The mission of the Chinese American Museum (CAM) is to foster a deeper understanding and appreciation of America’s diverse heritage by researching, preserving, and sharing the history, rich cultural legacy, and continuing contributions of Chinese Americans.
The Chinese American Museum strives to become a primary educational resource for the diverse communities of Los Angeles through our exhibits and educational programming. We aim to further strengthen and expand our community partnerships and collaborations to ensure that our programs are reflective of our entire community. Through the quality of our exhibits, programming, and community partnerships, we endeavor to become a nationally recognized, leading museum.
• To present exhibits on Chinese Americans illustrating their rich culture and heritage
• To define and interpret their role in establishing the California community
• To provide educational programs to the visiting public and schools
• To collect and curate historical to contemporary arts, documents, images, and artifacts
• To serve as a research center on the 150-year Chinese American experience in California
CAM is housed inside the oldest surviving Chinese buildings in Southern California—the Garnier Building and an adjacent historic structure (425 North Los Angeles Street). The Museum site stands inside El Pueblo Monument, a 44-acre public park located at the City’s “birthplace” in downtown Los Angeles.
The Museum is jointly developed and operated by the Friends of the Chinese American Museum (FCAM) and El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument (El Pueblo), a department of the City of Los Angeles. Formed in 1988, FCAM is a 501(c)(3), nonprofit, grassroots organization that assists the museum with a mission to generate supporter interest and participation, acquire and conserve artifacts, conduct research, plan museum designs, conduct community outreach, and raise funds. It consists of a 25-member Board of Directors and is headed by Board President, Alfred H. Soo-Hoo
The central location of El Pueblo places CAM before a vast and diverse audience. This popular city park annually hosts 1.5 million tourists from Southern California and from all over the world. Of the visitors who come each day, one-third are local school children on field trips. CAM is committed to using its prime location to provide events and programs for its diverse ethnic, cultural, and geographic audiences, especially within Southern California
CAM exhibitions and programs are generously supported by the State of California, the City of Los Angeles, Friends of the Chinese American Museum, El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument, various granting agencies such as The California Arts Council, The Department of Cultural Affairs, The California Council for the Humanities, The California Community Foundation, The Getty Foundation, The Nissan Foundation, The Annenberg Foundation, and an expanding source of hundreds of individual and community donors. The California Cultural and Historical Endowment recently awarded CAM $100,000 to assist with the museum’s expansion project.