Mission & History
The Portland Chinatown History Foundation (initially called the Portland Chinatown History and Museum Foundation) was formed in late 2013 and was granted its 501c3 status as a charitable organization in May 2014. Its volunteer board and supporters are Chinese Americans who were raised, worked in or owned property or businesses in Portland’s Chinatown. Some of them are third and fourth generation Chinese American Portlanders.
The organization’s roots go back to 1999 when, as the founder of the Old Town History Project, Jacqueline Peterson-Loomis began a multiethnic project involving oral history, walking tours, public art installations and exhibitions in Old Town Chinatown. The Old Town History Project was a collaboration with elders and members of the Chinese, Nikkei, Greek, and Jewish communities who had lived and or worked in Old Town Chinatown. The hope then was to develop a museum that would tell the story of Portland’s early ethnic history.
The Portland Chinatown History Foundation hopes to open Portland’s first full service museum devoted to collecting, preserving, and interpreting for the general public the stories of Portland’s Chinatown.
Our work and our museum focus on Chinatown as a collection of historic buildings and as a meaningful geography of work, play, and memory. We focus on the histories of place, peoples, and the community’s rich cultural traditions as part of the fabric of Portland.
The mission of the Portland Chinatown History Foundation is to honor, preserve, and interpret the history and rich cultural heritage of Portland’s historic Chinatowns.