In 2017 CCC embarked on a new initiative, "Building Our Town," to activate and build community throughout Chinatown and San Francisco.
In celebration of the National Endowment for the Arts “Our Town” grant, for which CCC has been selected to represent the City of San Francisco to highlight Chinatown’s Alleyways, “Building Our Town” champions community in creative and artful productions. The first kickoff of “Building Our Town” is “Liminal Space/Crossings” a public art installation by social practice artist Summer Mei Ling Lee.
“Building Our Town” will continues with Martial Spirit, and the 8th annual Chinatown Music Festival, an all day festival on Waverly Place.
The grant will support the Chinatown Alleyways Project, including the popular 41 Ross auxiliary art space. CCC is partnering with San Francisco Arts Commission (SFAC) and Chinatown Community Development Center (CCDC).
Nationally recognized, the project will highlight the diversity and creativity of San Francisco.
Chinatown Alleyways Project is a multidisciplinary program that engages local youth and community members through a pop-up gallery and studio, mural projects, neighborhood performing arts festivals, and cultural education workshops and tours. The “Our Town” grant represents a capstone achievement of more than thirty years of innovative placemaking and cutting-edge cultural initiatives undertaken by the Chinatown community. The project revitalizes and advances Chinatown’s alleyways, which play an important socioeconomic role in the community's life and livelihood. San Francisco's Chinatown is a densely populated neighborhood of 100,000 people with a median family income of $24,000, home to a dynamic mix of residents, businesses, schools, churches, family associations, and nonprofits that have deep roots here or have recently arrived at this significant immigration gateway.
The San Francisco Arts Commission, the Chinese Culture Foundation and the Chinese Community Development Center, on behalf of San Francisco's Chinatown neighborhood, will collaborate on the Chinatown Alleyways Project. The project will advance the role of local alleyways as key sites for one of the oldest cultural neighborhoods and serve as one of the nation's premiere gateway destinations for low income immigrants. The alleyways are a network of arteries that connect the main streets of Chinatown and play an important socio-economic role in this community's life and livelihood. Many more activities will take place than are funded by this grant; however, funded activities will focus on 3 sites among the 30 alleyways: 41 Ross Alley will host indoor exhibitions,educational programs and a studio serving youth; Portsmouth Square will host the 8th Annual Chinatown Music Festival which includes a temporary stage, booths and folding chairs for seating; and the Ping Yuen Housing Project adjacent to Cordelia Alley will host Traditional Choy Li Fut Kung Fu Martial Spirit activities and demonstrations.
National Endowment For the Arts & “Our Town”
“Our Town” is the NEA’s signature creative placemaking program, which positions the arts as a driving force for creating opportunity and building strong communities. In 2016, NEA awarded $4.3 million in grants to 64 projects in 36 states. Celebrating its 50th Anniversary, the NEA is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the NEA supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America.
The Our Town grant program supports creative placemaking projects that help to transform communities into lively, beautiful, and resilient places with the arts at their core. Creative placemaking is when artists, arts organizations, and community development practitioners deliberately integrate arts and culture into community revitalization work—placing arts at the table with land-use, transportation, economic development, education, housing, infrastructure, and public safety strategies. The funding supports local efforts to enhance the quality of life and opportunity for existing residents, increase creative activity, and create a distinct sense of place.
Chinese Culture Center
CCC elevates underserved communities, and gives voice to equality through process-driven contemporary art and education.