Call for Community Researcher

Description: The Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience in partnership with the Friends of Little Sàigòn is seeking a community researcher for its Little Sàigòn Cultural Asset Mapping project.

About the partners: The Wing Luke Museum is the nation’s only pan-Asian Pacific American museum and is located in Seattle’s Chinatown-International District. The Wing’s mission is “to connect everyone to the rich history, dynamic cultures and art of the Asian Pacific Americans through vivid storytelling and inspiring experiences to advance racial and social equity.” The Friends of Little Sàigòn’s mission is “to preserve and enhance Little Sàigòn’s cultural, economic and historic vitality.” The Friends of Little Sàigòn’s vision is for Little Sàigòn to be the hub of the Vietnamese American community where all families and businesses are thriving.

About the project: Beginning in the late 1980s, a concentration of Vietnamese businesses established themselves around the intersection of S Jackson Street and 12th Avenue S; today Little Sàigòn is a regional hub of Vietnamese culture, economy and community expanding Rainier Avenue on the east, the I-5 Freeway on the west, South Dearborn Street on the south and South Main Street on the north. As a destination for shopping, eating, and socializing, the area serves over 40,000 Vietnamese Americans from across the Puget Sound region.

The current building infrastructure contains low-rise commercial development populated by more than 100 small family-run businesses, some light industry, and scattered multifamily and single-family housing. Due to its proximity to Downtown, a regional transportation hub at its western edge, and recent major land-use changes allowing much higher, denser mixed-use development, major changes are coming to Little Sàigòn. Though these changes are not in themselves negative, many local businesses fear displacement due to development pressure and rising rents. In addition, effective responses to these external challenges have been hampered by the internal challenges of a lack of a community-based institution capable of advocating, engaging, and taking action on the community’s behalf.

This project was conceived to:

  • Identify the longstanding and present-day rich cultural assets that make up Little Sàigòn
  • Create and share the story of Little Sàigòn that emerges directly from community voice and vision
  • Lay a strong foundation for future placemaking projects and development that will need to respond to the existing community cultural assets

 Schedule:

  • July-September 2019                Initial outreach and community engagement
  • October-November 2019         Research coordination
  • December 2019                         Initial summary of findings for review
  • January 2020                             Share findings with the community for input
  • February-March 2020              Final review, research findings and reporting

 Tasks:

  • Research past and present cultural assets in Little Sàigòn across various ethnic groups and including:
    • Formal and informal occurrences
    • Residential, commercial and community life
    • Tangible and intangible assets
  • Coordination with project manager
  • Work with translator to review cultural assets that are in Vietnamese
  • Compile research through summary descriptions, detailed notes and resource citations
  • Track and compile details of photos, archives and other resources to aid future projects
  • Writing of summary and research findings for online presentation and broad distribution
  • Monthly review and timely input by Little Sàigòn Cultural Asset Mapping Committee
  • Deliverables: written document appropriate for online sharing/presentation/broad distribution

Qualifications:

  • Strong research skills with digital collections
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Strong computer and Microsoft Office skills
  • Must be able to work independently and follow through with tasks
  • Strong ability to listen to, engage with and report back to community stakeholders

Works with:

  • Project manager (Friends of Little Sàigòn)
  • Deputy Executive Director (Wing Luke Museum)
  • Little Sàigòn Cultural Asset Mapping Committee

Compensation: The selected researcher will receive a $5,000 stipend upon successful completion of contracted services.

To apply:

Email Deputy Executive Director Cassie Chinn at cchinn@wingluke.org with a resume and cover letter indicating your interest and qualifications by August 12, 2019. An interview may be part of the application process. If you have questions, send an email to the address above or call (206) 623-5124 x131.

Download the RFQ here!

Chương trình Lịch sử Văn hoá của Sài-Gòn Nhỏ