Monthly Newsletter | APRIL 2020
Museum closed through 5/30 or until further notice
Per the extended COVID-19 Executive Order issued by our Governor, JB Pritzker, the Chinese American Museum of Chicago (CAMOC) will continue to be closed through 5/30 or until further notice. Our staff is working remotely, and is available to answer any questions by email.

We will continue to closely monitor the situation to assess the need for the closure and will send out updates by email, social media and our website.

Please stay safe, wash your hands and take care of yourselves and each other.

| From the Executive Director |

April is the month for us to stay at home! 

During the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, the Chinese American Museum of Chicago (CAMOC) continues to follow government advice and the safety and well-being of our staff, volunteers and visitors are of the utmost importance. In line with the latest guidelines and Stay-At-Home order, CAMOC extended its closure through the end of May or until further notice.

Our doors may be closed but we are still here for our visitors. With millions of people isolated due to the COVID-19 outbreak and the demand for virtual museum tours surging, we want to make sure vital cultural experiences can be accessed online. We created a virtual tour of our temporary exhibition Attic Treasures II and put it on Vamonde, a place-based storytelling platform which allows us to create our own multimedia adventures, in order to continue engaging with the public and CAMOC community. 

On the other hand, you can help us enrich our collections of Chinese American histories by sharing a story of your family’s history with us. These historical memories may in turn be shared online in the form of words, pictures or even recordings. 

The current crisis is taking a distressing financial toll on many museums regardless of their type and size. CAMOC is no exception. We are already facing financial challenges that force us to cut expenses. In these difficult times, we ask you to consider supporting our work by making a donation or becoming a member of CAMOC. Your support is needed now more than ever! Your support will help us sustain our operations so that we can continue our mission to advance the appreciation of Chinese American culture through exhibitions, education, public programs, and research and to preserve the past, present, and future of Chinese Americans primarily in the Midwest.

While we are preparing for our new exhibition regarding the stories of Chinese American Cuisine, we realize and witness that many Chinese restaurants are now struggling to survive amid the current crisis. Please also consider supporting them by ordering takeout or delivery dishes.

Any level of support will mean a lot to us and definitely make a difference!

Stay safe! Stay Healthy! Stay Connected!

Ben Lau
Executive Director

| April Highlights |

We’ve all heard stories about a friend who found some precious treasures in their attic -- a lost family heirloom or a priceless work of art -- the truth is all of us likely have objects in our attics, or closets, or basements, or somewhere else that have fantastic stories to tell. Every year we receive a wide array of attic treasures from around our community; each with its own special history, each a part of the ongoing story of Chinatown.

In fact, we received so many of your treasures it can be hard to find a single theme to share them all under, which is why we’ve created Attic Treasures II -- to show off some of our favorite items that have not previously been on display at the Museum. To help you imagine the lives these objects once lived we’ve arranged them as if they were in a home. With similar items from different eras and places we hope to spark your curiosity as you compare and contrast.

At the same time you may ask: “What happens when a treasure leaves an attic to become part of a museum collection, one of the Museum’s ‘attic treasures’?” As you explore each of the rooms in this house you will also go behind the scenes and learn about how the Museum cares for, and uses, the curious and delightful attic treasures we receive.

See the Online Exhibition HERE
We believe memories become stories, and stories are woven into history. It is in this spirit that CAMOC is launching a new oral history project entitled My Family Story that aims to explore, honor, and preserve the family history and cultural heritage of Chinese American communities throughout Chicago and the greater Midwest. These historical memories will directly enrich our collection and may even be featured in future exhibits. These memories could include a family photo, a favorite recipe from a grandmother, beautiful clothes and jewelry of your mother, or a song that your father used to hum.

A few ideas to participate in #MyFamilyStory:

1.Explore the history and meaning of daily objects and traditions around you. Are there items in the house or family traditions that have a connection to the past?

2.Take time for family conversations and stories that reflect on the themes of migration and cultural identity.

