ILLUMINATION opens during the Second Friday Art Walk from 5-8 p.m., Friday, December 9, 2022, at the Springfield History Museum. The exhibit features stories and photographs of six contemporary Springfield community members exploring the Asian American, Pacific Islander and Native Hawaiian (AANHPI) experience in the area, including:
- Jodi Willis shares how she was adopted by her family in Springfield, Oregon in May of 1975. She was one of 25 babies in the last flight of ‘Operation Babylift’ that evacuated children from Vietnam during the fall of Saigon. She is a wife, a mother of two, and owns her own business.
- Hai Nguyen immigrated with his family to Oregon from Saigon in 1975. He attended the University of Oregon and later began teaching in Springfield in 1990. Hai has devoted his career to supporting Springfield public school students in alternative and special education where his team seeks to “try to meet [students] wherever their skills are and try to build them up.”
ILLUMINATION is an annual celebration of community sourced narratives that reflect the plurality of voices in Springfield, Oregon. We use interviews, photographs, and personal objects to share stories that illuminate the intersectionality of our Springfield identity. The exhibit will also include evidence of the impact of AANHPI Oregonians in the Willamette Valley dating back as far as 1800.
This year our team includes Aimee Yogi, Thomas Hiura and Mimi Nolledo who worked in collaboration with museum staff Madeline McGraw and Mindy Linder. “We are working to overcome the white supremacy inherent in museum institutions including gatekeeping and erasure,” said Curator Madeline McGraw. “So many have been left out of our historical records and we are working to change that, one story at a time.”
The exhibit will be installed in the east-facing windows of the Museum gallery, where viewers have unlimited access. Light refreshments will be offered, and guests will have access to the indoor exhibits and bathroom during each special event.
This project is made possible by the support of the Springfield Utility Board (SUB), the City of Springfield City Manager’s Office, the Friends of the Springfield Public Library and History Museum, and Springfield Arts Commission.
Current regular Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Thursday – Saturday, and as always, admission is free!
The Springfield History Museum encourages anyone who identifies as AANHPI and lives, works, volunteers and/or attends school in Springfield to participate and share their story anytime duration of the exhibit, which will open Friday, December 9, 2022, and run through Saturday, March 11, 2023.
For more information about the exhibit and how to share your story, visit https://wheremindsgrow.org/illumination, find us on Facebook and Instagram, or call 541.726.2300.
What: ILLUMINATION exhibit opening
When: 5-8 p.m., Friday, December 9
Where: Springfield History Museum at 590 Main Street
Additional Information: Mindy Linder, 541.726.3677 or firstname.lastname@example.org