Think! Chinatown, an intergenerational non-profit based in Manhattan’s Chinatown, is here to listen, to respond, and to build Chinatown’s capacities as a strong & vibrant immigrant neighborhood of NYC. Our mission is to foster inter-generational community through neighborhood engagement, storytelling & the arts. We believe the process of listening, reflecting & celebrating develops the community cohesion and trust necessary to take on larger neighborhood issues. Our aim is to overcome barriers of community organizing where socio-economic factors, language, and cultural barriers create challenges for immigrant communities’ autonomy to make decisions in their own neighborhood. We’ve built Think!Chinatown to push from within our neighborhood to shape better policies and programs that define our public spaces, to celebrate our cultural heritage, and to innovate how our collective memories are represented.
Our projects sit at the cross-section of civic & neighborhood engagement, storytelling, and the arts. It’s hard to categorize our work sometimes, but whatever we’re working on… it’s to support what we love about Chinatown!
Think!Chinatown was started by Chinatown neighbors that got to know each other through community events. Now, we’ve grown to a network of dedicated volunteers from a broad spectrum of professional backgrounds: urbanists, artists, journalists, lawyers, architects, designers, tech specialists, photographers, poets… The one thing we all have in common is that we love Chinatown!
Watch videos about Chinatown Oral Histories:
Art of Storytelling
These stories bring us into the everyday lives of people who have long called Chinatown home and challenge us to reimagine how we collectively remember and honor the stories of our communities. How do we bring our communities into the fold as integral, active participants in the telling of their own stories? How do we engage the larger community in this collective remembering? We are so honored to work with artists Yao Xiao , John Lee, and Jacqueline Tam as well as our featured storytellers, Margaret Yuen, Jan Lee, and Nancy Sing-Bock.
This video series celebrates the diversity of the Chinese diaspora found in Manhattan’s Chinatown through the lens of everyday kitchen ingredients. In this three-episode series, each video features a Chinatown aunty or uncle who will take us along on their typical grocery shopping experience in the neighborhood. They will explain to us what they buy at each location and how these products are reflective of their regional background. There’s Meemee, the sword wielding Cantonese aunty. Angle, owner of the Teochew snack shop, New York Bo Ky, and Aunty Chen and Aunty Lian, opera singers from Fujian! Each person takes us through the familiar streets of Chinatown, but shows us a slightly different culinary side.
The mission of this series is to highlight Chinatown’s small businesses and locally made delicacies. As such this is supported by the Department of Small Business Services as part of the All In NYC campaign.