Young Oak Kim Center to launch traveling museum on America’s first Koreatown with Mellon Foundation Grant

Young Oak Kim Center to launch traveling museum on America’s first Koreatown with Mellon Foundation Grant


UC Riverside has been awarded an $850,000 grant from the Mellon Foundation Humanities in Place to launch a traveling museum showcasing the history of America’s first Koreatown — Pachappa Camp. The museum will preserve and share the story of a community of Korean migrant workers in Riverside who contributed to the city’s citrus development, including Korea’s most influential independence activist, Dosan Ahn Chang Ho.

The traveling exhibition will be presented in collaboration with a consortium of Asian American and civil rights groups based in Riverside, as well as national Korean American community organizations in Washington, D.C., Chicago, San Francisco, and New York. It will highlight the contributions of Korean American labor and provide communities with an opportunity to learn, connect, and grow from this country’s rich narrative.

The three-year grant will allow the program to kick off in San Francisco beginning late 2024, led by Edward Chang, ethnic studies professor and founding director of the Young Oak Kim Center for Korean American Studies at UCR. Strategic counsel will be provided by Daryle Williams, dean of UCR’s College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences and co-creator of, who will provide strategic counsel for the overall project and also oversee the digital exhibition component.

Chang, who has been researching Korean American history for over 30 years, said that finding these critical slices of history and highlighting them at a national level is something he had not expected until 2016, when two visiting Korean graduate students helped him translate documents from old Korean to modern Korean language, that he understood the significance of Dosan Ahn Chang Ho’s presence in Riverside. He is particularly interested in sharing the history of Pachappa Camp with youth as a way to bring back history that has been intentionally omitted from textbooks.

More information can be found at the original article, “UCR to launch traveling museum on America’s first Koreatown with Mellon Foundation grant“.

Photo Credit: UCR/Sandra Baltazar Martínez

Desert X 2023: A contemporary art exhibition featuring the work of Professor Gerald Clarke.

Desert X 2023: A contemporary art exhibition featuring the work of Professor Gerald Clarke.

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Desert X is an international contemporary art exhibition that takes place in desert locations and features site-specific installations by acclaimed artists from around the world. The exhibition is produced by The Desert Biennial, a California-based not-for-profit organization with a mission to present public exhibitions of art that engage with the desert, the environment, and indigenous communities. Eleven artists from Europe, North America and South Asia will present poetic and immersive works that span sculpture, painting, writing, architecture, design, film, music, performance and choreography, education, and environmental activism in the exhibition curated by Artistic Director Neville Wakefield and Co-Curator Diana Campbell.

The exhibition examines social and environmental themes with a focus on the changes that give form to a world increasingly shaped by climate crisis, globalism, and the political and economic migrations that follow in their wake. In the exhibition, which builds on social and environmental themes explored in earlier editions, newly-commissioned works make visible, as instruments of self-awareness and devices of wonder, the forces that we exert on the world: how we design our environments, how we live, and the messages we send that reinforce systems that might or might not be beneficial for us. From the local to the global, from schools and roads to global trade routes that define the ebb and flow of goods and many things in-between, infrastructure has subsumed creative ways of being that are inconvenient to forces of power.

Desert X 2023 features the work of Professor Gerald Clarke, who presents a unique piece called Immersion. The installation takes the form of a traditional Cahuilla coiled basket or ‘chi-pat-mal’ scaled to become a giant game board. The goal of reaching the center can only be achieved by correctly answering questions relating to the traditions and histories of the Cahuilla Indians and other sovereign cultures. By gamifying history Clarke sublimates prejudice. At the same time, he reminds us how unattainable these same goals have become for those for whom such knowledge has been forcibly withdrawn.

The exhibition will be on display at sites across the Coachella Valley from March 4–May 7, 2023. Don’t miss this opportunity to see the work of Professor Gerald Clarke and other world-renowned artists. Visit for more information.