Youth revitalize Chinatown community through art

Asian Community Development Corporation youth Tiffany Wu assisting with installation of art project “Humans of Chinatown” on May 23 in Chinatown. (Image courtesy of Julia Wong.) 亞美社區發展協會青年Tiffany Wu於5月23日在華埠幫助安裝藝術項目『華埠人民』。(圖片由黃秋梨攝。)

Asian Community Development Corporation youth Tiffany Wu assisting with installation of art project “Humans of Chinatown” on May 23 in Chinatown. (Image courtesy of Julia Wong.)

By Julia Wong

 

On April 23, youth from A-VOYCE displayed two art projects in Chinatown.  A-VOYCE is a leadership program for teenagers aged 14 to 18 founded by the Asian Community Development Corporation. The gallery is available for a few weeks on the Hudson Street lot between Mary Soo Hoo Park and the former Ginza Restaurant.

According to A-VOYCE program coordinator Jeena Hah, one of the project goals was to demonstrate Chinatown as “a hub where people from all over greater Boston come to live, work and play.”

The project “Humans of Chinatown” featured portraits and accompanying brief interviews of Chinatown community members and visitors, reemphasizing Chinatown’s role as a focal point in the city of Boston.

Jenna Hah, program coordinator for A-VOYCE a youth leadership program of Asian CDC (far right) and the youth of A-VOYCE unveil community art projects. (Image courtesy of Julia Wong.) 亞美社區發展協會青年領導力項目A-VOYCE項目專員Jenna Hah(最右)和A-VOYCE的青年在華埠散發活力和樂趣。(圖片由黃秋梨攝。)

Jenna Hah, program coordinator for A-VOYCE a youth leadership program of Asian CDC (far right) and the youth of A-VOYCE unveil community art projects. (Image courtesy of Julia Wong.)

Youth volunteer Vanessa Ly felt she grew up in Chinatown, despite residing in Quincy, because her father works in the neighborhood.

Homecoming was a collective feeling about Chinatown illustrated in the second interactive project “You are Here.” Colorful cloth flags were strung across the lot, on which community members and passersby wrote reasons why they were in Chinatown. One flag stated “I am here because I have grown to love my friends and others in my community like a second home.”

Image courtesy of Julia Wong. 圖片由黃秋梨攝。

Image courtesy of Julia Wong.

These two projects portrayed Chinatown as not just a cluster of restaurants but as a community, where actual residents live and seek support from each other. The transformation of this empty lot hopefully will spark residents, seniors and youth to beautify and strengthen Chinatown together.

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