Performer in the Cantonese Opera

Cantonese opera strikes a chord in Chinatown

By Vishakha Darbha

The Chicago Public Library hosts a Cantonese opera every Wednesday and Saturday, performed by the Zhaoqiu Chinese American ART Center. Opened last August, Chinatown has seen a growth in the number of new institutions, including a Park District Field House.

Chicago invested $19 Million in building the library. It is designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, which also designed New York City’s One World Trade Center. This was part of the Chinatown Community Vision Plan, a step toward investing in the area. Chicago’s Chinatown is thriving, unlike others in the rest of the nation, with the population increasing by more than 25% from 2000 to 2010.

The Chinese-American community in Chicago has recently been energized by various political events. A large crowd of Asian-Americans came together to protest against NYPD officer Peter Liang’s conviction on Feb. 20, while 2nd District State Representative Theresa Mah has emerged as the first Asian-American legislator in the Illinois General Assembly.

Asian-Americans share their perception on the increasing visibility of the Chinese-American community, during a Cantonese Opera performance at the Chicago Public Library (Vishakha Darbha/MEDILL)
Photo at Top: Cantonese Opera Performer at the Chinatown Branch of the Chicago Public Library (Vishakha Darbha/MEDILL)