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Monthly Newsletter | July 2021

Museum Hours

Wednesday: 9:30am to 2pm
Friday: 9:30am to 2pm (starting August 13)
Saturday & Sunday: 10am to 5pm

Group visits by appointment only.


Masks are still required for all individuals entering the building regardless of each individual’s vaccination status. We also continue to encourage physical distancing in all our spaces. We will closely monitor the pandemic situation and may extend the reopening to more weekdays in the coming months. We have established protocols to ensure the safely of our visitors, volunteers, and staff.
| From the Executive Director |

July is a splendid month! The Chicago Chinatown Summer Fair is back in an even larger scale after being called off last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic! CAMOC is excited to participate in the 2-day event with a booth.

As more and more visitors are returning to Chinatown, CAMOC will reopen Fridays to the public in August. We also plan to start offering in-person public programming soon, such as the Mid-Autumn Festival Celebration in September and a community engagement screening in October. So, stay tuned.

In the meantime, we still have a number of virtual events in the pipeline. Among them, the lecture "Sailing to Cathay: Maritime Trade Routes to Asia Before & After the Arrival of Europeans at the Turn of the 16th Century" presented by Andrew Singer is one you can not afford to miss. More information about this event can be found below.
Our Exhibition and Collections and Research teams are working diligently on two exhibits, CHINESE AMRICAN VETERANS: THE AMERICAN HEROES and CHINESE CUISINE IN AMERICA: STORIES, STRUGGLES & SUCCESSES. The former will open on Veterans Day, November 11, and the latter will open in early 2022. Be sure not to miss them!


Ben Lau
Executive Director
| July Highlights |

Chicago Chinatown Summer Fair
CAMOC volunteers and staff greeted the visitors on the 1st day of the 2-day Chinatown Summer Fair. If you couldn't make it to the fair today, no worries - we'll be here tomorrow from 10am to 7pm!

Top photo (left to right): David Lee, Ram Moy (front), Yin Kean (back), Soo Lon Moy (front) and President Ed Jung (back).

Middle photo (left to right): ED Ben Lau, John Hsiao, Ram Moy, Soo Lon Moy, Rich Frachey, Mabel Moy, and David Lee (far right).

Bottom photo (left to right): Riley Ren, ED Ben Lau, Illinois State Rep. Theresa Mah, Jamie Moy, 11th Ward Alderman Patrick D. Thompson, Soo Lon Moy, Rich Frachey, John Hsiao, Ram Moy, and David Lee.
Si Chen retires from Chicago Public Library Chinatown Branch
Si Chen, a longtime friend of CAMCO, will be retiring from Chicago Public Library and her last day as branch manager of Chinatown Branch is July 31. ED Ben Lau participated in a well-deserved ZOOM celebration for her on July 29 (Top photo). He and Soo Lon Moy (BoD) were invited to a "Special Farewell Tour with Si" at Chinatown Library on July 30 when Si shared her vision of the library (Bottom photo).

Si began with CPL Chinatown Branch in 1996, was promoted to the branch manager at Brighton Park branch, and then transferred back to Chinatown library in 2005. She participated in several Chinatown's development projects, served as a member of several organizations including the Asian American and Pacific Islander committee, the Chinese American Library Association, and the American Library Association.
Second Session of
Fantastical Creatures Online Workshop
CAMOC co-hosted the second of two online drawing sessions for children and families on July 24. Artist Diana Solis taught them how to draw some of the plants and animals that live in the Burnham Wildlife Corridor and use their imagination to transform them into their own fantastical creatures. CAMOC also handed out free art materials while supplies last. Thank you to everyone who joined us for the online workshop!
Here is a fun drawing by ED Ben Lau, made during the workshop!
CAMOC Co-Hosts AN UNTOLD PAST:
Chinese Americans in the Midwest
CAMOC co-hosted this exciting discussion presented by the Chinese American Museum (Los Angeles) on July 20. The discussion was moderated by multimedia artist and art history Lecturer, Larry Lee, as well as three artists: Chien-An Yuan, Frances Kai-Hwa Wang, and Jave Yoshimoto. The program examined how early Chinese Americans settled in Midwest states and the ways their descendants are holding on to community and heritage today. The artists shared their unique experiences living and working in places that offer limited ways to connect to Asian American culture and how they have carved space to create opportunities and communities of their own.

“An Untold Past” is a series developed by the Chinese American Museum (Los Angeles) to tell the often unknown history of Chinese diasporas in the US and around the world. Thank you to all who joined us!
CAMOC Joins "Belonging in Chinatown" Event
CAMOC tabled at the Belonging in Chinatown event in Ping Tom Park on July 10. We welcomed the public to visit the Museum, as well as register for our virtual events. It was an afternoon filled with special performances, storytelling, and giveaways - all in celebration of the summer.

The event was hosted by the Chicago Chinatown Chamber of Commerce and CBCAC (Coalition for a Better Chinese American Community). Special thanks to CAMOC's new interns Furong and Flora for helping out! It was a pleasure to be able to celebrate with other Chinatown organizations and our community.

Top photo (left to right): Flora Wu, Soo Lon Moy (BoD), Furong Yang, and ED Ben Lau
Bottom photo (left to right): Ben, Loreen Targos, 25th Ward Alderman Byron Sigcho-Lopez, and Soo Lon
History of Chinatown Training for Interns
ED Ben Lau presented an introduction of the history of Chicago's Chinatown and CAMOC to the interns of Summer Internship programs hosted by CBCAC on July 9. The interns were assigned to various organizations or entities in the community that include State Rep Theresa Mah's Office, the 25th Ward Aldermanic Office, IL Central Management Service, IL Department of Aging, and more.
TEAACH Act Signed into Law
Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed the TEAACH Act (Teaching Equitable Asian American Community History Act) into law on July 9. Illinois is the first state in the U.S. to require Asian American history be taught in public schools! CAMOC was one of the supporting organizations of the Act.

