The Autry Awards the Maverick Prize to the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation and Plans a Series of Programs
Immigrants arrive at the Angel Island Immigration Station wharf in 1927. Photo courtesy of Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation.
Los Angeles, CA (January 26, 2012) — The Autry National Center has awarded the Maverick Prize to the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation (AIISF), an organization dedicated to advancing greater understanding of Pacific Coast immigration and its impact on America and the lives of Pacific Coast immigrants and their descendants. The Maverick Prize recognizes the work of an individual or organization that challenges conventional wisdom and prompts novel thinking about the past, present, and future of the American West. AIISF will receive $10,000 and an invitation to present its work at the Autry.
“The work the Foundation has done and continues to do to teach the public about the history of detention at Angel Island has truly expanded the way we understand U.S. immigration history, and particularly the migration of those from Asia to America,” said David Burton, Director of the Autry Institute. “The Autry applauds the Foundation in these efforts and also for its exemplary collaborations with California State Parks and various Bay Area school districts. We look forward to presenting a series of programs focusing on Pacific Rim immigration, inspired by and in many cases highlighting the work of our deserving Maverick honoree.”
A nonprofit organization, AIISF’s mission is to promote a greater understanding of Pacific Coast immigration and its role in shaping America’s past, present and future. AIISF raises funds to restore, preserve, and interpret the U.S. Immigration Station at Angel Island, a National Historic Landmark. After several years of restoration work funded by public and private funds, AIISF and the California State Parks reopened the Immigration Station Museum in February 2009. AIISF has also launched the Angel Island Legacies Project, which trains oral historians and researchers to interview detainees and descendants of all nationalities and share their rich stories with the public. Stories gathered through this project now appear on www.aiisf.org in a section called “Immigrant Voices.” Angel Island immigrants, as well as those who came to the U.S. in later years such as the actress/director Joan Chen and writer Isabel Allende, are profiled in “Immigrant Voices.”
“It is a great honor to have AIISF recognized with the Maverick Prize from the Autry,” said Eddie Wong, Executive Director of AIISF. “We look forward to collaborating with the Autry as we bring the history of the West and its diverse peoples to new audiences.”
In conjunction with the recognition of the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation, the Autry will present Conversations on Convergence,a series of programs centered on the Asian immigrant experience in the American West.
Conversations on Convergence
Conversations on Convergence is the Autry’s new series of lectures and special events exploring contemporary issues that shape life in the American West. Each year, the Autry will focus on one topic or theme, bringing together scholars, community leaders, and opinion makers to provide insight, analysis, and greater understanding of that theme.
In 2012, Conversations on Convergence spotlights Asian Pacific immigration into the United States with “Asian-Pacific Island Immigration, Past and Present,” focusing on the experiences of Asians and Asian Americans in the West, including the immigrants who entered through Angel Island in San Francisco Bay between 1910 and 1940.
Museum rates apply for all programs unless otherwise noted.
Book Talk With Nicole Mones
Sunday, February 12, 2:00 p.m.
The Autry Book Club welcomes author Nicole Mones to discuss The Last Chinese Chef, which was a Kiriyama Prize finalist and won a World Gourmand Award as a Chinese cookbook—a first for a novel with no recipes. Her other bestselling novels, Lost in Translation and A Cup of Light, are published in twenty languages. She has also written for Gourmet Magazine, the New York Times Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, and the Washington Post. A light reception and book signing to follow discussion.
Family Membership Activity
Sunday, February 12, 1:00–3:00 p.m.
The Autry explores Chinese culture with a scavenger hunt in our Family Discovery Gallery, StoryTime at noon, and a family activity. Phoenix will provide a taste of Chinese cuisine and we thank them for their support.
The Last Chinese ChefLuncheon
Sunday, February 26, 1:00–3:00 p.m.
Chang’s Garden, 627 West Duarte Road, Arcadia, CA 91007
Join Nicole Mones at Chang’s Garden to experience a fourteen-course meal prepared by chef Chang with a menu inspired by The Last Chinese Chef. Mones will personally greet each table throughout the meal and speak about the culture and principles behind the dishes served.
Hidden Histories Gallery Tour: “Gold Mountain Dreams and Harsh Realities”
Sunday, March 11, 7:00 p.m.
