APIAHiP) launched “East at Main Street: APIA Mapping Project”, a crowd-sourced project to identify places across the US that matter to diverse Asian and Pacific Islander American communities. Few sites associated with APIA history and culture are recognized as landmarks. Raising awareness of these places will assist their preservation for the future.
The project received support through a grant to the Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus from the National Park Service’s National Center for Preservation Technology and Training (NCPTT).
“East at Main Street” allows individuals and organizations to post historic and contemporary photos, video and text that is accessible on computers and as a mobile smart phone app. The project raises awareness of Asian and Pacific Islander American (APIA) historic sites and helps conserve cultural resources associated with Asian and Pacific Islander Americans by utilizing new technologies and engaging a broad audience across the United States.
Developed in collaboration with the location-driven web platform, Historypin, “East at Main Street” is mapping new information about places that matter to APIAs. Project co director, Michelle Magalong, says “this is an exciting effort that engages community members, organizations, archives and libraries. They can add content and share their own memories, images, and related items associated with important places for Asian and Pacific Islander Americans on the “East at Main Street” map.” Customized tours and slideshows can be created to highlight specific themes, such as Filipino American sites, or historic resources associated with religious traditions.
East at Main Street project co-director, Donna Graves states “This project is especially timely because it complements the National Park Service’s Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Initiative. Our hope is that APIAHiP’s mapping project will offer the National Park Service a wealth of community-based knowledge to their process.”
Community workshops were held in eight locations to train individuals and organizations so that they can encourage their constituents to add to “East at Main Street.” The project had twenty-two community partners who assisted in planning, marketing, and conducting these community workshops. In addition, seven presentations at national conferences and guest lectureships were conducted.
This project uses new technologies, APIAHiP’s existing national network, and new partnerships to raise awareness of Asian Pacific Islander historic places across the U.S. Some key results from this project include new information about places that matter to APIAs that can be used to develop landmark designations, interpretive projects, public programs, travel itineraries and more. Additionally, this project has resulted in a strengthened network of APIA preservationists. We expect the project’s findings may help shape the National Park Service’s Asian American Pacific Islander Theme Study by identifying key historic sites and resources.