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.
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.”
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.
This post is also available in: Chinese