The federal Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) presented the Chairman’s Award for Achievement in Historic Preservation to the US Forest Service and Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience, for the partners’ joint Asian Pacific American Heritage program.
“This program has done a great deal to make the public more aware of the important contributions of Asian Pacific Americans to our national history and interpret the historic places where that heritage is still visible and accessible,” said Milford Wayne Donaldson, FAIA, ACHP Chairman.
John Kusano, original APAEA leader , and Liz Berger, APAEA Executive Committee, attended the well- supported award ceremony in Washington, DC on November 14. Kusano congratulated veteran APAEA members who were instrumental in the collaboration honored by ACHP, namely Aleta Eng (Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie NF), Dale Hom (Olympic NF, ret.), and Jim Chu (International Programs):
It was clear to the council and all in attendance, that the long-running partnership between the Forest Service and the Wing has resulted in many important accomplishments and serves as a national model for engaging the Asian Pacific American community and the public at large in the rich and important history of Asian Pacific Americans in building this country.
The Asian Pacific American Heritage program began over two decades ago at first Chinese Heritage of the Pacific Northwest conference in Chelan, Washington, in 1992. The program continues its vital role in heritage education through museum exhibits and programs, and incorporating excursions to and information and interpretation about Asian Pacific American heritage sites that are in Forest Service (FS) stewardship. The Forest Service has been preserving, researching, and interpreting dozens of sites associated with Asian Pacific American heritage in the Northwest, northern Rocky Mountains, and Southwest and California for decades in fulfillment of its responsibilities under the National Historic Preservation Act and other authorities.
A major exhibit featuring some of these sites opens next month at the Wing Luke Museum in Seattle and will continue through October 2014.
“The Wing is honored to be recognized with the U.S. Forest Service for our work on the Asian Pacific American Heritage program,” said Beth Takekawa, executive director of Wing Luke Museum. “The award underscores the importance of our role in sharing the stories of Asian Pacific Americans for all Americans to appreciate. We’re grateful to work with the U.S. Forest Service over so many years. This year our partnership will allow us to highlight Pacific Northwest heritage sites and the lives of early Asian pioneers in our upcoming exhibit Grit.”
The museum exhibit in Seattle will highlight 16 sites, largely located on places under Forest Service stewardship, that were selected from more than 60 historic places associated with Asian Pacific American heritage.
The Wing Luke Museum, familiarly known as “the Wing,” is a Smithsonian Affiliate. It is the only national museum devoted to the Asian Pacific American experience and commemorates the life of Wing Luke, an early advocate for civil rights, urban renewal and historic preservation. The museum has hosted Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service exhibitions and collaborated with the Smithsonian on cultural programs. The Wing is also an Affiliated Area of the National Park Service. Wing Luke’s designation as an affiliated area links the museum with other nationally significant Asian Pacific American sites within the National Park System and allows the museum to tap into technical assistance from the National Park Service.
About the ACHP: An independent federal agency, the ACHP promotes the economic, educational, environmental, sustainability, and cultural values of historic preservation and advises the President and Congress on national historic preservation policy. It also influences federal activities, programs, and policies that affect historic and cultural properties. See www.achp.gov for more information.