Mural Project by Ryan Cheng, Ching Huang, Ken Ichiroku,
Diana Luu, and Julie Yoshioka
Koreatown Market Workers
Justice Campaign - Community-based Work Team by
Paul Chung, Vi Le, James Roh, and Sanghee Yoon
Market Workers Justice Campaign - Campus-based Work
- by Sean Na, Ye Jin, J.P. Puno, and Lyeng Ia
UCLA Students' Website Supporting
Koreatown Market Workers Campaign: www.marketworkerscampaign.com
Leadership School by Teresa Nguyen
American Studies 197B
Spring Quarter 2002
Community Internship Reports
Chinatown Mural Project by Ryan Cheng,
Ching Huang, Ken Ichiroku, Diana Luu, and Julie Yoshioka
Chinatown Youth Mural Project began as a simple idea. Formulated
about two years ago, high school youth from the surrounding
Chinatown area embarked on a journey that would eventually become
known as the Chinatown Youth Mural Project. The Chinatown Service
Center, in conjunction with Arts Corps L.A., sought to promote
community awareness and leadership skills among these youth
by creating a mural to be painted on the side of a house located
at 628 New Depot Street, in the heart of Chinatown. The core
group of approximately fifteen students was divided into separate
committees Community Relations, Fundraising, and Design
each with independent tasks contributing to the completion
of the mural. There was a strong emphasis on allowing these
youth to create the mural themselves, developing the actual
themes and concepts behind the final design. The mural also
sought to provide a source of pride for residents and community
members of Chinatown, as well as to involve youth in the recent
attempts at revitalizing the community. Artist Steve Wong was
hired to help guide the project and in April 2002, our work-team
joined the project. The projected finishing date is July 2002.
work team, comprised of Ryan Chen, Ching Huang, Ken Ichiroku,
Diana Luu, and Julie Yoshioka, was divided among the three committees
to work with the youth. Ryan and Diana were placed on the Fundraising
Committee, Ching and Ken were placed on the Community Relations
Committee, and Julie was placed on the Design Committee. The
Fundraising Committee was responsible for helping to raise approximately
$1700 for supplies and expenses related to the mural. The Community
Relations Committee was responsible for gathering community
feedback about possible mural themes and informing relevant
groups (inside and outside of the Chinatown community) about
the nature of the project. Lastly, the Design Committee was
responsible for devising the overall theme and images to be
used in the final design.
fundraising committee encountered many problems from the beginning.
First, we had minimal funds to begin with. It was necessary
that we diverse to work in conjunction with the design committee
so we could have an understanding of what types of messages
the design committee wanted to convey with this mural. Additionally,
we had to keep in mind that we cannot limit their creative freedom
and abilities. After talking with the design committee, we determined
a rough idea of what types of paint and supplies are needed
for this project. The first budget we came up was the amount
of $1,700. We wanted to make sure that this amount could adequately
cover any unforeseeable expenses as well as any types of maintenance
requirements after the mural project is completed. Next, we
consulted with staffs from SPARC as well as the Chinese Chamber
of Commerce to help refine our budget and give us guidance.
It was proved to be useful because we over estimated our project
a more attainable goal in sight, we began thinking of various
ideas to raise the funds required. We knew we wanted to involve
the kids in this fundraising because we felt that giving them
the opportunity will give them a sense of appreciation in this
project. But we also realized that these youth come from underprivileged
communities, which will make it very difficult for them to raise
any substantial amount of funds. Our first idea consisted of
flower/candy grams, which were to be distributed in their high
school. Unfortunately, after deliberation we found out that
the high school wanted to take 50% of the profits because we
were using their facilities. Therefore, we decided to entertain
other ideas of fundraising. First we contacted Sees Candies
and Worlds Finest Chocolate, but it wasnt feasible
because it required a large buy-in prior to our fundraising.
Since we cannot fund the capital for this type of venture we
looked into other ideas.
Ken was very experienced in this field, we consulted with him
as to what to do. He spoke of previous experience with a magazine
drive that he had done for his Nikkei Student Union group. Moreover,
we contacted Jim Brooks at Campusfundraiser.com. He promised
that our group could earn up to $600 within one and the half
weeks with no capital and minimal effort if we sold up to 30
subscriptions. This seemed very attractive and attainable because
the product that we were selling appealed to all age groups.
On the first day it was met with a lot of anticipation and excitement.
After the first week, we only accumulated half of our goal and
it didnt seem that the group wanted to continue this project.
But the fundraising leaders, Ryan and Diana, realized how important
it was to reach our goal. Therefore, we remained optimistic
and persevere so that the group members would each do their
part to attain our goal. We are now happy to report that we
have finally met our goal and we are $600 closer to the budget.
Ryan and Diana are still coming up with more fundraising activities
to reach our budget. We all plan on rewarding the youth by throwing
them a pizza party for all of their hard work and dedication.
So far, the budgets in good standing and we are anticipating
for more funds.
students, we have myriad resources at our disposal. Perhaps
the most valuable of these resources is the plethora of student
groups on campus. A majority of these groups actively seek ways
to get involved within the community. Ken is actively involved
with the Nikkei Student Union and its affiliated organizations.
