Monday, July 13, 2009

New Chinese Culture Center planned

If everything goes according to plan, San Francisco will once again have a Chinese Culture Center by November. The long-awaited decision on a new site for the Center has now been finalized, according to Wu Ying-yih, the minister of Taiwan’s Overseas Compatriot Affairs Commission (OCAC). The World Journal reported that the new site, recently approved by the US State Department, is to be at 739-741 Commercial Street, on the edge of San Francisco’s Chinatown and Financial District.

According to the Sing Tao Daily, Wu inspected three possible locations in January and chose the Commercial Street location because it best fulfilled the center’s needs. In 2006, the former Chinese Culture Center on Stockton Street (San Francisco) closed its doors, but President Ma Ying-jeou promised to back the establishment of a new center. With the opening of the new facilities, there will be two centers in Northern California once again, with a total of sixteen across North America.

Wu said the OCAC has already allocated a budget for remodeling the new center, a two-story 2,300 square-foot building. The facilities will house a library, conference and function room and employ a staff of five. The landlord will be the Charity Cultural Services Center.

In a follow–up article, the World Journal said the OCAC wanted to review more detailed interior design ideas and negotiate the terms of the lease. Once these details have been finalized, bidding will begin to remodel the facilities.

With the opening of the new Chinese Culture Center, San Francisco will once again have two centers with the same name. The other such center is located just two blocks away on Kearny Street. It is also a non-profit cultural center with a mission to preserve, promote, and influence the course of Chinese and Chinese American culture.

Meanwhile, the Culture Center in Sunnyvale, California, is also in search of a bigger space to better serve the overseas Taiwanese and Chinese community in the South Bay. The center, purchased in 1988, has outgrown its current premises and needs more than the current 35 parking spaces.

A preparatory committee is being formed to look for a new centrally located site, a premise of around 30,000 square feet, 150 parking spaces and easy access to major transportation infrastructure. The site is expected to be open in 2012.

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About Me

The Press Division of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in San Francisco represents the Government Information Office (GIO), Executive Yuan, Republic of China (Taiwan). GIO maintains nine Press Divisions in the United States, including the San Francisco office. The Press Divisions are in charge of promoting Taiwan's public relations and cultural exchanges. This blog is updated by the Press Division, TECO in San Francisco.