Read about Chinese Whispers Story TourTM, online mapping project, art installation at San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, and meet our oldest and youngest community storytellers!

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

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Upcoming Events
City Beneath the City: Market Street Chinatown 
May 26 - Sept 16;
Public Reception June 16, 6–8pm,
San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art
560 South First Street, San Jose, CA 95113

Save China Camp Fundraiser
Help save this historic Chinese fishing village from Park closure!
June 20, 6-9 pm, San Francisco Maritime Museum, 900 Beach St. San Francisco. More Info.

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

Story Cookies

 $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 re-united with Chinese Whispers community storytellers on a sunny April Sunday over dim sum and tea to exchange new stories and brew up ideas. Here's a sneak peek at some of the exciting developments in the works:
Story TourTM
Stay tuned for details about a fun and informative Chinese Whispers Story TourTM to the Sacramento River Delta, which will include a guided exploration of Locke, featuring Chinese Whispers stories! Authentic and full of ambiance, Locke is the only American town built exclusively by the Chinese for the Chinese.

Mapping Stories
We’re hard at work developing Chinese Whispers: Mapping the Traces,SM an interactive, mapping website that will link research data and Chinese WhispersSM stories through their geographical locations. Our research partners, historian Gary Noy and the Center for Sierra Nevada Studies, have compiled amazing data that we are working on with geographer Rick Kos, to map and visualize important information about the early Chinese pioneers in California. Our deepest thanks to Gary and the Center, Rick, and to Cal Humanities for their support through a California Documentary Project grant.

Unearthing Stories
Artistic and Project Director Rene Yung is creating an art installation for the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, in collaboration with the Stanford Archaeology Center, History San Jose, and the Chinese Historical Cultural Project. The exhibit, “City Beneath The City: Market Street Chinatown San Jose,” will open on May 26, with a public reception on June 15. Linking cultural history and archaeology through visual design, the installation will showcase over 60 artifacts excavated from the site of the 19th century Market Street Chinatown in San Jose. See sidebar for details.

Of course, this leads to new Chinese Whispers stories, about the South Bay. They will be incorporated into the full Chinese Whispers: Golden GateSM production.

Wishing you a vibrant Spring!

— Chinese Whispers Team

Meet the Community

We introduced you to Chinese WhispersSM storytellers Kevin Lee and Jeffrey Tong in the last newsletter; meet the oldest and youngest storytellers today! Spanning generations, our community storytellers are professionals, retirees, scholars, students — “regular folks" who joined the project to bring forgotten stories to light.

Ford Lee, San Francisco native and co-author of The Chinatown Y: Honoring the Legacy, Building for the Future, at 80 years young was the oldest storyteller in the Chinese Whispers: Golden GateSM  workshop reading aboard the historic ferryboat Eureka. Ford also contributed compelling stories about his family’s history and his own memories of growing up in San Francisco Chinatown. For him, it was important to be involved in an event that told of Chinese resilience.
“A lot of how the Chinese survived in California is not written and told. The Chinese were persecuted and I lived through some of that period. That’s important for people to know, how we survived and persevered and became a part of the American community".

Eighteen-year-old Amelia DeSnoo, a senior at Lick-Wilmerding High School, performed the Recitative spoken-word poems in the Chinese Whispers: Golden GateSM workshop reading. This upcoming Fall, she will be attending Pomona College. We’d like to congratulate Amelia and wish her all the best at Pomona!

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

Copyright © 2012 Rene Yung, All rights reserved.