I Want the Wide American Earth’s promotional video is released!

JANM's 2013 interns celebrate the end of a great summer internship!
JANM’s 2013 interns celebrate the end of a great summer internship!

Every summer the Getty Foundation organizes a Multicultural Undergraduate Internship program in Los Angeles that aims to encourage greater diversity in the professions related to museums and the visual arts. This year JANM hired three interns—Kelly in Media Arts, Cindi in Production, and myself, Esther, in the Curatorial department.

For the majority of the summer we worked separately, but for the last few weeks, we worked together to produce a final collaboration project which would culminate in a promotional video for the exhibition, I Want the Wide American Earth: An Asian Pacific American Story.

Media Arts intern, Kelly, searches for artifacts on JANM's database.
Media Arts intern, Kelly, searches for artifacts on JANM’s database.

As the exhibition  takes a sweeping look at how Asian Pacific Americans have shaped and been shaped by the course of U.S. history, we decided to interview Asian Pacific Americans of different ethnicities, backgrounds, and occupations on a variety of topics. Our central question was “What do you want from your America?”. We also asked each interviewee to finish the sentence “I am…”. We got a wide array of answers that allows any viewer to appreciate the cultural, historical, and social diversity among Asian Pacific Americans.

Cindi and Esther are guided through JANM's artifacts by Collections  Manager, Maggie Wetherbee.
The interns are guided through the Collections Department by JANM’s Collections Manager, Maggie Wetherbee.

For footage we used photographs from the exhibition itself, and made stops around Downtown Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo and Chinatown. We also visited our own Collections Department at JANM to photograph artifacts and photographs that were relevant to the exhibition. It was an exciting day because we saw how expansive our Collections Department is, and we got to personally handle artifacts!

A shot from Wong Fu Productions'  "10 Year Anniversary" clip.
A shot from Wong Fu Productions’ “10 Year Anniversary” clip.

We were also granted permission from Youtube stars including, fitness instructor Cassey Ho from Blogilates, singers David Choi and Clara C, and Wong Fu Productions for our preview clip. Although we did not use all of these clips for our final video, we were able to get exciting experience communicating with professionals, and were able compile more than enough footage so that we had many options while editing our video.

Check out our final video to see who’s footage and interviews made it into our collaboration project!

Curatorial intern, Esther carefully handling a "Justice for Vincent Chin" pin from the 80s.
Curatorial intern, Esther, carefully handling a “Justice for Vincent Chin” pin from the ’80s.

 

It was a time-consuming project, but it was also a great experience because we were able to collaborate with each other, appreciate each of our talents, and examine how different departments come together to produce a project. For us, this experience reinforced the fact that museums, including JANM, are not made up of individuals working separately, but rather, individuals working and collaborating together to produce something great!

 

Cindi, JANM's 2013 production intern, designing a event flyer.
Cindi, JANM’s 2013 production intern, designing an event flyer.

If you haven’t seen it already, I Want the Wide American Earth is on display at JANM until October 27th. Also, be sure to catch Our American Voice—a special two-person show starring Traci Kato-Kiriyama, and Johnny Kwon (also the narrators of our final video), exploring six diverse stories of Asian Pacific Americans. This special performance was produced in partnership with East West Players, and will be performed at 1pm in the exhibition gallery every Saturday for the duration of the exhibition.

Photos by: Kelly Gates, and Esther Shin.

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For more information on I Want the Wide American Earth: An Asian Pacific American Story, visit: janm.org/wide-american-earth.

 

Esther Shin

Esther graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles in the Summer of 2013 with a Bachelor’s degree in History and a minor degree in Japanese. She was the curatorial intern at JANM for the 2013 Getty Multicultural Undergraduate Internship Program, and has also completed a marketing internship at the museum. Esther currently works as a Development Assistant for JANM.

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