Events planned to remember forced expulsion of Chinese

In addition to a panel discussion at Western Washington University on Monday, Nov. 8, other events for the Chinese Expulsion Remembrance Project include a display at WWU's Wilson Library in November and December.


What: "Chinese Expulsion: the Legacy of Intolerance in Whatcom County," sponsored by the Human Rights Commemorative Project. Speakers will talk about the anti-Chinese movement in Whatcom County from 1885-1890, along with issues related to Chinese residents in the Puget Sound. The role of government, the press, labor organizations and local businesses will be discussed.

When: 7 to 9 p.m. Monday, Nov. 8.

Where: Fairhaven College auditorium at Western Washington University.

Cost: Free, open to public. Parking is free in the gravel C lots near Fairhaven College.

Details: Paul Englesberg, 360-380-2238; Christopher Wise, 360-650-3237; and online at iexaminer.org.

Events in Whatcom and Skagit counties include:

April 30, 2011

Commemoration of 1885: Chinese Family Activity Day, noon to 4 p.m. at Whatcom Museum, Lightcatcher Building, 250 Flora St. in Bellingham. Contact: Elsa Lenz Kothe, 360-778-8960.

Details: The event is a celebration Chinese culture and life in Whatcom County in 1885 and includes family activities, such as music, dance, performances, calligraphy, hands-on workshops, gallery tours and storytelling. Admission is $3 per person.

May 26

"Emerald Bay and The Chinese Expulsion: 125 Years Later," 7 p.m. at Whatcom Museum, Rotunda Room, 121 Prospect St. in Bellingham.

Details: This event will celebrate the launching of "Emerald Bay," a new ballet placed within Bellingham's history. The event includes a brief film screening of a documentary about the ballet and a forum on the events that inspired the piece - the Chinese being pushed out of Bellingham and other communities in the Puget Sound 125 years ago.

Refreshments, including wine and beer, will be offered.

Contact: Christopher Wise, 360-650-3237.

If you can't wait: The ballet will premier 7 p.m. May 15 at the University of Washington's Meany Hall in Seattle. Ticket prices will range from $25 to $32. Call the theater at 206-543-4880.

June 4 and 5

"Emerald Bay" ballet, 7 p.m. at McIntyre Hall, 2501 E. College Way in Mount Vernon.

Details: The original work from Northwest Ballet recounts the tragic love story of Chinese sea captain Li Puo and his lover Julie O'Connor, a young woman of Scots-Irish ancestry. Based in history, the fictional piece is set in Bellingham Bay and the Puget Sound region in 1885 - not long after the federal Chinese Exclusion Act and when Chinese immigrants were driven from the area.

Christopher Wise, an English professor at WWU, is the author of the ballet. It features original choreography by artistic director John Bishop.

Admission will be $15 to $25, with group discounts and discounts for seniors and students.

Contacts: Wise, 360-650-3237, or Bishop of Northwest Ballet, 360-714-1246.

Or call the theater at 360-416-7727, Ext. 2.

June 11 and 12

"Emerald Bay" ballet, 7 p.m. at Mount Baker Theatre, 104 N. Commercial St. in Bellingham.

Admission will be $15 to $25, with group discounts and discounts for seniors and students.

Contacts: Wise, 360-650-3237, or Bishop, 360-714-1246.

Or call the theater at 360-734-6080.


Learn more about the Chinese Expulsion Remembrance Project and the history of the anti-Chinese movement at these websites:

iexaminer.org/cerp, for the coalition that organized the remembrance project and events in Bellingham, Mount Vernon, Seattle, Tacoma and Olympia.

wce.wwu.edu, for the Asian American Curriculum and Research Project at Western Washington University.

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