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PY-263660-19

Wing Luke Memorial Foundation (Seattle, WA 98104-2948)
Michelle Kumata (Project Director: May 2018 to January 2019)
Jessica A. Rubenacker (Project Director: January 2019 to present)
Stories Across Generations: Pacific Islander Americans in Western Washington

One digitization day, as well as three pop-up exhibits and accompanying public programs to feature oral histories and digitized cultural heritage materials from the Pacific Islander American community in the greater Seattle and King County metro area.  Washington state is home to the third largest Pacific Islander (PI) community in the nation, including 70,000 Native Hawaiians, Samoans, Guamanians, Tongans, Marshallese, and 15 other ethnic groups.  The project represents a collaboration between The Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience (The Wing) and several PI community organizations, including the United Territories of Pacific Islander Alliance (Seattle and Portland chapters) and the Pacific Islander Student Commission at the University of Washington.  PI undergraduate students would be trained in oral history collection and would assist the museum’s collections manager during the digitization day to be hosted at Highline College.  With donor permission, the digitized materials would be made available through the museum’s website.  The Wing would build upon their past success documenting the Burmese American community with a previous Common Heritage award.

The Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience (The Wing) in partnership with the Pacific Islander American (PI) community in Western Washington respectfully request $12,000 to digitize and preserve this underrepresented community’s heritage. Public knowledge about PI Americans is grossly limited due to decades of racism and discrimination as well as lack of local institutions to preserve heritage materials. Furthermore young PI Americans’ knowledge about their own heritage is limited. A series of events involving young adults in collecting oral histories, digitizing local objects of PI American heritage, and presentations about importance heritage collections will help young adults connect with their histories, will affirm the importance of heritage and culture for PI community members, will make the general public more knowledgeable about the PI population, and will be integrated into the collections and exhibitions of The Wing, to continue to support this community.

Project fields:
Asian American Studies; Cultural History; Immigration History

Program:
Common Heritage

Division:
Preservation and Access

Totals:
$12,000 (approved)
$12,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2019 – 6/30/2021