Call for Writer/Research Intern
Little Sàigòn Cultural History Exhibit Project 2020

Description: Friends of Little Sàigòn is seeking a Writer/Research Intern to support the development of its Little Sàigòn Cultural History Exhibit.

About Friends of Little Saigon: 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 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 to 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 intends to:

  • Build upon the recently completed (April 2020) Little Saigon Cultural Asset Mapping Project that identified and assessed long-standing and present-day cultural assets in Little Saigon and the Vietnamese-American community in Seattle/King County
  • Conduct historical research to dive deeper into major historical events, community groups, and businesses that have impacted the neighborhood
  • Inform the development of the Little Saigon Permanent History Exhibit that will be located in the upcoming Little Saigon Creative Space, illustrating the geographic and cultural history of the neighborhood

Schedule (dates subject to change due to COVID-19):

June-July 2020: Reconvene project partners; review of current research, identify and fill research gaps
August 2020: Exhibit designer presents exhibit layout and concept; vet historical content with community groups September 2020: Final design and exhibit content; fabrication and installation
October 2020: Opening celebration of exhibit at Cultural Space

Tasks:

  • Review the Little Saigon Cultural Asset Mapping Project final report (April 2020) and Notion Database, identifying gaps in research and data
  • Identify additional historical events, community/cultural groups, and businesses that have impacted the neighborhood, and with support of community engagement team, gather relevant research and data
  • Work with translator to review cultural assets that are in non-English languages
  • Compile research through summary descriptions, detailed notes, and resource citations
  • Track and compile details of photos, archives, and other resources within Notion database
  • Write summary and research findings for online presentation and broad distribution
  • Monthly review and timely input by Little Sàigòn Cultural History Exhibit Committee
  • Coordinate with Friends of Little Saigon staff

Deliverable:

Addendum to Little Saigon Cultural Asset Mapping Project final report and timeline, appropriate for online sharing/presentation/broad distribution

Qualifications:

  • Strong research skills with digital collections
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Strong computer and Microsoft Office skills
  • Willingness to work with existing Notion database
  • 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:

  • Operations Director (Friends of Little Sàigòn)
  • Deputy Executive Director (Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience)
  • Little Sàigòn Cultural History Exhibit Committee

Compensation: The selected researcher will receive a $2,500 stipend upon successful completion of contracted services. This is equivalent to $18/hour at 138 hours.

To apply:

Email Operations Director Valerie Tran at info@flsseattle.org with a resume and cover letter indicating your interest and qualifications by 5:00 PM PST on June, 5 2020. An interview may be part of the application process. If you have questions, send an email to the address above.