Creative Placemaking / Placekeeping

Chinatown Community Development Center engages in place-based activities that involve community residents, artists, and cultural workers to activate formal and informal arts spaces and utilize creative interventions for positive community outcomes. Chinatown CDC recognizes the importance of honoring the cultural lives of the Chinatown community and making sure the cultural history is protected and preserved. Our efforts involve community participants in collaborative processes to reflect on their neighborhood, consider ways to shape and support Chinatown’s ongoing evolution, and strengthen the connection between people and the places they share.

41 Ross
Situated in historic Ross Alley in San Francisco Chinatown, 41 Ross is an active community space for creative engagement that brings together local residents, neighbors, and visitors to participate in art/culture making activities. More than an art gallery, 41 Ross is a community resource space and interactive studio that promotes dialogue, appreciation, and creative engagement around the local culture as practiced by everyday people in Chinatown. Our cultural programming serves to activate Ross Alley and other public spaces in Chinatown. 41 Ross is a collaboration between Chinatown Community Development Center and the Chinese Culture Foundation of San Francisco.

Chinatown CDC is partnering with local SF resident and Emmy®Award-nominated filmmaker, James Q. Chan ( (Forever, Chinatown; Bloodline; Chinatown Rising) on You Are Here (, a new series of short films highlighting the storied lives of our beloved community living in and around the historic San Francisco Chinatown neighborhood. The series features the talents of seasoned and aspiring filmmakers, editors, musicians, artists, and community organizations.

Everyday Heroines and Covid19 in Chinatown is a collection of videos produced by members and staff of Chinatown Community Development Center’s Youth Program. CCDC partnered with Lowedown Productions ( who taught the mobile phone video production workshops via ZOOM.

Coming Home: The 990 Pacific Relocation Story shares how CCDC transitioned a building from government to community control, saving the homes of 100 seniors and adults with disabilities in San Francisco Chinatown. Photo/video storyteller Emma Marie Chiang ( created a multimedia website that combines photos, videos, and text to document the stories of 990 Pacific Avenue residents as they transition from temporary units and return home to newly refurbished units and the San Francisco Chinatown community.

Chinatown CDC’s series of short films showcases it’s creative placemaking work by providing an overview of the San Francisco Chinatown neighborhood, the roots of CCDC’s advocacy and cultural work, and examples of storytelling and arts and culture projects intended to honor and promote the community.

Developed by Chinatown Community Development Center (CCDC), Made in Chinatown心繫華埠 showcases the role that Chinatown’s local businesses, with their unique products, play for shoppers in their daily lives and on special occasions.


This exhibit celebrates sweet stories and memories of San Francisco Chinatown’s candies, baked goods and desserts.


This exhibit features the ways that art has defined and beautified the Chinatown neighborhood -- from the colorful murals, to pagoda-styled architecture, to the everyday practices of tai chi and Cantonese opera performed on the streets and parks.

An exhibit featuring local chefs creating a taste of home through, shopping, cooking, and eating.


A photographic examination of changes and continuities in San Francisco Chinatown during the past thirty-five years prepared by Malcolm Collier, Emeritus Faculty, Asian American Studies, San Francisco State University.

照片展覽分折華埠社區過去35 年來的變化和申延。由三藩市州立大學美國亞裔研究榮譽教師Malcolm Collier 攝製

Celebrating 30 Years of Community Tenants Association Advocacy


EAT CHINATOWN is a photo exhibit at 41 Ross that commemorates classic Chinatown restaurants, diners and bakeries that have been operating for at least 40 years.The exhibit focuses on four well-loved restaurants: New Lun Ting Cafe (better known as Pork Chop House), Capital Restaurant, Hon’s Wun-Tun House and Eastern Bakery.

Made in Chinatown celebrates the achievements and impact of the Chinatown Community Development Center’s youth programs in the neighborhood over the last twenty-five years. The exhibit features photographs, a short documentary film, a full-scale lego model of their neighborhood, and an interactive map. Visitors are invited to share their memories and vision of Chinatown, as all of us, in some way, are “Made in Chinatown.”

3650/衣錦還鄉, a story about a Chinatown Single Room Occupancy resident chasing his American Dream.

Produced by photographer Andria Lo and writer Valerie Luu, the exhibition Chinatown Pretty aims to celebrate the ingenuity, flair, and beauty of Chinatown and its longtime residents. Clothes tell a story of Chinatown. It’s about layers of hand-knit sweaters and puffy coats in the summer; as well as bold floral patterns and baseball caps – sometimes all in one outfit. It’s a story about a generation of men and women who emigrated from China to Chinatown, and their fashion philosophy (staying warm) and economic ideals (making their own clothes or preserving the ones they already have). On display through April 17 at 41 Ross Alley, the exhibit features large color photos paired with short biographies from interviews with the residents.

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