Curriculum must include "the events of Asian American history, including the history of Asian Americans in Illinois and the Midwest, as well as the contributions of Asian Americans toward advancing civil rights from the 19th century onward," the legislation reads.

"We are setting a new standard for what it means to truly reckon with our history. It’s a new standard that helps us understand one another, and, ultimately, to move ourselves closer to the nation of our ideals," Pritzker said in a statement.

The law goes into effect January 1, and the requirement begins in the 2022-3 school year for public elementary and high schools. CAMOC will continue to play our part in educating the public about Chinese American history.

(Photo from Illinois State Rep. Theresa Mah)
E.D. Ben Lau Talks with City Cast Chicago About the 2021 Chinatown Summer Fair
Ahead of this year's Chinatown Summer Fair, E.D. Ben Lau was interviewed on the popular podcast City Cast Chicago, hosted by Jacoby Cochran.

Along with organizer Shifa Zhong, they discussed their immigration stories, the changes they have witnessed in Chicago's Chinatown, intergenerational relationships within the community, and their hopes for Chinatown's future.

To listen to the podcast, click one of the links below.

| Monthly Spotlight |
Welcome our new summer intern Furong Yang!

Furong (she/her/hers) grew up in the Guangdong district of China, and so did her parents. She came here when she was 7 years old, but has visited China twice since she has been in the US. Cantonese and Mandarin were her first languages and she later learned English and French. She attends Whitney Young Magnet High School, where she will be a senior in September.

Furong is currently taking accounting classes. hoping to major in finance or business in college and finding jobs in those fields after. Some of my hobbies are traveling and trying new things, especially new food! Though I can barely cook, the feeling the excitement and fear is what makes it a fun experience.

What is your favorite part of the Museum?

My favorite part of the Museum is definitely the quietness. When visitors come in, I greet them and notify them that we are ready anytime they want to watch our short video about the oral history of Chinatown. Although I am only interning for the summer, this is such a great learning experience! 

CAMOC is grateful to have Furong help out as the Museum has reopened more this summer. When you see her, don't forget to introduce yourself and say hello!


| Upcoming Events |
Chinatown Summer Fair
Saturday, July 31 & Sunday, August 1
12pm to 10pm CT 10am to 7pm CT

Location: Chinatown along Wentworth Ave

This iconic and popular annual celebration of Far East culture returns for its 42nd festive year! Highlights include the Dragon & Lion Dance Procession, artisans, plenty of great cuisine, activities for families and children, and more.

CAMOC will also have a table to educate the public about the Museum, with live calligraphy demonstrations. Some calligraphy pieces will also be for sale! Come by and celebrate with the Chinatown community!
Lecture Presented by Andrew Singer
"Sailing to Cathay: Maritime Trade Routes to Asia Before & After the Arrival of Europeans at the Turn of the 16th Century"
Date: Saturday, August 7, 2021
Time: 2pm CT
Location: Virtual

This lecture explores the vibrant maritime trade routes that existed in the Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean, and South China Sea before and after the arrival of the Europeans in Asia at the turn of the 16th century. Maritime trade routes were the global highways of the ancient world carrying commodities, art, ideas, people, and religion between Europe and Asia, with significant societal impacts felt at both ends.


About Andrew:

Andrew Singer is a writer and speaker about China, a traveler, history lover, collector of books and Chinese snuff bottles, and by day, a land use and environmental permitting lawyer on Cape Cod in Massachusetts. He dreamt about China from a young age and spent a year in China during college in the mid 1980’s. He has been a Chinese translator with the U.S. government. He has skydived, hiked the Salkantay Trail in Peru, and camped on the Great Wall of China.

Andrew writes a twice-monthly newsletter on China, America, and cross-cultural connections.

His website can be found here. His email is andrewsingerchina@gmail.com.

| New Membership Program |

Becoming a member is a simple and effective way to get involved with the Chinese-American Museum of Chicago. Your membership represents a personal investment in the Museum and ensures the continuation of the wide array of quality exhibitions, programs, and events we bring to the community. In addition, you are affirming the importance of the Museum’s commitment to bring the Chinese-American experience in the Midwest to as many people as possible.


$150 = Free event admission for member & 3 guests for 1 year

$100 = Free event admission for member & 1 guest for 1 year

$60 = Free event admission for member only for 1 year

$30 = Free event admission for seniors & students for 1 year

$500Corporate Membership for 1 year (with 10 individual memberships, recognition in program & on plaque)


For Members who support us beyond the basic level, we offer extra recognition and the following benefits:

$250Bronze (Honorary Membership)

$500Silver (Honorary Membership)

$1,000Gold (Lifetime Membership or a small donor brick)

$1,500Platinum (Lifetime Membership and a small donor brick)

$5,000Diamond (Large donor brick)

$5,500Jade (Large donor brick plus Lifetime Membership)
TOP:
Large Brick
7.5" X 7.5"


BOTTOM:
Small Brick
3.5" X 7.5"
You can read the full list of benefits on our website by clicking the button below. There are also instructions on how to join at the bottom of the page, along with the Membership Form.

| 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.
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.