The Chandler Museum

Chandler Museum has been presented a Leadership in History Award of Merit from the American Association for State and Local History for its 2017 project that explored the history of Japanese Internment during World War II at the Gila River Internment Camp, a few miles south of Chandler.

This project also received the Museum Association of Arizona 2018 Institutional Award of Excellence.

Chandler’s project, “Un-American: Engaging Our Community with the Story of Japanese Internment,” included a park kiosk, three exhibits, a community-driven art installation and public presentations.

“The interactions we had with former internees and their families were extremely powerful,” said Jody Crago, Chandler Museum administrator. “It is an honor to receive this national award for our work.”

Chandler Museum will receive its award at a banquet on Sept. 28, during the 2018 AASLH Annual Meeting in Kansas City, Missouri.

The project began with a permanent history kiosk at Nozomi Park, which tells the story of the Gila River Internment Camp, that was financially supported by the National Park Service through the Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program. Content was created with input from an advisory committee, including the Japanese American Citizens League and the Gila River Indian Community.

The most significant portion of the project was an in-house curated exhibit, “Un-American: Japanese Internment in Our Backyard,” which explored the question: “Who was more Un-American; those who looked like the enemy, or the government that incarcerated them?”

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