2013-05-07

THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE HUMANITIES AWARDS THE NEW-YORK HISTORICAL SOCIETY $300,000 FOR CHINESE AMERICAN: EXCLUSION/INCLUSION
 

NEW YORK, NY – The New-York Historical Society is pleased to announce that the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has awarded it a grant of $300,000 to support the 2014 exhibition and educational initiatives surrounding Chinese American: Exclusion/Inclusion.

Chinese American: Exclusion/Inclusion will open at the New-York Historical Society in October 2014 and will run through May 2015. The exhibition will illuminate the centuries-long history of trade and immigration between China and the United States—a history that involved New York from its very beginnings—and will raise the question “What does it mean to be an American?,” which the New-York Historical Society has explored in past exhibitions such as Slavery in New York, Nueva York, and Revolution! The American World Reborn.


Within the exhibition will be little-known stories relating to China, such as the voyage of the Empress of China, which set sail from New York in the late 18th century; how young Chinese boys were sent by their government to study at élite New England schools during the 19th century, one of whom went on to graduate from Yale University; the unprecedented immigration legislation known as the Exclusion Act of 1882, which barred most Chinese from entering the United States; the 19th century newspaper, called “Chinese American,” and its founder Wong Chin Foo; and the Chinese Americans who used the American justice system to try to overturn the Exclusion Act, until it was finally repealed in 1943.

"The New-York Historical Society is deeply grateful to the National Endowment for the Humanities for this very generous endorsement of our mission, which is to engage the broadest possible public in the enjoyment of learning about history," said Louise Mirrer, President and CEO of the New-York Historical Society. "Through this grant, we will be able to extend the reach of Chinese American: Exclusion/Inclusion and make it accessible to hundreds of thousands of visitors, including New York City schoolchildren and teachers."

The NEH has awarded the grant through its “America's Historical & Cultural Organizations Implementation Grant” program, which support projects that create new ways to excite, inform, and stir thoughtful reflection upon culture, identity, and history in creative and new ways.
Chinese American: Exclusion/Inclusion will draw on an astounding wealth of new scholarship, and will employ cutting-edge techniques to engage a broad and diverse public in an examination of what it means to be an American at a moment in which provocative questions are being asked about our nation’s future, China’s rapidly growing economy, and the rise of Asian immigration to the United States. The exhibition will be enhanced with panel discussions among historians, writers, artists, business and political leaders; concerts featuring Chinese and Chinese American musicians; walking tours to sites of historic significance; programs at partnering institutions such as the Museum of Chinese in America, the Asia Society, the China Institute, and the Tenement Museum; and a new, feature-length film by Ric Burns. For more information about Chinese American: Exclusion/Inclusion please visit nyhistory.org/exhibitions/chineseamerican.

About the New-York Historical Society
Established in 1804, the New-York Historical Society comprises New York's oldest museum and a nationally renowned research library. New-York Historical collects, preserves and interprets American history and art; its mission is to make these collections accessible to the broadest public and increase understanding of American history through exhibitions, public programs, and research that reveal the dynamism of history and its impact on the world today. New-York Historical’s holdings cover four centuries of American history and comprise one of the world's greatest collections of historical artifacts, American art, and other materials documenting the history of the United States as seen through the prism of New York City and State.

About the National Endowment for the Humanities
Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at: www.neh.gov.
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