Exhibit at Wing Luke Asian Museum Displays the History of Sikhs in America and Educates the Public About the Sikh Faith and its Values
Seattle, Washington - On October 20th the Wing Luke Asian Museum and the Sikh Coalition held a ceremony to celebrate the official opening of the exhibit, "Sikh Community, Over 100 Years in the Pacific Northwest." Nearly a hundred people from the Sikh community, local residents and the Wing Luke Museum gathered for the event.
An initial Ardas (Prayer) from a local community member officially opened the exhibit. Afterwards, Ron Chew, Executive Director of Wing Luke Museum, expressed his vision for the project. "We wanted to share the rich heritage of the Sikhs with the broader community. Its a wonderful opportunity for us all to learn more about one another. We look forward to using this exhibit as the beginning of many collaborations."
Sept. 11 brought home "the realization that you can exist in the community, yet nobody recognizes you for who you are," said Jasmit Singh, director of education for the local Sikh Coalition, which partnered with Wing Luke on the exhibit. "You have to be socially and politically active in the community you live in to make sure people understand who you are."
-Seattle Times Coverage of the Opening
('Demystifying the Sikh Culture')
The Coalition would like to thank the local Seattle Sikh community and the staff of Wing Luke Museum for the countless hours of dedicated effort that made this exhibit possible. The exhibit will be on display at the Wing Luke Museum for the next six months and will be accompanied by tours, film screenings and additional events.
About the Exhibit
As a part of the exhibit, kids can watch videos and color drawings about Sikhs
Although Sikhs have been living in the United States and Canada for over a century, the general public understands little about the Sikh faith and the community's long-standing roots in the Pacific Northwest. The first Sikh immigrants arrived in this region in the late 1800s, working in lumber mills and constructing railroads. Immigrants arriving since the 1960s have been professionals, businesspeople, and entrepreneurs. Despite their rich contributions to this region, Sikhs have been the targets of racism and discrimination, especially amplified in the United States since the tragic events of September 11, 2001.
The Sikh Community: Over 100 Years in the Pacific Northwest exhibition at the Wing Luke Asian Museum features historic and educational materials, artifacts, photographs, oral history collections and multimedia of the Sikh community in the Pacific Northwest. Public programming will also be scheduled throughout the duration of the exhibit. This exhibition seeks to educate the general public about the Sikh faith and the history and heritage of the Sikh community in the Northwest.
An Ardas officially marked the opening of the Sikh Exhibit at the Wing Luke Asian Museum
The Wing Luke Asian Museum is the only community-based museum in the United States whose mission is to engage Asian Pacific Islander Americans and the general public in the art, history, and culture of Asian Pacific Islander Americans. The Wing Luke Asian Museum is nationally recognized for its community-based model of exhibition development.
The Sikh Coalition is a community-based organization that defends civil rights and civil liberties in the United States, educates the broader community about Sikhs and diversity, promotes local community empowerment, and fosters civic engagement amongst Sikh Americans. The Coalition serves as a resource for all organizations and individuals as well as a point of contact for Sikh people.
The Sikh Coalition and Wing Luke Museum would also like to thank the sponsors of this initiative.
This exhibition is made possible by support from:
Institute of Museum and Library Services
Adobe Systems Inc.
City of Seattle Office for Arts and Culture
The Peach Foundation
Americans for the Arts
Washington State Arts Commission
Hate Free Zone of Washington
Japanese American Citizens League- Seattle Chapter