Investment will rehabilitate the historical building and modernize the museum’s archives
- Abigail Rivamonte Mesa
San Francisco – Today in Chinatown, Assemblymember Matt Haney (D-San Francisco) announced an $850,000 budget investment that would restore and preserve the Julia Morgan Dance Hall where the Chinese Historical Society of America (CHSA) is headquartered. The building, which was originally part of the historical Young Women’s Christian Association, is home to CHSA’s archives. The new funds will go towards digitizing the archives and investing in augmented reality and virtual reality assets for museum programming.
“With the increase in AAPI hate and violence here and all around the county, there’s never been a more important time to tell the important history and contributions of the Chinese Americans who built this city,” said Assemblymember Matt Haney. “CHSA provides a great opportunity for everyone who visits the museum to learn about the contributions of Chinese Americans to the culture of San Francisco. This new technology will help bring the stories of our city’s Chinese founders to life.”
“CHSA is poised to be one of the nation's leading venues for XR "extended reality" and digital storytelling,” said Justin Hoover, Executive Director of the Chinese Historical Society of America. “This funding helps us to rehabilitate significant parts of our historically landmarked building, originally created by the renowned architect Julia Morgan, and helps to establish a new digital learning center with the goal of transforming our 20,000+ artifact archive into an augmented reality and virtual reality learning resource. Thanks to support such as this, as well as matching funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Archive and Records Administration, CHSA is taking bold steps in historical preservation in service of digital storytelling to create the museum of the future, and continues to be a space by/of/ and for all the residents of Chinatown, San Francisco and beyond,” said Hoover.
“Chinese Americans have helped make this country what it is today. I proudly supported this state investment because we must preserve that history to not only highlight our contributions, but also provide learning opportunities that foster greater understanding amid Asian hate. The more people know about our struggles and achievements, the greater our chances of acceptance,” said Assembly Budget Chair Phil Ting (D-San Francisco).
“Bringing these historical artifacts and oral histories into the 22nd century will ensure that future generations will learn from the mistakes of our cities past as well as the accomplishments the Chinese community have brought to the citizens of San Francisco,” said Haney.