Pop-up Museum – Our Salinas Stories: Inside / Outside Salinas Chinatown

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Interior of Republic Cafe. Photo by Jean Vengua.

Asian Cultural Experience (A.C.E. )Pop-up Museum
Our Salinas Stories: Inside / Outside Salinas Chinatown

When: First Friday, March 7, 2014, 5:00 pm–8:00 pm
Cost: FREE
Where: National Steinbeck Center, 1 S. Main St., Salinas, CA
On the front terrace if weather permits; inside NSC if it’s cold or rainy.
For more information: contact Jean Vengua, okir2k@gmail.com

Salinas Chinatown was founded by Chinese merchants in 1893. During the early to mid 20th century, the 12 square block area was home to many closely-knit Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, Mexican, and African American families. They lived, worked, and played together within their thriving neighborhood, and ventured outside of the area mainly to go to school or to work. On the other hand, many Salinas residents who lived outside of Chinatown may have perceived it as an exotic, perhaps even dangerous place.

This Pop-up Museum (the first in a series focusing on Salinas Chinatown) sponsored by Asian Cultural Experience (A.C.E.) in collaboration with the National Steinbeck Center, explores and, more importantly, brings together those two worlds: Inside and Outside Chinatown.

• Did you live inside Chinatown? What was it like when you were a child? How did you view the larger Salinas community outside of your neighborhood? How do you perceive the area now?

• Did you live outside of Chinatown? How did you, or do you view the Chinatown community? Did you ever walk or drive through Chinatown, talk to the people, or take photographs? Did you have friends in Chinatown, or do business there?

We invite Salinas residents and visitors to come and share their experiences as insiders or outsiders to Chinatown, and find our common ground. Bring one or two objects or photographs, and especially your stories, to share with us. For the 3-hour period of the Pop-up, we will provide temporary exhibit space and labels for your items, along with snacks, music, and people who are interested in your story. If you would like us to record your story for the future Salinas Chinatown Cultural Center and Museum, we will have recording equipment.

We look forward to seeing you!

See also:

* Salinas Chinatown Walking Tour (a website-in-progress)
* Salinas Chinatown awarded grants

This post is part of the thread: Salinas Chinatown Museum Project – an ongoing story on this site. View the thread timeline for more context on this post.