As a community historian, storyteller, and musician, Charlie Chin has been at the forefront of Asian American artistic expression since 1970. He was the Community Education Director at the Museum of Chinese in America in New York City and has continued his research and performances as the Artist-in-Residence at the Chinese Historical Society of America in San Francisco.
Charlie’s interest in Chinese American history led him to collect oral history and family stories from the old timers of Chinatown. He studied with the late storytelling master, Leong Chi Ming of Toishan, China, and specializes in the “Teahouse Style” of classical Chinese storytelling. He has presented at organizations such as Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, American Museum of Natural History, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC. In addition, Charlie has been a frequently featured teller at the Sierra Storytelling Festival in California, the Timpanogos Storytelling Festival in Utah, and the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tennessee. Continuing his role as an active storyteller, Charlie leads regular walking tours and docent training workshops in San Francisco’s Chinatown.
On top of performing live, Charlie has published several children’s books, including China’s Bravest Girl (1992) and Clever Bird (1996); and several of his plays, A.B.C., American Born Chinese (1983), The Last Spirit Boxer (1992) and Hawaiian Sweethearts (2001), have been produced in Boston, New York City, and San Francisco.