PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- With the rise of AAPI hate, there's a new American Chinese Museum in Northeast Philadelphia founded with a mission of fostering mutual respect and understanding. Karen Rogers has the story in this week's 6abc Loves the Arts.
The American Chinese Museum covers more than 200 years of Chinese American history.
"We want Americans to learn what we provided for this country, what we did," says Holly Meng, Deputy Curator at the American Chinese Museum.
There are six permanent exhibitions with themes such as inclusion and exclusion, 170 years of Chinese food in America, and trade relations between the US and China that date to the founding days of the nation.
"George Washington really wanted to buy some China from China," says Meng.
Jason Lam established the museum as a nonprofit last year. A grand opening is planned for the fall, but visitors are welcome now by appointment.
"Especially the very beginning pandemic, we see a lot of Asian hate. So, he feels obligated we need to do something about this," says Meng.
There are exhibits covering the first Chinese immigrants, drawn by the California Gold Rush in 1848 and to jobs.
"At that time, we have about 20,000 Chinese workers from China come here to build the railroad," says Meng.
The museum is housed in a Victorian twin that was built and occupied by celebrated architect Horace W. Castor. The building is on the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places.
"We actually preserved it not only like a historian part but it will also give them new life as the American Chinese museum now," says Meng.
The museum also has an exhibition celebrating the contributions of prominent Chinese Americans-in politics, science and the arts.
"We really love this country. We hope this museum will become a destination landmark for Philadelphia," says Meng, "How can we work together to make a better stronger country.
7345-7347 Oxford Avenue Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19111
By appointment only