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San Diego Chinese Historical Museum
The mission of San Diego Chinese History Museum is to collect, preserve and share the Chinese American experience and Chinese history, culture and art to educate our diverse community and its visitors.
In 1986, the San Diego Chinese Historical Society formed in order to preserve and share Chinese and Chinese American history and culture. Ten years later, it founded a museum, which has outgrown its original building, welcomed over 800 current members, launched successful education and community outreach programs and become a landmark in the downtown community.
The museum’s exhibits share the heritage of San Diego’s Chinese community and the essence of Chinese arts and culture through historic photographs, miniature models, ancient artifacts and explanatory text. Special events also celebrate holidays like the Chinese New Year, the Moon Festival, and Veterans Day.
Since 1998, museum education and outreach programs have been bringing history to local schools and community organizations. Today, twelve distinct presentations are available in schools or at the museum, with museum and Asian Pacific Historic District tours available in conjunction with in-house presentations. An average of nearly 2,000 people participate in these programs each year, with an average annual increase of 35%.
The historic mission building rapidly filled up with donations from supporters, so the museum had to expand in 2004. The Capital Funds Campaign raised $900,000 for the project, and the museum purchased a space at 328 J St to model into a modern gallery that now hosts regularly rotating cultural, historical and artistic exhibits. This space also houses the museum library and a lecture hall complete with modern audio-visual equipment and seating for large groups.
The increasingly popularity of museum education programs and the need to store growing archival and artifact collections have led the museum to purchase and begin remodeling a new property to house additional classroom and research space as well as conservation facilities.