Read about our standing-room only event The Legacy of Exclusion; CW at the White House AAPI Heritage Forum; and news onCW: Golden Gate. Volunteer on our Summer Immigrant Voices Workshops with the Chinatown YMCA!
Be sure to catch City Beneath the City at Stanford Archaeology Center by June 28! 
Meet our community partners Chris Carlsson of Shaping SF and Grant Din of Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation


Support the full theater production of Chinese Whispers: Golden GateSM!

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Get Involved! Volunteer in our Summer Workshops
Feel the satisfaction of helping to bring overlooked stories to light by volunteering in our upcoming Immigrant Voices workshops in collaboration with the Chinatown Y! These stories will become part of the CW:Golden Gate production. Volunteer opportunities in:
 Recording Story Circles discussions
 Taking photos and videos of the workshops
Chinese language ability not required, but helpful. We need 2 volunteers per workshop: Young Adults Workshop: Thurs., July 25 (eve); Adult Workshops: one Sat. each in Aug. and Sept. (day-exact times TBD)

Please contact Jen at 415.648.1302 or by July 15, include your name, phone #, & availability.

Upcoming Events

City Beneath the City at Stanford Archaeology Center  
Closes June 28 - Visit Soon!

Building 500, 488 Escondido Mall, Stanford University, Phone: 650.723.5731
Hours: Mon - Fri, 9am - 5pm. Free

Press about CBC @ Stanford Archaeology Center 
Palo Alto online
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China News (Chinese)

Press about CBC @ San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art
San Jose Mercury News
Stanford Report
ABC 7 News
TVB (Chinese)
China News (Chinese)
Sing Tao Daily (Chinese)

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.

Partners include 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. 

Photo Credit: Keith Baker, Jeff K. Lee

CW @ Shaping SF: The Legacy of Exclusion

A standing-room only crowd packed into the Eric Quezada Center for Culture and Politics for our April ”Seeing Stories” program, The Legacy of Exclusion. This evening of multimedia storytelling and discussions brought to life the impact of the Chinese Exclusion Act on generations of families, with presentations of CW story excerpts; Pat and Ford Lee’s touching personal memories of growing up in a Chinatown segregated from the rest of the City; Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation’s story about a former detainee’s return visit; screening from filmmaker Felicia Lowe’s new work “Chinese Couplets”; and presentation by the Chinese Historical Society of America. 

The storefront Center at the hub of the hip, ever-changing Valencia Corridor was buzzing as the cross-generational, cross-cultural audience exchanged earnest reflections and shared insightful personal stories. If you couldn't make it to event, you can still listen to the podcast here. A shout-out to our evening’s host Shaping San Francisco, and a big thank you to all our presenters and audience!

CW: Golden Gate slated for next year

Our thanks also to those of you who have been patiently following us since the workshop reading on ferryboat Eureka in 2012—we are thrilled to announce that we have been awarded a Cultural Equity Grant from the San Francisco Arts Commission,  to proceed to full production on Chinese Whispers: Golden Gate for public presentation in 2014. We extend our sincere gratitude to the Arts Commission for their support. We are especially excited about partnering with the Chinatown YMCA to bring contemporary immigrant voices into the production, to connect the present with the past and provide a deeper perspective on the ongoing immigration story. Stay tuned for updates, including our intergenerational Immigrant Voices workshops with the Y this summer, and more!

We’re looking for volunteers to help with these workshops – see sidebar for more information, and email jen[at] or give us a call at 415.648.1302!

CW in D.C.

Chinese Whispers Artistic and Founding Director Rene Yung was in Washington D.C. in May for the White House Forum on AAPI Heritage. Senior Obama Administration officials, including Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, as well as scholars and community leaders, spoke about the importance of recognizing, preserving, and interpreting this legacy for future generations, and there was a palpable sense of timeliness, commitment and pride. Rene enjoyed a collegial dinner gathering with the AAPI Initiative’s Theme Study scholars and the National Park Service, and returned inspired by the exchanges and with continued dedication to the CW mission of bringing overlooked history to light through the power of multimedia storytelling.

City Beneath the City Exhibition @ Stanford Archaeology Center Closes June 28!

If you haven’t seen City Beneath the City yet, you still have a chance to catch the exhibition before its extended run ends on June 28 at the Stanford Archaeology Center. This art installation by CW Director Rene Yung features over 60 artifacts from San Jose’s Market Street Chinatown. Originally commissioned for the Zer01 Art and Technology Biennial in San Jose, the installation finds telling poetry in the materiality of the remains of a town destroyed by anti-Chinese arson.  Witness this poignant confluence of cultural history, archaeology and the everyday experience of the people that lived there. Details in sidebar.

Click here for a video of Rene's gallery talk for the Stanford Archaeology Center Workshop Series. Contact us at stories[at] if you would like to have a copy of Rene's paper on CBC that she presented at the recent Society for California Archaeology annual conference.

Wishing you a happy summer!

—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.

Chris Carlsson is a San Francisco historian, bicyclist, tour guide, blogger, and co-director of Shaping San Francisco. Chris says of our recent collaboration:
"As a veteran curator of nearly 100 public Talks since 2006, I was completely delighted with the "Legacy of Exclusion" discussion that Chinese Whispers brought to our series. I had tried in the past to find speakers to address the life of the Chinese community in San Francisco, its connections to China, both past and present, and was not able to. Thanks to Chinese Whispers we brought a beautiful, multi-layered, many-voiced presentation to a wide (and extremely appreciative) audience. This perfectly harmonized our respective efforts, both rooted in a "history from below" sensibility that is shedding new light on how our lives came to be as they are now, while helping previously unheard voices find their way into the public realm. Many thanks! " 

Grant Din is Director of Special Projects at Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation and an avid genealogist. We are delighted to partner again with AIISF on our April event, about which Grant says:

"AIISF is very happy to collaborate with Chinese Whispers to tell the stories of immigrants who passed through Angel Island. At the Legacy of Exclusion program, it was great to put the very difficult Angel Island experience into the context of a program talking about the exclusion laws, personal stories of people who grew up in Chinatown, and Felicia Lowe's new film. We love what Chinese Whispers is doing to keep our history alive and look forward to continuing to work together!"

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

Copyright © 2013 Rene Yung, All rights reserved.