SDCHM’s mission is to create a deeper understanding of China and Chinese America through programs in education, culture and art in the belief that cross-cultural understanding strengthens our diverse San Diego community. Located in the heart of San Diego’s downtown Asian Pacific Historic District, SDCHM is currently celebrating its 20th anniversary with special events, exhibitions, and programs. Over the past twenty years, SDCHM has welcomed hundreds of thousands of visitors, collected thousands of ethnographic artifacts, and hosted hundreds of educational programs and exhibitions. Today, SDCHM remains a platform for celebrating multiculturalism, enriching the community, and showcasing San Diego as an international cultural tourist destination.
The museum captures the essence of San Diego’s Chinese history with scale models of old Chinatown homes and businesses, an exhibit on local Chinese hand laundries, archeological remnants from the sites of old Chinatown buildings, a registry of local Chinese American veterans (which became the basis for a 2010 book), and numerous Chinese art and antiques. A garden with waterfalls, koi pond, and serpentine stone path completed the museum grounds. The historic mission building filled with so many donations that the museum had to expand in 2004. The museum purchased and constructed an exhibit space on the ground floor of a new building at 328 J Street to house exhibitions that rotate every few months, including museum collections such as cloisonné and jade, works by masters of Chinese painting, and other displays of rare artifacts on loan to the museum. This space also houses the museum library and a lecture hall complete with modern audio-visual equipment and seating for large groups.
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