By Greg Hugh, Staff Writer

The project "100 Years of Chinese American History in MN from 1911 - 2011 - Story from Within" was unveiled at a recent ribbon cutting ceremony of the Photo Exhibition held at the historic Landmark Center in St. Paul.   This event is sponsored by the Minnesota Chinese Cultural Services Center (MCCSC), Chinese American Academic and Professional Association in Minnesota (CAAPAM), Asian Media Access (AMA), Minnesota Veterans Association in Minnesota (MCVA), and several other Chinese community organizations. The project will highlight the Chinese American Minnesotans, their contributions and struggles, with a special emphasis on the Oral and Photo History throughout Minnesota.  The event included the ribbon cutting ceremony for the Photo Exhibition, Introduction of the 15 Oral History Interviewees, and Exhibition Tour.  

 By Greg Hugh, Staff Writer

The project "100 Years of Chinese American History in MN from 1911 - 2011 - Story from Within" was unveiled at a recent ribbon cutting ceremony of the Photo Exhibition held at the historic Landmark Center in St. Paul.  This event is sponsored by the Minnesota Chinese Cultural Services Center (MCCSC), Chinese American Academic and Professional Association in Minnesota (CAAPAM), Asian Media Access (AMA), Minnesota Veterans Association in Minnesota (MCVA), and several other Chinese community organizations. The project will highlight the Chinese American Minnesotans, their contributions and struggles, with a special emphasis on the Oral and Photo History throughout Minnesota.  The event included the ribbon cutting ceremony for the Photo Exhibition, Introduction of the 15 Oral History Interviewees, and Exhibition Tour.  

Prior to the ribbon cutting, the gathering was welcomed by Biing-Huei Su, followed by remarks from Brian Horrigan, representing the Minnesota Historical Society and Weiming Liu. Angie Hwang then introduced each of the 15 people that participated in the oral history portion and presented them with a gift of appreciation.

The reason of choosing the 100 years - from 1911 - 2011 is inspired by the Minnesota Historical Society book – "Chinese in Minnesota" description:

By 1910 the Chinese population had grown to nearly 400. This included more than 100 Chinese men in Iron Range towns, where they operated small businesses, including laundries, to meet the demands of the men who worked in lumber camps and mines. Family life developed slowly in Minnesota's early Chinese community and elsewhere in the United States, due to the restrictions of the immigration law, Chinese tradition, and the high cost of trans-Pacific travel. Nevertheless, at least six families were established in Minnesota before 1910.

The year 1911 is seen as a new beginning for Chinese American in Minnesota, with establishing immigration patterns and soon many events followed, such as: establishing cultural and social organizations, businesses, involving in mainland politics, and active education exchange, etc.

After the ribbon cutting ceremony the gathering returned to the hall where they partook of a variety of healthy snacks to visit and join in a celebratory toast of the event with committee members that is organizing the event. 

The project intends capture information about Chinese immigration history in Minnesota, settling experience and their memories in relationships to historical events back in the homeland. The whole project will include:

●15 Oral History Interviews with Chinese Americans in Minnesota
●Photo and Audio/Video Exhibition, May – June, 2011 (along with Chinese American Artists' works)
● Educational Package with DVDs, including Photo Exhibition of Chinese American History in MN, 15 Oral History Interviews, 100 Chinese Families Slide Show and the whole year event records.

The 100 Years of Chinese American History in Minnesota Photo Exhibition I will continue at the Landmark Center, 75-5th St. W., St. Paul, until June 15: Mon., Tue., Wed., Fri. 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Thu. 8 a.m.-8 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun. Noon-5 p.m. Admission is free.                     

The exhibit will then be moved and becomes 100 Years of Chinese American History in Minnesota Photo Exhibition II & Chinese American Arts Exhibition that will be unveiled at an Opening Gala on June 16, 2011 from 4 p.m.-6 p.m., at the Burnsville Performing Arts Center, 12600 Nicollet Avenue, Burnsville, Minn. The exhibit will be on display from June 16-July 16, 2011. For complete information on this and other upcoming events visit www.roc100minnesota.info or call 651-733-9827. 

All of these events are free and open to the public. The Minnesota Historical Society's Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund made this project possible.

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CHINAINSIGHT (CI) is published monthly ((except July/August and November/December are combined) by China Insight, Inc., an independent, privately owned company started in 2001 and headquartered in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota.

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