As such, we began outreaching to the greater community, by first
reaching out to the UCLA student community. Informally we met
with leadership from several Asian Pacific American student
organizations such as the Association of Chinese Americans,
Omega fraternity, and the Asian Pacific Coalition. We gave them
a general overview of the project, and its history and then
informed them on ways to get involved with the project. In the
initial stages of the project, we focused largely on raising
funds and gathering materials. Many of the student organizations
were unable to make financial contributions, but they were receptive
to the idea of volunteering their time to help in the actual
painting of the mural. After speaking with the director of APC,
we were informed that we would be able to keep the APA community
informed on the projects status by getting on APCs
e-mailing list. This list delivers e-mails to all the student
organizations that are under the Asian Pacific Coalition. We
were able to make a formal presentation to the Nikkei Student
Union, during their weekly staff meeting. This was an excellent
opportunity to practice our public speaking skills in a non-threatening
environment, as Ken was involved in this organization. Like
most of the other student groups, NSU was not able to make any
financial contributions to the project. However, like many of
the other groups, several members approached us about ways to
volunteer their time during the summer as possible community
working for another internship at State Senator Kevin Murrays
office, Ken approached District representative Janny Kim about
financial support from the Senators office. Although she
was not able to help, she gave Ken the number for the City of
Los Angeles Human Relations Commission. As a group we
made a presentation to Patricia Villasenor of the commission.
B ecause we approached the commission so late in their fiscal
year, they were unable to provide us with assistance. They did
however; provide us with very useful guidance as to which offices
within the city we should approach. We have since forwarded
her a proposal that gave the history of the project, and what
our current financial need is. This proposal is going to be
taken down by Patricia, to Ed Reyes office for consideration.
Patricia and her partner Arturo were also helpful in giving
us alternative perspectives on whom we should be outreaching.
They noted that we had only contacted APA groups, and that Chinatown
is a diverse community of Asian and non-Asian residents. They
suggested that we contact some Latino community organizations
and invite them to take part in this project as well. This is
not a point that was not considered. We simply began outreaching
to APA groups because of Kens familiarity with many of
the APA campus groups. Reaching out to other groups has always
been on our agenda. Currently, we are looking to contact the
La Opinión community newspaper to place an ad and to
get contact information about different Latino organizations
within and around Chinatown.
terms of reaching out to the Chinatown community itself, we
have taken a number of steps to achieve this goal. To begin,
we have created a flyer that gives general information concerning
the project. This flyer will be translated into both English
and Spanish, and will be distributed throughout Chinatown. For
those residents who have Internet access, we (the community
relations committee) have created a Website that gives more
detailed information about the mural itself, and the history
behind the youth that are involved, and of the YLC. We have
also gone into the community to conduct interviews with many
community residents to gain feedback on the possible themes
to be included in the mural. This was particularly difficult
for a number of reasons. First, the design has yet to be solidified.
Therefore, when presenting to various community members, all
concepts were at best, a maybe. There were no concrete themes
to be presented. Any idea presented could have been removed
at a moments notice. Secondly, outreaching to the community
was difficult because many of the residents did not want to
talk with us. This may have been for a variety of reasons, but
I believe the most pervasive was the lack of English proficiency
on their part, and the lack of Chinese proficiency on ours.
we are getting closer to painting the mural itself, we are taking
over the functions of media relations. We are currently in the
process of putting together a press kit in order for us to present
it to community and mainstream media. We are hoping that through
the media we are able to outreach to more people to let them
know about the mural. And last, Ching has gone to his former
high school to recruit more students to participate in the project.
The project will be like a summer activity for them and at the
same time they are doing something that is meaningful not only
to themselves but also to the community at large.
of mid-June 2002, the Design Committee created the preliminary
mural design. The main theme of the mural was developed as "Chinatown:
Representing Old and New," and focused on six separate
categories; Immigration and Labor, Cultural Activities/Community/Youth,
Place/Architecture, Historical Events, Asian American Activism/Resistance
to Oppression, and Symbolism. Throughout the development of
the project, committee members were each responsible for sketching
images for the respective categories. They were also responsible
for gathering photographs and other images to use in the mural.
This required researching Asian-American history, going to the
Chinese-American Museum, and taking pictures of local residents/locales.
There was also a strong concern about including Asian-American
history in the design, not necessarily just Chinese-American
history. This was in response to the changing demographics of
Chinatown which has shifted from a previously dominant
Chinese population to an influx of Vietnamese, Latino, and African-American
residents. As a result, the committee found it important to
include pan-ethnic themes. After all of the material was gathered,
group members came together to set them as the preliminary design.
was a setback in setting the final design, as it was difficult
to decide on certain concepts/images as well as to gather the
required group consent to include these images in the mural.
This also delayed the rest of the committees, since they required
the preliminary design to move forward on their final tasks.
By mid-June 2002, however, the design committee finally set
the preliminary design and forwarded it to the Community Relations
committee to gather feedback from the community. After the Community
Relations committee gathers this information, the design will
be altered accordingly. Gridding and painting of the mural is
expected to be completed by July 2002.
Chinatown Youth Mural Project is still in progress. All work
team members have agreed to continue with the project even though
the Spring 2002 quarter has neared an end. There are still a
variety of tasks to be completed: Fundraising is still coming
up with other money-making activities for this summer in order
to reach the ultimate monetary goal, Community Outreach is still
gathering feedback and informing additional community groups
as well as trying to recruit volunteers to help paint the mural,
Design will set the final design after such feedback is gathered.
project has served as a vehicle for us to learn more about the
Chinatown community, importance of youth empowerment and awareness,
and teamwork. It required a lot of collaboration, compromise,
and time in order to complete the mural. It also provided a
unique learning experience for us all. The requirement to actively
participate in the community didnt follow conventional
class structures. As a result, we saw first hand the cause and
effect of student involvement in the community. Our initial
assumptions of the mural changed significantly throughout the
course of the project. Many of our original plans didnt
go through as smoothly as expected and we had to adjust our
goals accordingly. Towards the end of July, we will paint the
mural and anticipate for the unveiling of the mural.