By Ran Yan, Zhichen Zhao
What’s your impression and thoughts of Flushing?
To many Chinese people, Flushing is the synonym for authentic Chinese cuisine. With co-hosting this event at Flushing, I have a new understanding of it. Different from the vibrant and exciting Manhattan, Flushing serves as a very important, yet unique aspect of the civic life in New York City.
What are the differences of having a lecture at Latimer House in Flushing, compared to a normal lecture?
It’s a very special and interesting experience in hosting a salon event at a historical house museum. Especially, the DIY topic of this event is highly coherent of the experiences of Latimer. The house provides a cozy environment, which makes the event more like a salon than a lecture. The set-up and exhibits of the house also provides an immersive and inspiring feeling.
Does the event meet your expectations? What’s your impression of co-hosting this event with New York Culture Salon?
Through this event our staffs at the house and the Historic House Trust (HHT) all feel confirmed and proud of our mission to revitalize the house by engaging various communities. The enthusiasm of the audience exceeded our expectations. We wish we could host as many people as we want! NY Shalong has an intriguing selection of topics with an attention to the current events and trends. We’re very glad to cooperate together.
What thoughts and inspirations did the event and the collaboration with the Latimer House/HHT bring to you?
Our salon events have been hosted in a classroom most of the time. Knowledge and thoughts are exchanged by means of speech, slides and videos. This event (at the Latimer House) inspires me to explore more locales; to make the environment itself serves as an approach for presenting ideas. Also, as a newly registered non-profit organization, the Salon needs more co-operations with and to learn from other non-profit organizations.
How did Lewis Latimer’s life inspire you?
Latimer’s efforts led to his success regardless of the barriers laid against him by ethnicity, educational and family background. Sufficient talent, industriousness and hard working will eventually help to realize personal values and achievements.
How does NY Shalong attract target audience and keep them engaged?
We try to keep the authenticity, richness and diversity of the topics and contents. It’s our members’ appreciation, enthusiasm and willingness to share that make it thrive.
What exhibitions/activities do you expect to see or do at the Latimer House?
I wish to see more DIY workshops at the house. For example, to practice the techniques discussed in this lecture; or to design and craft a customized gift.
What’re your plans on events to be hold at the house in the future?
We will further regularize the Tinkering Lab workshops through cooperation with Materials for the Arts (MFTA), and explore more exciting hands-on themes for adults, building on the existing activities like lantern making, robot building, mosaic, etc. At the same time, Latimer House will be opening for more hours with tours on Fridays and Saturdays in 2015. The next special event coming up would be focused on Social Justice, with stakeholders, experts, and representatives from organizations speaking on the topics of racial bias, political freedom, and social justice. We’re all deeply inspired by the recent incidents and movements around the world, and would like to see the house acting as a social justice Launchpad.
What role do you think the Latimer House plays in the Historic House Trust?
As a pilot project under HHT, Latimer House utilizes its unique structural condition, geographical environment, and historic context, to incorporate the fast-changing social resources in Flushing, Queens. It represents the innovative ideas in Anarchist Guide To Historic House Museums, proposed by HHT’s Executive Director, Franklin Vagnone. We’re piloting a renaissance in historic house museums.
Any other advice or thoughts?
Heartily wish to have more cooperation opportunities with New York Historical House Trust and Latimer House Museum!