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East at Main Street Focuses on Asian-Pacific Islander Heritage

As part of the ACHP’s mission of building a more inclusive preservation program, we love finding new resources and projects that represent communities throughout the country. One of our newest finds is a great new mapping project created by Asian & Pacific Islander Americans in Historic Preservation (APIAHiP). The project, developed by Donna Graves and Michelle Magalong, began as a way to connect technology with preservation, and also create a helpful tool for the Asian and Pacific Islander American (APIA) community to discover and share their own history. With the help of HistoryPin, the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, East at Main Street is an impressive resource for the APIA community.

Read our interview with Michelle Magalong about what APIAHiP is working on and some specifics of the project.

What is the mapping project and what are the ultimate goals for it?

The East at Main Street: APIA Mapping Project gathers photographs, videos, memories, and other material related to places that are important to Asian and Pacific Islander American (APIA) communities. Few sites associated with APIA history and cultures have been recognized as landmarks. Raising awareness of these places will assist their preservation for the future and help create a more complete picture of United States history.

The goals of East at Main Street are three-fold. First, we want to engage individuals and organizations across the nation (and US territories) to think about and dialogue about the importance of documenting, preserving, and sustaining historic sites that are important to APIA communities. Second, we want to capture these historic sites and bring a greater awareness on a national level. It would be great to see our map filled with “pins” of historic sites across the nation. Lastly, we aim to advocate for preserving and sustaining these historic sites. For instance, these sites will be compiled as part of APIAHiP’s register of APIA historic sites. This list then can be utilized by preservation agencies at local, state, and national levels. This may include the National Park Service and the National Register of Historic Places.

Who contributes to the project?

In collaboration with community groups, non-profit organizations, archives and individuals, we are gathering materials (photographs, old newspapers, historic maps, etc.) and stories (oral histories or talk story, written narratives, etc.) to capture the rich layers of place-making and community-building in historically and culturally significant sites throughout the United States and US territories.

What are you trying to accomplish and how?

We are aiming to engage individuals and organizations to think about how we can broaden the definition of historic preservation in APIA communities. This includes engaging folks from various sectors and interests that may not think they do preservation-related work, and developing visibility and partnerships.

When was the project started?

The project was developed by co-director Donna Graves, who has extensive experience in preservation work in diverse communities. She had a vision of developing a crowd-sourced project that connects technology with preservation and bridges preservationists with the APIA community.

This project by Asian Pacific Islander Americans in Historic Preservation (APIAHiP) is in collaboration with HistoryPin and funded by the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Any other important things regarding the project that you want to add?

We are excited to collaborate with individuals and community organizations with this project. We hosted community workshops in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Stockton, Riverside, Little Tokyo (Los Angeles), Seattle, and San Diego with the generosity of local community organizations. We are looking forward to doing more community workshops across the country and also online meet-ups (e.g., webinars, Google Hangouts). We are always looking for individuals and organizations that are interested in participating.

To see the project, check out!map/index/#!/geo:38.210513,-146.926995/zoom:3/

For more information on APIAHiP, go here:!about-us/cp5h

Posted August 8, 2014

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