Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Pittsburgh's Historic Chinatown public celebration, April 16, featuring concerts, performances, food, walking tour, and more.

OCA Pittsburgh will host its public celebration of Pittsburgh's Historic Chinatown on April 16, featuring music, food, performances, and an Asian market.
Starting at 1pm on April 16, 2022 we will be commemorating the Chinese Americans who first came to Pittsburgh in the 1880's and the Chinatown district they built in downtown Pittsburgh.

The Pennsylvania Governor’s Commission on Preservation and Museums’ board members as well as other elected officials throughout the state will be on hand for the unveiling of the plaque declaring the landmark.

This is a free outdoor event with cultural performances and music, cultural crafts and activities, Lion Dance teams, and an Asian marketplace. Cantonese-American Suave Pav will be on hand to bring his new wavy Soulection of afrobeat, trap, and Brazilian baile to his open format DJing for the afternoon.

Earlier in the day at 12pm there is a walking tour of historic Chinatown spaces with Shirley Yee. Folks interested in this 45minute tour should meet at 519 Court Place.

As part of the day's celebration, we are very excited to present rappers jason chu and Alan Z who will perform Face Value, their new album centering 170+ years of Asian American history.

African American bilingual Mandarin rapper and Fulbright scholar MC Tingbudong will be performing his project Viral 001, a multimedia conversation between China and Black America.
Cultural performances from local organizations include:
-Steel Dragon Martial Arts Lion Dance Team
- OCA Performance Ensemble
- Win Win Kung Fu Cultural Center
- Zang Taekwon- Do
- Yang Jing Chinese Ensemble
- Ruby Jain Dance Academy
- YuGe Women's Choir
- Bhutanese Community Association of Pittsburgh (BCAP)
The event runs from 1:00 to 4:00 pm at 520 Third Ave. (map). For more information about Pittsburgh's Chinatown, which was largely displaced by the construction of the Boulevard of the Allies, please see this 2019 Next Pittsburgh profile or this 1959 article on the "end of the road for Chinatown." The city's historic Chinatown footprint was granted a state historical marker in March 2021, with a dedication ceremony scheduled for (and cancelled) last September.

Part of the festivities is a concert by jason chu, Alan Z, and MC Tingbudong, visiting Pittsburgh as part of their "Chinatown Tour." A profile of the artists, from their publicists:
Rapper/activist jason chu has been recognized by the Mellon Foundation, OCA Greater Los Angeles, the LA City Department of Cultural Affairs, BBC, NBC Asian America, and more as a leading voice in Asian American culture. He tours extensively nationwide, centering empathy and storytelling in his work.

Rapper/singer Alan Z is a mainstay in the Atlanta hip-hop scene with a national audience earned from performing coast-to-coast, while building a dedicated online following. He’s been seen going viral on Instagram and TikTok with rap verses about Asian American history and social issues. Credits on Wu Assassins (Netflix), iZombie (The CW), Sony Music Entertainment.

Rapper, multimedia artist, and revolutionary Jamel Mims aka MC Tingbudong is on the front lines of resistance against mass incarceration. In 2008, Mims received a Fulbright Scholarship to compile a multimedia ethnography on the hip hop subculture in Beijing. He works as a Mandarin teacher and leads workshops for Chinese teachers on using hip hop pedagogy in the classroom. His work has been featured in the New York Times and on CBS.
The concert starts at 3:00 pm.