Monthly Newsletter | January 2021
Temporary Museum Closure

As Illinois moves to Tier 1 Resurgence Mitigations, all cultural institutions can now open under Phase 4 rules, Chinese American Museum of Chicago (CAMOC)remains closed until further notice. Our staff is working remotely, and is available to answer any questions by email.
| From the Executive Director|

Happy New Year! Happy Lunar New Year of the Ox!

There are good news and sad news in the beginning of a new year. The good news was that we finally see a silver lining after months of gloominess under the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many regions in Illinois are now making progress in fighting the virus, and has moved out of Tier 3 mitigations to less restrictive tiers. The administration is preparing to proceed with Phase 1B of Illinois’ vaccine distribution plan.

The sad news was that we lost a very good friend, Corky Lee, who passed away on January 27, 2021. Corky and a group of descendants of the Chinese railroad workers reenacted the Promontory Summit photo in 2014 together with other Asian Americans to express the so-called “photographic justice.” A large copy of that photo was displayed in our “Chinese Workers and the Railroad” Photo Exhibition in 2019 before it was replaced by “Attic Treasure II.” The “historic” photo was then moved to a new location in our gift shop. Next time when you come to our Museum, don’t forget to stop by our gift shop to look at the photo and pay tribute to such a great photographer and activist.

CAMOC remains closed to the public but will be making preparation to reopen in the near future. We are currently planning for a number of virtual events in the coming months to keep engaging our community. Among them, our annual Chinese New Year Event will go virtual on February 17. Before that, we will partner with Jewel-Osco to launch two Chinese New Year events, one on February 4 and another on February 10. Unfortunately, there will be no Chinese New Year parade in Chinatown this year due to COVID-19. So, please look for our float next year.

We are also working diligently on a number of mini exhibits. One is called “Chinese American Veterans: The American Heroes” which will open on Veterans Day this year to honor the Chinese American veterans.

So stay tuned for these exciting events and mini exhibits! 恭喜發財 [gung hei faat choi] (in Cantonese)! 新年快樂 [xīnnián kuàilè] (in Mandarin)!

Ben Lau
Executive Director
Remembering Corky (Young-Kwok) Lee's Legacy
With immense sadness and a heavy heart, we mourn the passing of Corky Lee this month due to COVID-19 complications. He was a very good friend of CAMOC, and had been to our Museum a few times, most recently in 2019 for our event “A Culinary Journey: How Chinese Workers Built the Railroad.”

Corky was a legendary photographer and a well-known activist in Chinese American communities cross the US. He advocated on the Hill for the Congressional Gold Medal for WWII Chinese American Veterans and was involved in many Asian American movements for over 40 years. In a statement released by his family, they wrote:

"[Corky] had a very unique lens. His passion was to rediscover, document and champion through his images the plight of all Americans but most especially that of Asian and Pacific Islanders...He has left us with what is likely to be the single largest repository of the photographic history of Asian Americans of the past half century."

He will be greatly missed and his legacy will live on. Read his family's full statement and a CNN article about his legacy by clicking on the buttons below.
CAMOC Participates in Roots & Routes 2021 Virtual Convening
Museum Board President Ed Jung (2nd row, far right) and Executive Director Ben Lau (1st row, 2nd from left) participated in Roots & Routes 2021 Virtual Convening on January 30 to celebrate the 5th anniversary of the Lakefront Gathering Spaces, reconnect with partners and plan future Roots & Routes programming.

| A Call For Volunteers! |

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:
Chinatown Museum Foundation Associate Board
Chinatown Museum Foundation, which governs the Chinese American Museum of Chicago, is forming an Associate Board with the purpose of generating new opportunities for the Museum, especially with programming for high school and college students and young professionals. All skill sets will be considered. If interested in serving on the Associate Board to expand the Museum's public programming and fundraising efforts, please email a letter of interest/cover letter with your resume/curriculum vitae to office@ccamuseum.org.

| Monthly Spotlight |
Welcome our new Associate Board member: Vivian Yan-Gonzalez!

Vivian (she/her) is a doctoral candidate at Stanford University's Department of History. She studies the intersections of liberal and conservative thought, politics, and style among Chinese and Japanese American communities in California in her dissertation, "A Spectrum Apart: Conservatism in Asian America, 1920-1990."

What is your favorite part of the museum?
I appreciate the unique and energetic community that has emerged around CAMOC, which has shown itself to be daring and innovative especially in this year of crises. 

