About this project
I worked as the sole creator and storyteller for a pilot community project headed by nonprofit organizations Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corp. and the Knight Foundation to uniquely document the topics, issues, and solutions discussed across three round-table dinners. What resulted were these three creative zines, published in spring 2018.
Below is a visual recording + exploration of conversations across a pilot series of 3 community dinners hosted by PCDC. A shared meal + space for Chinatown neighbors — community leaders, business owners, old and new residents, churches and schools, volunteers — to come together and share community values, experiences, and thoughts for the future of the neighborhood. Topics discussed ranged from favorite Chinatown restaurants, to affordable housing in Philadelphia, to the lack of green space, to what's happening north of the Vine Street Expressway, and the local art scene.
Dinner Journal #1 @ Sakura Mandarin Restaurant:
“You see the mural of Chinatown and that tells the story of how Chinese immigrants came to be in Chinatown. And then...when you look at Vine Street, you look at all the things the community has tried to do to overcome what’s happened to them on that street.” - Sarah Y., PCDC
Dinner Journal #2 @ Parada Maimon:
“The reason there is not more affordable housing in the city is that it’s not affordable. How do we make [building] affordable housing, affordable?” - Michael G., Friends of The Rail Park
Dinner Journal #3 @ Rangoon:
“There’s Chinatown North, there’s Callowhill, there’s Spring Arts...there [are] so many different names for that area. Can you just call it whatever you want?” - Sunanda