In early 2015, The Wing will open a small exhibition commemorating the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Immigration Act of 1965, uncovering its legacy and exploring the ongoing issues carried on in its wake.
The Asian-Pacific American community has grown dramatically in size and diversity since this landmark Act, which swept away years of discriminatory exclusion laws. In Washington State, the Asian-Pacific population swelled from 53,400 in 1970 to 323,000 in 1995, a six-fold increase in 25 years. Now, the population is more than 530,000, and Asians are the fastest-growing ethnic group in Washington State.
Rooted in The Wing’s community-based exhibition model, community members will gather in a series of workshops throughout 2014 to determine the main messages, themes, stories and design of the exhibition. Participants will explore questions such as: “How did the Immigration Act of 1965 change the lives of individuals, families, communities and the face of America?” “What values did it reflect?” “Which values have endured, and which have not carried on?” “What legacy did the Immigration Act of 1965 leave behind, and how should we move forward in the next 50 years?” The Museum plans to offer six dialogue sessions with core participants to lay the foundation for the exhibition, which will then engage the broader community and the general public in issues of immigration then and now.