Unique Community Storytelling Event Celebrates Chinese Immigrant Heritage

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Date: January 23, 2014
Contact: Morgan Smith, 415-561-7049
Contact: Rene Young, 415-648-1302

 Lunar New Year Event Will Present Folk Memories Across Generations

Saturday, February 8, 2014, 2-4pm aboard the 1886 Balclutha at Hyde Street Pier

 San Francisco – In honor of Chinese New Year, Chinese Whisperssmin partnership with the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park will present “Heritage of Hope,” a unique afternoon of storytelling, presentations and interactive activities aboard the historic sailing ship Balclutha, on February 8th from 2-4pm. The event will celebrate the spirit of hope and persistence in Chinese immigrant communities, and connect past and present in the ongoing immigrant experience. This program is accessible and appropriate for all ages, and free with a $5 Park boarding pass (entry is free for accompanied children under 16, and to holders of National Park passes). Space is limited.

The multimedia event will feature stories from contemporary immigrants in San Francisco’s Chinatown, drawn from Chinese Whispers’ Immigrant Voices” workshops with the Chinatown YMCA, alongside historic stories from earlier immigrant communities. Park Ranger Kristal Ip will recount her great uncle’s experience coming through Angel Island, from a chapter by historian Judy Yung in the upcoming second edition of Island: Poetry and History of Chinese Immigration on Angel Island, 1910-1940, and Ranger David Pelfry will discuss the little-known, specialized role of skilled Chinese immigrants in the history of the cannery industry. To conclude the program, writer and cultural activist Arlene Goldbard will facilitate audience story sharing. The event will take place in the shelterdeck of the square-rigger Balclutha

From 1904 to 1930, the 1886 Balclutha carried fishermen, cannery workers, and supplies from San Francisco Bay to Alaska. Exhibits aboard the ship include a re-creation of the Chinese cannery workers’ quarters from that era.

Chinese Whispersis a multi-site community storytelling project about the Chinese who helped build the Transcontinental Railroad, mines, and settlements of the American West. It brings this overlooked history to light through an innovative program of research, storytelling and artistic productions, and public engagement. To learn more about Chinese Whispers, please visit Chinese-whispers.org.

Chinese Whispers Artistic and Founding Director Rene Yung is an internationally exhibiting artist, designer and writer. Her cross-disciplinary works articulate the hidden and the overlooked by connecting community, history and place in creative forms. A native of Hong Kong, she has exhibited at venues including TransCulture, part of the 46th Venice Biennale, and has developed transdisciplinary projects with institutions including the Stanford Archaeology Center, Stanford University. Her installation “Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread,” is currently on exhibit at the San Jose Museum of Contemporary Art. 

San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park includes a fleet of National Historic Landmark vessels, the Maritime Museum, a Visitor Center, the Aquatic Park Historic District, and a maritime library. The park offers regular programs, special events, and hosts a monthly Sea Chantey sing. For more information, call 415-447-5000, or visit the park online at nps.gov/safror facebook.com/SanFranciscoMaritimeNHP.

Chinese Whispers sm is supported in part by the San Francisco Arts Commission, the Creative Work Fund, Cal Humanities, the San Francisco Foundation and Center for Cultural Innovation, and is fiscally sponsored by the Intersection for the Arts.


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Last updated: March 1, 2015

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