MISSION

About the Chinese Culture Center

CCC elevates underserved communities and gives voice to equality through process driven contemporary art and education.

CCC is a community-based arts nonprofit, based in Chinatown and San Francisco’s open and public spaces, and other art institutions.

Visit CCC!

Gallery at 750 Kearny St, 3/F:
Tuesday-Saturday 10am-4pm.

41 Ross

Wed-Sun, 11-4pm

CCC Administrative Office at 750 Kearny St., 3M:
Tuesday-Friday 9:30am-6:00pm
Saturday 10am-4pm

In its 50+ year history of work, CCC, through its hundreds of exhibitions and public events presented to hundreds of thousands of audience and viewers, made significant strides in carrying forward its earlier mission to present and promote Chinese culture to an ever expanding audience both here in the US and internationally. It has a well-earned reputation as the organization that introduced and created a space for the work of contemporary artists from China, and in so doing, worked against the common perception that Chinese culture is quaint and kitschy. At the same time, CCC anchored a continually evolving arts community both in Chinatown and the City at large.

CCC core activities are:

1) Community ­based, citywide, national and international sharing of innovative contemporary art through exhibitions, performances, touring and online projects housed in the CCC Visual Art Center. Its signature exhibition series are XianRui (Fresh and Sharp) to promote exceptional but under-recognized artists of Chinese descent, and Present Tense, examining current trends with emerging artists’s work

2)Community engagement activities housed under the Him Mark Lai Learning Center educates participants about Chinese American history and culture, and provides insight into the sources and inspirations of featured artists’ work. Annual festivals are Spring Festival, Chinatown Music Festival and Dance on Waverly, as well as yearlong Chinatown tours for schoolchildren and visitors

3) Creative placemaking approaches designed to make Chinatown a “museum without walls” through the use of public spaces for festivals and art interventions. “Sunrise” public art on the Dr. Rolland and Kathryn Lowe Community Bridge, Central Subway Public Art Murals at Wentworth, Ross Alley, and Walter U Lum Place are recent additions.

Founded in 1965, one year after the passage of the Civil Rights Act, CCC emerged in a period that stands as a tremendous watershed for American democracy. For immigration policy, in response to the calls for racial equality that were the hallmark of the Civil Rights Movement, 1965 would be the year that the US would lift its restrictive quotas on Asian immigration. While the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act – the first restrictive immigration law that targeted a single nationality – was repealed in 1943, only 105 Chinese would be allowed entry per year. In 1965, the quota was raised to 20,000 to be on par with most other nations, which would forever change our community and our society.
In this social context the Chinese Culture Foundation was founded as an organization that would communicate the humanity of our community through arts and culture. Eight years later, it would open its primary program site, the Chinese Culture Center in the then Holiday Inn at 750 Kearny Street, on the heels of dramatic changes in the relationship between US and China under the Nixon Administration. Notably, however, the opening of CCC was a landmark concession by the hotel developer to the growing movement in Chinatown over issues surrounding community land use and real estate development.

Beginning in 2009, CCC began to take bold initiatives that would bring the organization to new levels of achievement. With a curatorial perspective that integrated innovation, respect for tradition, a sense of the power of place, and a commitment to engagement with the local community, CCC embarked on a new course. Most notably, it began to seek opportunities throughout the neighborhood for the presentation of art, from Portsmouth Square as the “living room of Chinatown”, to vacant storefronts, to Chinatown’s network of alleyways, through which the community’s lifeblood flows.. Moreover, CCC engaged artists steeped in a social practice approach to art-making such as the renowned Xu Tan of the ground-breaking Big Tail Elephant +collective that influenced the course of contemporary arts in China in the 1990s, installation artist and Chinese martial artist Justin Hoover, and installation artist Summer Mei-Ling Lee to work with residents and youth in fashioning “Our Town” as a shared creative vision in art.

“Thirty Years of the Chinese Culture Foundation and Twenty-Two Years of the Chinese Culture Center of San Francisco”
by Him Mark Lai

舊金山中華文化中心概況

舊金山中華文化基金會成立於一九六五年,其宗旨是弘揚和發展中華藝術和文化。中華文化中心是該基金會的第一個發展項目,於一九七三年啟用。

在其四十五年的歷史中,中華文化中心一直通過舉辦多種多樣的展覽和演出向美國公眾介紹中國傳統和當代視覺藝術、文學、音樂和戲劇,是推動美中文化交流的一支先鋒力量。

位於舊金山華埠和金融區之間核心區域的中華文化中心,吸引了大量來自華人社區、舊金山市、灣區、美國乃至全世界眾多的參觀者。僅二零一零年,參與中華文化中心各種活動的便達到三萬三千餘人。

視覺藝術-中華文化中心至今已經舉辦過逾百個開創性的藝術展覽,以各種形式、不同的藝術家和多姿多彩的風格來把握現今時代的脈搏。今年,中華文化中心除了繼續向公眾提供常規的展覽和講習課程之外,特別隆重推出一年一度的「鮮銳」藝術展覽和兩年一度的「現在時」系列展覽。

公眾活動項目-中華文化中心每年最重要的公眾活動項目是慶祝農曆新年的春節慶會。這個為期兩天的盛大活動,內容包括歌舞、武術表演和各種工藝品展銷。中華文化中心近年還主辦過多個年度音樂表演盛會,包括華埠音樂會和冬季音樂會。

教育-中華文化中心每季都舉辦若干個語言和文化的技能講習班,還將繼續和中國合作,每年向公眾提供一些文化交流的課程。在中心內,學員可以上國語、音樂和各種藝術的學習班。中心每年也向公眾提供數次前往中國學習武術和中文的機會。

CCF Founders at our inception