Chinese Whispers

Chinese Whispers is a community storytelling project about contemporary folk memories of the Chinese who helped build the Transcontinental Railroad and settlements of the American frontier, and their unacknowledged role in Manifest Destiny. Taking place along the route of the Transcontinental Railroad from San Francisco, California to Ogden, Utah, where the railroad's western and eastern segments met, the project unfolds in a progressive series of storytelling events at selected sites where each community recounts stories passed down about the early Chinese settlers and sojourners in their area.

A pilot, Chinese Whispers:Sierra Stories, was completed in the Sierra Nevada Foothills in 2009. It was a California Story Fund project of the California Humanities Council. Chinese Whispers:Golden Gate, a San Francisco/Bay Area production, is in progress. It will include a multimedia collaboration with sound artist Jeremiah Moore.

Chinese Whispers: Mapping the Traces, a research and interactive mapping project, is in development, and will result in a dedicated website with locative information linked to relevant data and Chinese Whispers stories. This project is conducted in partnership with a team of scholars, media technologists, and the Center for Sierra Nevada Studies. For more information see

 Watch trailer from pilot production in the Sierra Nevada Foothills   Download the mp3 of the Chinese Whispers performance