Hazel Lee. Anandibai Gopalrao Joshi. Thelma Buchholdt. While you might have heard of these women, chances are you didn’t learn about them in history class.
You were never taught that Hazel Lee was one of the first Chinese American women to earn a pilot’s license, or that Anandibai Gopalrao Joshi was the first Indian female physician, or that Thelma Buchholdt was the first legislator of Filipino descent in the United States. Curator Kelly Lan never learned about such figures as she was growing up. In fact, she didn’t see much of herself in anything around her. “In school, we never talked about Asian American history or Asian American figures,” she says. “Things like the shape of my face and eyes bothered me. Mascara commercials didn’t apply to me. And I didn’t have the resources to help deal with those feelings. I just want to provide those resources that I didn’t have.”
That’s why she created Hello Prosper, an educational organization that strives to use storytelling and creative expression to empower children, teens, and young adults with knowledge. This exhibition is the manifestation of that mission.
Step in and learn the amazing stories of some incredible Asian and Asian American women who strove against institutional barriers and adversity to make their marks and achieve their dreams.
Featuring art by Bo Feng Lin. With interactive materials by Sunny Hitt.
You can also learn more about Kelly in our interview with her.