Portland Chinatown Museum Overview
The Portland Chinatown Museum (PCM) is Oregon’s first museum about Chinese American history, art, and culture. Opened to the public in December 2018 in an historic building at NW Third Avenue and Davis Street, the Museum honors Portland Chinatown’s past, celebrates its present, and is helping to create its future. The permanent exhibition gallery features a 2,400 square foot exhibition, Beyond the Gate: A Tale of Portland’s Historic Chinatowns. Two front galleries serve as a venue for the work of contemporary Asian American artists in all media, as a site for storytelling about the immigrant experience, and for exhibitions, lectures, performances, and other public programs. The Portland Chinatown Museum is operated by the Portland Chinatown History Foundation, founded in 2014 by a group of Chinese American elders with deep roots in Portland’s Chinatown.
Our mission is to collect, preserve and share the stories, oral histories and artifacts of Portland’s Chinatown as a catalyst for exploring and interpreting the history of past, present and future immigrant experiences.
We envision a more equitable and just society where all people value the experiences and contributions of the diverse peoples and cultures that shape the evolving American narrative.
PCM is part of a unique cluster in Old Town Chinatown of ethnic museums, gardens, and memorials, all dedicated to telling powerful stories of immigration to Oregon. The museums and memorials also include the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education (OJMCHE), Japanese American Museum of Oregon (JAMO), Lan Su Chinese Garden, the China Gate, Japanese American Historical Plaza, and the Golden West Hotel.
The Portland Chinatown Museum embraces and practices the values of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in all of our decision-making processes. We believe that disparities based on characteristics of race, gender, gender orientation, national origin, ethnicity, age, class, geographic location, disability, faith, and sexual orientation are systemic and structural problems deeply embedded within our society and its institutions. PCM plays a part in dismantling these biases by presenting a vision of the region’s past and present through the perspectives of the Asian Americans who have lived here. Our work is driven and informed by the desire to highlight the experiences of people who have been left out of the conventional narrative and mainstream culture of the region.
Land Acknowledgement Statement
The Portland Chinatown Museum acknowledges and honors the Indigenous peoples and their descendants of the Lower Columbia and Willamette River region whose lands the City of Portland and our Museum currently occupy. These include Willamette, Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook tribes and the Tualitin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and the many other Chinookan peoples who established communities along the lower Columbia whose descendants are today members of the Grande Ronde, Warm Springs and Siletz Confederated Tribes of Oregon.