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The Past and Future of DC Chinatown (documentary film, 2018)
Once a vibrant Chinese immigrant neighborhood, Washington, DC’s Chinatown is today a bustling business and entertainment district with only about 300 remaining Chinese American residents. While Chinatown first formed in the late 19th century on Pennsylvania Avenue NW within view of the Capitol, it was displaced for the construction of federal and municipal buildings around 1930. After relocating to near 7th and H Streets NW, a new Chinatown grew, but faced continued challenges from major development projects in the decades that followed. This documentary film draws on more than twenty oral history interviews with longtime community members to explore the evolution of this important, but shrinking neighborhood. “The Past and Future of DC Chinatown,” produced in conjunction with the Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum’s “A Right to the City” exhibition (April 2018 - April 2020), received federal support from the Asian Pacific American Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center.