University Of Minnesota College Of Liberal Arts Announces 2023-2024 Engagement Hub Residency With The Hmong Cultural Center Museum

By Mark Pfeifer



Preserving and Promoting Hmong American History: A Partnership with the Hmong Cultural Center Museum and Library

The Hmong Cultural Center (HCC) Museum opened in the Fall of 2021 as one of the only permanent Hmong cultural and historical spaces in the United States. Located on University Avenue in the Frogtown neighborhood of Saint Paul, the museum seeks to introduce the community, both Hmong and non-Hmong, to the culture and history of the Hmong people, including the community’s history in the Twin Cities. The HCC also serves as a resource to recent immigrants, teaching citizenship classes and helping educate Hmong youth in Hmong cultural traditions. Led by Andre Kobayashi Deckrow, a postdoctoral associate in the Heritage Studies and Public History program and the Department of History, and Dr. Mark Pfeifer, the director of programs and development at the HCC, the partnership seeks to expand the scope and reach of the museum while utilizing the expertise of the University to make historical materials available to scholars in the field of Hmong studies and the community at large. 

This residency consists of three separate components. The first will see University of Minnesota students build new interactive digital exhibitions and a new digital archives showcasing Hmong history and culture to museum visitors. Students and faculty will also work with the museum to develop two new curricula on the exhibitions to help middle and high school teachers better contextualize their students’ visits to the HCC Museum. Second, with help from the University of Minnesota Libraries and the Immigration History Research Center Archives, the residency will digitize and make accessible to the public the museum’s collection of early Hmong newspapers in the Twin Cities that span almost 25 years. Lastly, the residency will bring the museum to campus and campus to the museum through temporary exhibitions and programming in consultation with Hmong scholars and students at the University of Minnesota. Together, this residency will help broaden the museum’s offerings and introduce the University community to the HCC Museum and Library, while also giving voice to the Hmong community both on campus and in the Twin Cities. This residency is supported by the Immigration History Research Center.

Image Courtesy Hmong Cultural Center Museum

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