Archives and Special Collections
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Archives and Special Collections Finding Aids

Printable Finding Aid. Back to Browsing Version.

Collection Overview
Title:International Society records
Date:1978-2002 (bulk 1984-1998)
Location Code:60/1, 60/4; FF4/D10
Reference Code:M128
Extent:2.5 cubic feet
Scope and Content Abstract: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.
Historical Abstract: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.
Language and Scripts:
System of Arrangement:Arranged alphabetically.
Subjects and Contributors:
  • Ying, Tian
  • Chu, Doris

  • Asia on Stage Repertory Theatre (Boston, Mass.)
  • CCI Gallery (Boston, Mass.)
  • Center for Chinese Art and Culture (Boston, Mass.)
  • China Institute (Boston, Mass.)
  • China Showcase Gallery (Boston, Mass.)
  • Chinese Culture Institute (Boston, Mass.)
  • Chinese Culture Institute (Boston, Mass.). Music and Dance Ensemble
  • Chinese Economic Development Council (CEDC) (Boston, Mass.)
  • International Society (Boston, Mass.)
  • International Society Gallery (Boston, Mass.)
  • Tremont Gallery (Boston, Mass.)
  • Tremont Theatre (Boston, Mass.)

  • Alternative Spaces (Arts Facilities) -- Massachusetts -- Boston
  • Art Centers -- Massachusetts -- Boston
  • Asian American Artists -- Massachusetts -- Boston
  • Asian American Arts -- Massachusetts -- Boston
  • Asian American Theater -- Massachusetts -- Boston
  • Centers for the Performing Arts -- Massachusetts -- Boston
  • Chinese -- Massachusetts -- Boston
  • Musicians -- Massachusetts -- Boston

Physical Access:The collection is unrestricted.
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/

Processor:Finding aid prepared by Tim Devin, November 2006

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.

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
1978Chinese Economic Development Council announces its plan to create the Center for Chinese Art and Culture.
1979Organization forms.
198?Creates short-lived Chinese Culture Institute's Music and Dance Ensemble.
1980Name changes to the China Institute.
1981Name changes to Chinese Culture Institute (CCI).
1986Gov. Michael Dukakis proclaims February Chinese Culture Month; gives copy of proclamation to CCI.
1989Yo-Yo Ma becomes involved with the group briefly, giving benefits and concerts.
1991Receives first grant from National Endowment for the Arts.
1995Dr. 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.
2000Name changes to International Society. Focus shifts to creating multicultural exchange, instead of promoting Chinese culture.
Bibliography

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

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BoxTitleDate
1, FF4/D10Abacus: Chinese Economic Development Council Newsletter (2 folders)1980, 1978
1Annual Reports1985-1988
FF4/D10Architectural Plans1997
Art Shows
1Generaln.d., 1981-1994
1"Chinese Folk Art"n.d., 1986
1"East Meets West" (2 folders)n.d., 1989
1"Ethnic Minorities in China"1994
1"One Art from Two Cultures"1997
1"Transforming Tradition" (2 folders)1996
1Press Clippingsn.d., 1980
1Publicity (9 folders)n.d., 1980-2002
Artists
1Generaln.d., 1991
1Chan, Louisn.d.
1Chen, Hua-Hsunn.d.
1Eddy, Nancyn.d., 1991
1Fou-Li, Tchan (2 folders)n.d., 1979-1981
1Gong, Hai Lan1988
1Liang, Bi Wein.d.
1Ming, Ho Zun.d.
1Wei, Liu Tian1988
1Wong, Lawrencen.d., 1997
1Yong-Sheng, Wangn.d., 1995
1Zhao, Suikangn.d.
1Unidentified Photographsn.d.
FF4/D10Awards and Certificates1986-1990
1Bulletin of the Chinese Culture Institute1983-1987
Correspondence
1General (4 folders)n.d., 1994-1997
1Artist Association1997
1Landlord1980-1999
1Postal Service Problem1989
1Received (4 folders)n.d., 1980-1999
1Sent (3 folders)n.d., 1984-1999
1Education and Outreachn.d.
1Financial Statements1983, 1986
1Grant Report1984
1Lectures (2 folders)n.d., 1987-1994
1Membershipn.d.
1Music and Dance Events (2 folders)n.d., 1987-1992
Musicians
1Generaln.d., 1992, 1994
1Wang, Zheng-Rong (2 folders)n.d., 1990-1995
1Ying, Tian (10 folders)n.d., 1989-1997
FF4/D10Painting of Chinese Culture Institute's Storefrontn.d.
1Photographs of a Festivaln.d.
1Plaquesn.d., 1988
Plays
1General (2 folders)n.d., 1997-1999
1Publicityn.d., 1997
1"That Gentleman from China" (2 folders)n.d.
FF4/D10Posters (2 folders)n.d., 1980-2002
1, FF4/D10Press Clippings (3 folders)n.d., 1979-2001
1Program Statements (7 folders)n.d., 1983-1997
1, 2Publicity (14 folders)n.d., 1980-1999
2Sponsor and Donor Listsn.d., 1991-1995
2Summer Campn.d.
2Trustees (3 folders)1981-1998
2Websiten.d.