shocked by the similarities.  We share the same challenges and have similar goals - and that's mind blowing to me."

Our sincerest thanks to all of the community members who are helping to bring history to life.

Copyright © 2013 Rene Yung, All rights reserved.
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