Wing Luke Asian Museum Community-based Exhibition Model is dedicated to all of the community members who help us create exhibitions and tell stories in increasingly unique and powerful ways
With special thanks for their support to
Nathan Cummings Foundation
Written by: Cassie Chinn, WLAM Program Director
Diagram design by: Wilmer Dario Galindo
Copyright 2006 by the Wing Luke Asian Museum
For over the past decade, Wing Luke Asian Museum Executive Director Ron Chew and various staff members have shared about the Museum, its work, and its community-based exhibition model, oral history gathering, and approach to community partnerships at local, regional and national conferences. Periodically individuals from other organizations – both staff and volunteers – have journeyed to our home in Seattle from as far away as Russia and Japan to meet with our staff and see first-hand our work to empower our communities to share their stories. While we have always had a strong base of Asian Pacific American college interns – mostly local community members attending nearby universities and community colleges – in recent years, we have had museum studies graduate students working as summer interns from both West and East Coast universities. Every so often published writings feature our work, a mention in an article, an example in a case study, and on occasion, a short article written by our Executive Director.
This past year we received support to document and share about our work in fuller ways than ever before. Through funding by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Nathan Cummings Foundation, we hosted three intimate convenings with staff from ethnic-specific and emerging cultural institutions who met at our institution for 2 ½ days of intensive workshops to learn about our work and exchange experiences.
During the convenings, we tried to be transparent, sharing accomplishments, difficulties and insights. It is in this same spirit that we produce this website, offering purview into our community-based exhibition model. We do not have all the answers for this type of work. As you will hopefully witness, we are perhaps best characterized not by our expertise but by our willingness to try. And here, we try to put to paper our model, which admittedly is continuing to evolve as we gain more experience and learn more lessons. We hope this website helps you in your daily work. We hope it sparks further experimentation in the field. Ultimately, we hope it results in more community members having the opportunity to not only tell their own stories but to have a meaningful experience doing it.
A printed handbook, which includes an indepth look and a detailed example of the Community-based Exhibition Model in action through our Sikh Community: Over 100 Years in the Pacific Northwest exhibition, is available at nominal expense to cover postage. To request a printed handbook on the Wing Luke Asian Museum Community-based Exhibition Model, please contact Cassie Chinn, Program Director, (206) 623-5124 x.131.