Explore Chinese California Stories

Photo from the California Museum website
chinese new year

Shuttered by the region’s latest coronavirus surge, area museums are continuing to come up with innovative ways to keep their doors openvirtually, anyway!and engage the public. Case in point: California Museum Live!, a new series of interactive virtual tours led by California Museum docents who will introduce viewers in real time to some of the museum’s signature exhibits.

The hour-long programs, to run on the last Saturday of the month at 11 a.m., kick off Jan. 30 with a tour of “Gold Mountain: Chinese California Stories,” an exhibit launched in January 2020 that, per the downtown Sacramento museum’s website, “chronicles the history and contributions of Chinese Americans to California from the Gold Rush to the present day.”

The exhibit explores the stories of Chinese immigrants who came to California “in search of a better life, then stayed and helped to build the modern state. In so doing over the last 150 years, they triumphed over racism and other obstacles with ingenuity and perseverance,” the museum website explains. “In their stories, visitors will see the contributions that Californians of Chinese descent have made to our state’s economy, governance and culture, and recognize the strength that comes from the state’s rich diversity.

To round out your virtual tour experience of “Gold Mountain,” be sure to watch several short, engaging exhibit videos that further bring the experiences of Chinese Californians, past and present, to life, showcasing among others Disney artist/illustrator Tyrus Wong, World War II aviator Maggie Gee and journalist Lisa Ling. And get the kids engaged by downloading a coloring sheet of a Chinese dragon.

On tap for California Museum Live! In the coming months: Coming to California, featuring multiple museum exhibits, on Feb. 27; and “Women Inspire: California Women Changing Our World” on March 27.

Admission for each program is $7 per connected device and free for museum members. Register 24 hours in advance or call the museum for more information at (916) 653-7524.