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International Society records

 Collection
Identifier: M128

Scope and Content Note

The International Society collection consists of materials created and collected by Dr. Doris Chu, in her function as president of the society. The records document the cultural events produced by the society, as well as its daily activities. Included are promotional literature about events, such as press releases, posters, flyers and mailings, exhibit catalogs, postcards and price lists, and calendars of events. Publications and clippings document the institute and its events, and affiliated artists and musicians. Newsletters, catalogs and newspapers published by the organization are also included in the collection. Administrative files include annual reports, statements of purpose and goals, trustee rosters and meetings minutes, and statements of past and future programs. Also included is Dr. Chu's correspondence with donors, artists, trustees, and community members. Approximately 5 percent of the collection is in Chinese.

Dates

  • 1978-2002 (bulk 1984-1998)

Creator

Physical Access:

The collection is unrestricted.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use:

Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the University Archivist.

Historical Note

The International Society originally grew out of the Chinese Economic Development Council in 1979. CEDC's mission was to improve the socio-economic conditions of Boston's Chinese community, and was based in the city's Chinatown. The International Society's original goal was to support Chinese culture and heritage among Boston's Chinese community, as well as to promote the city's understanding of that culture. In 1982, the mission of the society shifted to promoting racial harmony through showcasing Chinese culture to non-Chinese people. In 2000, the focus was again shifted to promoting understanding of cultural differences through multicultural arts programming. The society is a nonprofit funded by a combination of grants and donations, and operates out of a space let to it rent-free by the New England Medical Center. Dr. Doris Chu has been its president from its beginning. The International Society has gone through a number of name changes. It began as the Center for Chinese Art and Culture in 1979, and was changed the next year to the China Institute. In 1981, the name was changed again to the Chinese Culture Institute. In 2000, to reflect the organization's new focus, the name was changed to the International Society. The society has produced festivals, lectures, workshops for children, and a summer camp. It has also organized musical and dance performances, art shows of works by Chinese and Chinese-American artists, and screenings of Chinese films. During the 1980s and 1990s, it held fundraisers for several young Chinatown musicians, and sponsored a trip abroad for pianist Tian Ying. Yo-Yo Ma briefly worked with the group, giving several fundraising concerts and dinners. The society also briefly had its own music and dance group, the Chinese Culture Institute's Music and Dance Ensemble, in the 1980s. During the 1990s, the institute worked with the Asia on Stage Repertory Theatre (which was a separate entity also run by Dr. Chu, that operated out of the same space) to promote Chinese plays. In addition to organizing events, the society maintains its own art gallery, and its own theatre, the Tremont Theatre. The gallery was initially known as the China Showcase Gallery; after the mid-80s, it was variously known as the CCI Gallery, the Tremont Gallery, and the International Society Gallery. The organization has published several books on local Chinese art and culture, as well as numerous exhibition catalogs.

Chronology

  • 1978 Chinese Economic Development Council announces its plan to create the Center for Chinese Art and Culture.
  • 1979 Organization forms.
  • 198? Creates short-lived Chinese Culture Institute's Music and Dance Ensemble.
  • 1980 Name changes to the China Institute.
  • 1981 Name changes to Chinese Culture Institute (CCI).
  • 1986 Gov. Michael Dukakis proclaims February Chinese Culture Month; gives copy of proclamation to CCI.
  • 1989 Yo-Yo Ma becomes involved with the group briefly, giving benefits and concerts.
  • 1991 Receives first grant from National Endowment for the Arts.
  • 1995 Dr. Chu creates Asia on Stage, a separate entity operating out of the same space. Asia on Stage and CCI co-produce several plays in the new the Tremont Theatre, located in the same building.
  • 2000 Name changes to International Society. Focus shifts to creating multicultural exchange, instead of promoting Chinese culture.
1978
Chinese Economic Development Council announces its plan to create the Center for Chinese Art and Culture.
1979
Organization forms.
198?
Creates short-lived Chinese Culture Institute's Music and Dance Ensemble.
1980
Name changes to the China Institute.
1981
Name changes to Chinese Culture Institute (CCI).
1986
Gov. Michael Dukakis proclaims February Chinese Culture Month; gives copy of proclamation to CCI.
1989
Yo-Yo Ma becomes involved with the group briefly, giving benefits and concerts.
1991
Receives first grant from National Endowment for the Arts.
1995
Dr. Chu creates Asia on Stage, a separate entity operating out of the same space. Asia on Stage and CCI co-produce several plays in the new the Tremont Theatre, located in the same building.
2000
Name changes to International Society. Focus shifts to creating multicultural exchange, instead of promoting Chinese culture.

Extent

2.5 cubic feet (2 containers, 7 flat file folders)

Overview

The International Society grew out of the Chinatown's Chinese Economic Development Council in 1979. The society is a nonprofit funded by a combination of grants and donations, and has been headed by Dr. Doris Chu from its beginning. The International Society was created to support Chinese culture and heritage among Boston's Chinese community, as well as to promote the city's understanding of that culture. This mission has shifted over time, however, to include promoting racial harmony through showcasing Chinese culture to non-Chinese people, and promoting understanding of cultural differences through multicultural arts programming. The International Society has gone through a number of name changes to reflect its changing mission. These names include the Center for Chinese Art and Culture (1979), the China Institute (1980), the Chinese Culture Institute (1981), and the International Society (2000). The society has sponsored festivals, lectures, workshops for children, and a summer camp; it has organized musical and dance performances, and art exhibitions of works by Chinese and Chinese-American artists. It briefly had its own music and dance group in the 1980s; during the 1980s and 1990s, it helped promote the careers of several young Chinatown musicians. In the 1990s, the institute worked with the Asia on Stage Repertory Theatre to produce Chinese plays. The organization has published several books on local Chinese art and culture, and numerous art show catalogs. In addition to organizing events, the society maintains its own art gallery and theatre, the Tremont Theatre.

Overview

The International Society collection consists of materials created and collected by Dr. Doris Chu, in her function as president of the society. The records document the cultural events produced by the society, as well as its daily activities. Included are promotional literature about events, such as press releases, posters, flyers and mailings, exhibit catalogs, postcards and price lists, and calendars of events. Publications and clippings document the institute and its events, and affiliated artists and musicians. Newsletters, catalogs and newspapers published by the organization are also included in the collection. Administrative files include annual reports, statements of purpose and goals, trustee rosters and meetings minutes, and statements of past and future programs. Also included is Dr. Chu's correspondence with donors, artists, trustees, and community members. Approximately 5 percent of the collection is in Chinese.

System of Arrangement:

Arranged alphabetically.

Physical Location

60/1, 60/4, FF4/D10

Related Materials:

The Archives and Special Collections Department capture the website content of the International Society, which is accessible at: http://wayback.archive-it.org/1747/*/http://internationalsociety.us

Bibliography

  • "A Brief History of the Chinese Culture Institute," The Bulletin of the Chinese Culture Institute, Winter 1983.

Creator

Title
Finding aid for the International Society Records
Author
Finding aid prepared by Tim Devin
Date
November 2006
Language of description
Description is in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Northeastern University Archives and Special Collections Repository

Contact:
92 Snell Library
Northeastern University
360 Huntington Avenue
Boston MA 02115 US