What are you most excited about doing as part of the Associate Board?
I look forward to getting to know the Chicago Chinese American community better, and to help the museum share this region's unique history to a broader audience. 

CAMOC is thrilled to work with Vivian, as well as the rest of the Associate Board, who we will be featuring here in the coming months - so stay tuned!

| Upcoming Events |
Chinese New Year Preparation
with Jewel Osco
Thursday, February 4, 2021 @ 5-6pm CST
Wednesday, February 10, 2021 @ 5-6pm CST
Location: Zoom

The Chinese American Museum of Chicago is partnering with Jewel Osco to get ready to ring in the Year of The Ox! Join us via Zoom, where we’ll show you how to prepare delicious cuisine and drink recipe for the upcoming Chinese New Year holiday, teach you about the history, and more excitement!

This event includes:

  • Cooking demonstrations from Ying Stoller, President & Founder of Ying's Kitchen, who’ll be showing you how to prepare General Tso’s Chicken and KA-ME Noodles, and Chicken Broccoli
  • Cocktail making lesson from Christophe Pienkowski, Martell Brand Ambassador, who’ll be teaching you how to make a Martell Sidecar
  • Cultural activities from the Chinese American Museum
  • Roxanne Janiczek local food blogger and recipe developer will join us as host
  • Giveaways and more!

We’ll also be featuring more products from these brands: Ying's Kitchen, Martell, KA-ME, Cuties Mandarins, Wonderful Pistachios, Tropicana, Scott, and Viva.
2021 Chinese New Year Virtual Celebration
Date: Wednesday, February 17, 2021
Time: 6:00-7:30pm CST
Location: YouTube Premiere

Please join us in welcoming the Year of the Ox at our annual Chinese New Year Celebration. This year's event will take place virtually on YouTube. We have many performances including lion dancing, music, folk dance, calligraphy, Chinese paper cut art, and other CNY traditions. We will also be hosting an auction to raise funds for the Museum. Auction items will be announced shortly! Ring in the lunar new year with a night of celebration!

A link to the watch page will be sent out closer to the date. In the meantime, check out CAMOC's YouTube channel by clicking on the button below.
Straight to the Heart! Storytelling Workshop/Circle
Date: Saturday, February 27, 2021
Time: 1-4pm CST
Location: Virtual Space

Do you want to tell stories to connect with people emotionally and to create intimate communities with others? There are two parts to this workshop/circle. During the first half of the session, we will discuss central tenets of this art form and learn how to craft and tell stories. Participants will share personal stories during the second half of the session.

Instructor bio
Ada Cheng is a professor-turned-storyteller, solo performer, and storytelling show producer. She is the producer and the host of five storytelling shows, including Pour One Out, Am I Man Enough?, Talk Stories: An Asian American/Asian Diaspora Storytelling Show, Speaking Truths Series, and This Is America: Truths through My Body. She creates platforms for people to tell difficult and vulnerable stories as well as spaces for people and communities who may not have opportunities otherwise. She currently works as the Education and Outreach Specialist with Women’s Leadership and Resource Center at UIC, providing training on issues related to gender-based violence. Her interests span multiple fields, including academia, storytelling/performance art, and advocacy. Her motto: Make your life the best story you tell.

For more information visit her website here.
CAMOC Together Against COVID-19 Special Collection
An old Chinese saying, 時勢造英雄 (Shíshì zào yīngxióng ), which means a hero is made in the time of misfortune aptly describes how people rally together in the pandemic. During this challenging time we are deeply moved by the proactive steps and incredible acts of generosity and support exhibited by the Chinese Americans. Thousands of individuals and organizations have been raising money, donating personal protective equipment, and providing free meals to those in need, especially to front-line healthcare workers and others. CAMOC is inviting you to help us preserve these heroic moments by sharing the stories to our Together Against Covid-19 Special Collection.

CAMOC started this special collection with the goal of recording the experiences and stories of individuals, families, and organizations during these unprecedented times. The Together Against Covid-19 Collection will include various forms of content, which can be photos, videos, articles, audios, letters, paintings, certificates, or any form you can think of. If you are not sure whether your content fits our collection or you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Please send your story to covid19@ccamuseum.org , with the subject Together Against Covid-19 Collection. And please include your contact information , including full name, organization or community if applicable, email, phone number, and mailing address.
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.