Read about CW storytelling at Root Divison's re:Told; 
Don't miss the CW StoryTourTMof Locke - Last week to register! 
City Beneath the City Exhibit on through 9/16, Historic Walk of San Jose Chinatown; Meet our Locke insider Jeff & research intern Mei Li!

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Upcoming Events
Sunday, Sept 9; Full Day
Chinese Whispers: StoryTour of Locke
Personal Stories Bringing Local History to Life
Tour, Roundtrip Transit SF & Lunch Included - $150
Hurry, Limited Seats! 
Registration closes Aug 30!
More Tour Info.

City Beneath the City: Market Street Chinatown 
May 26 - Sept 16;
San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art
560 South First Street, San Jose, CA 95113

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 multi-site community storytelling project about the Chinese who helped build the Transcontinental Railroad, mines, and Frontier settlements. It is envisioned to unfold across the geography of the American West in place-based productions that engage local communities in recounting local stories. It will also result in 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, with special thanks to Malcom Margolin and Heyday.

Partners include Center for Sierra Nevada Studies, Chinese Historical Society of America, Placer Arts Council, and San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park. 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. 


Photo Credit: Jeff Kan Lee, Rene Yung
We hope your summer has been good! Summer is hot over here, lots of exciting Chinese Whispers goings on, and we’ve brought you some of the highlights here:
Story Sharing at Root Division re:Told
Chinese Whispers participated in re:Told, Root Division’s unique, multi-faceted exhibition, with an interactive storytelling performance by Rene Yung on July 27th. Reading from Chinese Whispers: Golden GateSM, Yung based her excerpts on stories from Chinese Whispers StoryCookiesTM selected by audience members. We are delighted to connect with Root Division as part of the community building that is at the heart of Chinese Whispers, and look forward to continuing bridging communities through creative culture.

One Week Left to Register for StoryTourTM of Locke 
Sign up by August 30th to grab your spot on the September 9 Chinese Whispers StoryTourTM of Locke in the Sacramento Delta. The all day tour will be led by Chinese Whispers story contributor and third generation Locke native Jeff Lee, with photographer and Locke resident, James Motlow. Don’t miss this chance to get an insider’s look into the backstory of this atmospheric town, the only American town built by the Chinese for the Chinese and the last surviving rural Chinese town in America. Space is limited, register online today. See flyer for details. 

City Beneath The City exhibition 
On view through Sept. 16 at the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art: “City Beneath The City: Market Street Chinatown San Jose,” the art installation by Chinese WhispersSM Artistic and Project Director Rene Yung weaves together cultural history and archaeology in a mesmerizing spatial design featuring over 60 artifacts from the site of the 19th century Market Street Chinatown in San Jose. Read about the exhibition in the San Jose Mercury News, Stanford Report and in KQED, and see it on ABC 7 News with Don Sanchez and TVB (in Cantonese, see dates: 7/12 & 7/13). We want to thank everyone at the ICA and the Stanford Archaeology Center, Chinese Historical and Cultural Project, and History San Jose for making this remarkable exhibition possible.

Rene will join historian Connie Yu, and ICA Curator Susan O'Malley on the sold out Talking Art: Historical Walking Tour in downtown San Jose's original Market Street Chinatown Site on August 30th. Read about it in Metroactive.

Enjoy the rest of your summer!

— Chinese Whispers Team

Meet the CW Community

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

Chinese Whispers story contributor Jeff Kan Lee is a staff photographer of 40 years at the Press Democrat and a third generation native of Locke, California. Jeff’s vivid stories about his colorful grandfather and the Locke of bygone days captivated audience members at the Chinese Whispers: Golden Gate workshop reading, as narrated by Chinese Whispers proxy teller Kevin Lee. Jeff will co-guide the Sept. 9 StoryTour of Locke.

“I have been working to preserve and tell the story of the Chinese in California, and Chinese Whispers is a great vehicle for that. The workshop presentation that I saw on the (ferryboat) Eureka neatly wraps up the experience of my ancestors.  I want more people to experience that presentation.”    

Chinese Whispers research intern Mei Li Isaacson is a sophomore at Hampshire College, where she will return after the summer. Born in Hubei, China, Mei Li grew up in San Francisco and went to the Chinese American International School to study Mandarin, in which she is fully fluent. This internship gave her a unique opportunity to examine the history of the Chinese in California that is not covered in the American school curriculum.

“The research I have done this summer has not only deepened my understanding of the history of Chinese immigrants in the U.S., but has also allowed me to reflect on myself and my background. It is important for people to learn about this history and the contributions Chinese immigrants have made to this country. Their story should not be neglected.”

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

Copyright © 2012 Rene Yung, All rights reserved.