The San Diego Chinese Historical Society and Museum is pleased to announce Jiātíng gùshì (“Family Stories”): Intergenerational Oral History Project at the SDCHM, which will involve the community in exploring innovative ways to engage visitors with the history of the San Diego Chinese community.  Through this project, the SDCHM will invite museum community members to share stories with their family through oral history interviews to take place via a series of public workshops. Workshops will take place at the Pei Chen Liu and Tsuan-Nien Chang Library at the Museum’s Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Extension (328 J Street, San Diego 92101) starting July 27, 2019.


Each workshop will see Museum stakeholders share stories related to different themes inspired by objects of the Museum’s permanent collection. The themes include:

  • The history of the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association as a community-based organization in San Diego
  • Stories of Chinese-American veterans
  • The Chinese Mission Church
  • The creation of the Asian-Pacific Thematic Historic District in downtown San Diego

Workshops take place in English, Standard Chinese (Mandarin) and/or Cantonese, depending on the language preferences of participants.  

These workshops mark the start of a new phase of the ongoing oral history program here at the Museum. Interview conversations are recorded as video segments, which may be used to produce two types of media products:

  1. Longer (15-30 minutes) narrative video pieces, which will be made available on-site, at the Museum’s oral history library, and (eventually) online.
  2. Shorter (under 5 minutes) video clips that focus on a specific topic, to be linked to items featured in Museum exhibitions, and activated by visitors with use of a smartphone and a QR code.

Edited project media will be available for consultation at the Museum, and on this webpage, starting February 2020. We are excited to watch the project continue to develop!

PAST WORKSHOPS:

  •  July 27, 2019, featuring guest, Murray K. Lee (historian, WWII Veteran, career civil servant, and advocate for Chinese-American Veterans in San Diego).
  • August 31, 2019, featuring guests Dr. Alexander (Ph.D., P.E.) and Mrs. Agnes Chuang (President of the Chinese Historical Society of Greater San Diego and Baja California, 1994-1996, Chairman of the SDCHM Planning and Management Committee, 1992-2016, Executive Director of the SDCHM, 1996-2016)
  • September 28, 2019featuring guest, Tom Hom (civic, business and community leader in San Diego, who has played an important role advocating for the protection of structures that are significant to the history of the local Chinese American community).
  • November 10, 2019featuring guest, Amie Lee Garapich (long-term resident of San Diego and docent for the Asian-Pacific Historic District walking tour, hosted each month at the Museum).
  • November 10, 2019featuring guest, Peter D. Chu (attorney at law, president of the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association).

Saturday, November 30, 2019Project unveiling and reception

On November 30th, 2019, the San Diego Chinese Historical Society and Museum welcomed the public to a reception to share updates on the current phase of the Museum’s oral history project.  

Starting in the Chuang Garden at 404 Third Avenue, the reception opened with a conversation between project narrators, led by SDCHM Executive Director, Juliana Gay, and Project Coordinator, Elizabeth Hensley C., and with participation of Amie Lee Garapich, Tom Hom, and Murray Lee.  After this public dialogue over lunch, we transitioned over to the Pei Chen Liu and Tsun-Nien Chang Library, where members of the public had the chance to review material from the San Diego Chinese American Oral History Project, get to know the technical set up of the current phase, and view a video short built with footage from each of the five interview workshops that have taken place to date.

This project was made possible with support from California Humanities, a non-profit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Visit www.calhum.org.

The Humanities For All Quick Grant is a competitive grant program of California Humanities that supports locally initiated public humanities projects that respond to the needs and interests of Californians, encourage greater public participation in humanities programming, (particularly by new and/or underserved audiences), and promotes understanding and empathy among all our state’s peoples in order to cultivate a thriving democracy. The $3,665 received from California Humanities will go toward the purchase of equipment and supplies for project workshop sessions.  

Some support was also received from the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, through its Community Enhancement Program, for FY19-20.  Thank you to District 1 Supervisor, Greg Cox, and to District 4 Supervisor, Nathan Fletcher, for your recommendations!

Additional support will be needed to fund staff time dedicated to the project. If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation in support of this project, you may do so online (using the “Donate” link to the left of this text), via the phone (619-338-9888) or by mail (404 Third Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101).

Our Tax Identification Number is: 33-0179740.