Take a gallery tour and discover the hidden histories of Asian Pacific Island immigrant communities in the West through the museum’s collections. Scholars and community partners alike help reveal the untold stories of detainees at Angel Island, resourceful entrepreneurs, migratory adventures, and lost farmland. Eddie Wong, Director of the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation, along with Dr. Robert Chao Romero, researcher of Asian immigration to Latin America and Asian-Latinos in the United States and Dr. Min Zhou, Professor of Sociology & Asian American Studies, Walter and Shirley Wang Endowed Chair in U.S.-China Relations and Communications, and the founding chair of Asian American Studies Department (2001–2005) at UCLA, will lead a Hidden Historiestour of the Autry galleries.
Beyond the Stereotype: Real Asians on Screen
Saturday, April 28, 1:00 p.m.
Together with Visual Communications, the nation’s premier nonprofit organization dedicated to the honest and accurate portrayals of the Asian Pacific American peoples, communities, and heritage through the media arts, the Autry takes an in-depth look at the lives of Asian Pacific immigrants through film. Filmmakers will discuss how works such as Felicia Lowe’s Carved in Silence and Arthur Dong’s Sewing Woman have helped challenge popular misconceptions about the Asian immigrant experience.
Family Day at the Autry
Sunday, May 20, 11:00 a.m.
This special program, designed just for young families, explores the See Family Discovery Gallery, which examines the history of the See family, from patriarch Fong See’s arrival in California in the 1871 through his great-great grandchild, author Lisa See. The gallery is divided into three sections, each representing a portion of the See family’s world in the 1937: their home in Hancock Park, the Dragon’s Den restaurant, and the F. Suie One Antique and Curio Company, the latter two both located in Los Angeles’ Old Chinatown. The day’s Family Day craft activity is kite making.
What You Don’t Know About Angel Island
Sunday, May 20, 2:00 p.m.
Made possible by support from the John and LaRee Caughey Foundation, the biennial Caughey Foundation Lecture will feature renowned scholar Dr. Judy Yung, coauthor of the book Angel Island: Immigrant Gateway to America and winner of the 2010 Caughey Book Prize for most distinguished work on the history of the American West. Dr. Yung will speak about how the Angel Island story sheds light on America’s complicated and controversial relationship to immigration, then and now, and in relation to the current debate about immigration reform. A book signing will follow the presentation. The program will also feature a performance by East West Players based on the interrogations held at Angel Island.
Little Tokyo Walking Tour
Saturday, May 26, 10:15 a.m., Japanese American National Museum
The Japanese American National Museum invites you to attend their monthly Little Tokyo Walking Tour. Relive history and learn about present-day Little Tokyo with JANM docents. Comfortable walking shoes and clothes recommended. Weather permitting. Please note that this program takes place at the Japanese American National Museum. Open only to Autry members; includes museum admission to JANM.
Who Do You Think We Are? The Challenges of Uncovering Lost Histories
Date/Time TBD, Ticket Prices TBD
Presenting history has its challenges, whether revealed on television or exhibited in a museum. In conjunction with this series, Lisa Kudrow, Executive Producer of the hit television series Who Do You Think You Are?, joins Dr. Stephen Aron, Autry Chair, Western History, Autry Institute, and Professor of History, UCLA, for a look at the realities of telling personal and public stories through historical documents and artifacts.
The Autry would like to thank our community partners for their collaboration in the creation of these public programs: Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation, Chinese American Museum, East West Players, Japanese American National Museum, Visual Communications, and Who Do You Think You Are?
Previous Maverick Prize Winner
The Autry National Center awarded the first Maverick Prize in 2009 to the Malpai Borderlands Group, a grassroots organization working to protect the borderlands culture and region in Arizona and New Mexico. This landowner-driven, nonprofit organization is attempting to implement ecosystem management on nearly one million acres of virtually unfragmented open-space landscape in southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico, carrying out a series of conservation programs and activities that include land restoration, endangered species habitat protection, cost-sharing range and ranch improvements, and land conservation projects.
About the Autry National Center
The Autry is a museum dedicated to exploring and sharing the stories, experiences, and perceptions of the diverse peoples of the American West, connecting the past to the present to inspire our shared future. The museum presents a wide range of exhibitions and public programs, including lectures, film, theater, festivals, family events, and music, and performs scholarship, research, and educational outreach. The Autry’s collection of more than 500,000 pieces of art and artifacts includes the Southwest Museum of the American Indian Collection, one of the largest and most significant in the United States.
Museum and Autry Store
Tuesday–Friday, 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m
Saturday and Sunday, 11:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Tuesday–Friday 9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
The museum, store, and cafe are closed on Mondays.
For press inquiries, contact:
323.667.2000, ext. 275