3.Connect family stories to American history and discuss the evolution of family traditions over time.

Support us by adding a story of your own, please send your story and picture to office@ccamuseum.org or upload your story HERE
(Please keep your story to 200 words.)
| Monthly Spotlight |
A Note of Thanks - Michaela Milligan

At CAMOC Michaela supports the collections department by providing language skills -- reading and interpreting documents, inscriptions, and notes written in Chinese -- as well as applying her cultural insights to the interpretation of the collection. Michaela further assists the department with her research abilities, employing multiple research methods across media in several languages to enhance collections activities.

Michaela also assists in the documentary processes of the collections department including photographing, transcribing, describing, and housing of objects. In her role as one of the co-curators for Attic Treasures II, Michaela envisioned the conceit of the exhibition: placing seemingly random objects into imagined rooms of a multi-generational family, demonstrating their meaning though a familiar context. Michaela’s favorite object currently on display is the painted water thermos on the first floor, she is drawn to the artistic style and its relationship to the utilitarian function of the vessel.

Summa Cum Laude graduate of DePaul University with a degree in Anthropology and Chinese Studies, minors in Art History and Museum Studies, and Global Fluency Certificate. Michaela has acquired extensive experience in cultural research and analysis, supporting the management of culturally significant museum exhibits, and engaging with diverse groups in cultural education programs. Michaela has an advanced understanding and connectivity between the Chinese and other cultures, in part through her research, leadership roles, internships, and volunteer engagements.

| New Exhibition in Preparation |
Eating bitterness: Stories of Chinese American Cuisine (opening Date TBD)
Through waves of Chinese immigrants beginning with California’s gold rush pioneers, Chinese American cuisine continuously transformed itself up to modern times where it is now becoming more authentic and reflects a variety of regional styles. Come explore this fascinating history, experience our restaurateur stories and cooking demonstrations, and examine the complex history of Chicago Chinese American restaurants.

| Upcoming Events |
Sat, August 15, 2020
2:oo PM

Asian Pop-Up Cinema is held seasonally in the spring and in the fall. We are excited to host another screening again.

Movie Summary:
A group of four telecommunications employees at Pegasus Broadband, headlined by Francis Ng in his most charming role in recent memory, begrudgingly join the company dragon boat team hoping such a pledge of loyalty will keep them immune from encroaching layoffs. Under the tutelage of the pretty young no-nonsense coach, Dorothy (Jennifer Yu) they learn not just how to really race, but also to confront their own impending mid-life crises. From nagging families and infidelity to unrequited love and elusive Andy Lau concert tickets, myriad demons are exorcised as our bungling protagonists overcome the odds and take charge in this life-affirming comedy-drama.

See trailer HERE

We will send the tickets registration link once available.
[Postponed] TALK STORIES

Talk Stories, scheduled for Wednesday April 22, will be rescheduled to a later date. Stayed tuned for our announcement. Please take care and be well during this challenging time.

We will send the tickets registration link once available.

| Volunteers Wanted! |

We are looking for dedicated, reliable, and energetic individuals who would like to experience our historic institution from the inside — as volunteers! We need volunteers for docents, greeters and special events. If you are interested in volunteering for us, please use the button below to visit our related page and download a volunteer form:
About Us

The mission of the Chinese American Museum of Chicago - Raymond B. & Jean T. Lee Center (CAMOC) is is to advance the appreciation of Chinese American culture through exhibitions, education, and research and to preserve the past, present, and future of Chinese Americans primarily in the Midwest.

The museum building, formerly the Quong Yick Co., is located in Chicago's Chinatown, at 238 West 23rd Street in Chicago. The Museum opened to the public on May 21, 2005. After a devastating fire in September of 2008, the Museum was closed for renovation and reopened in 2010.

CAMOC is governed by the Board of Directors of the Chinatown Museum Foundation (CMF), a 501(C)(3) non-profit corporation located in Chicago, Illinois.