Presidio of San Francisco (November 21, 2018) – The Presidio’s exhibition Exclusion: The Presidio’s Role in World War II Japanese American Incarceration was awarded the 2018 Charles Redd Award for Exhibition Excellence by the Western Museums Association at their Annual Meeting on October 22. It is the major exhibition accolade granted annually by the professional industry organization that serves the Western United States, Western Canada, and the Pacific. Winners are chosen regardless of geographical location, size, budget, or discipline. Past winners have included the Boise Art Museum, the Oakland Museum of California, the Museum of Vancouver, and the J. Paul Getty Museum among others.
Western Museums Association wrote, “Exclusion: The Presidio’s Role in World War II Japanese American Incarceration truly exemplifies exhibition excellence for its important examination of a complex issue as it impacts the Western United States – and beyond.”
The award recognizes outstanding achievement of temporary exhibitions that encourage museums and the public to study the American West; utilize innovative exhibition and public programming; result from creative collaboration with outside communities or organizations; and engage audiences in the exhibition subject in compelling ways.
Exclusion particularly exemplifies the Presidio’s practice of inviting visitors, educators and students with diverse backgrounds and points of view to participate in a dynamic exploration of place-based history. Presidio curators work with subject-matter experts in partnership to create exhibits and programming that serves as a platform for two-way social dialogue. This inspires civic engagement and fosters an understanding of the ways in which the Presidio’s heritage is relevant today, and why all voices matter. Exclusion has seen 84,000 visitors since its opening on April 1, 2017, more than double the attendance of past exhibitions. This includes 782 K-12 students and more than 100 teachers and park-based educators.
Exclusion resonates with themes relevant today such as immigration reform, racial profiling and mass incarceration. The exhibition has been a focal point for public programs, art displays, an ethnic media roundtable, educational activities, films, dialogue, and visitor contribution to “Your Voice Matters” interactive stations. It is extended through the spring of 2019.
The Charles Redd Award for Exhibition Excellence honors the collaborative efforts of Presidio Trust staff and interns, exhibition collaborators at the National Japanese American Historical Society (NJAHS) and the Fred T. Korematsu Institute, and other community members who helped shape the exhibition and related programming. “We—the Presidio Trust, and our exhibition collaborators at the Korematsu Institute and National Japanese American Historical Society—are incredibly honored that Exclusion is the recipient of this year’s Charles Redd award,” said Presidio Trust Exclusion Curator Liz Melicker. “Exclusion reminds us all that the past is still with us, that the issues the country faced in 1942 are present today, and that all of our voices matter in civic dialogue.”
About the Presidio and the Presidio Trust
The Presidio Trust is a federal agency that manages the Presidio of San Francisco, a national park at the heart of the 82,000-acre Golden Gate National Recreation Area. In partnership with the National Park Service and the non-profit Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, the Presidio Trust brings alive the park’s historic, natural, and recreational assets for the inspiration, education, health, and enjoyment of all people at no cost to taxpayers. Spanning nearly 1,500 acres in a spectacular setting at the Golden Gate, the Presidio is defined by its history, spectacular views, natural habitats, and beautiful opens spaces. It is home to 3,000 residents and 200 tenant organizations. The Presidio Trust is focused on welcoming all to the national park experience, protecting and enhancing the environment, and operating in service to the public. Learn more at www.presidio.gov
About the Fred T. Korematsu Institute
The Korematsu Institute (KI) promotes the importance of remembering one of the most blatant forms of racial profiling in U.S. history, the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II, by bridging the Fred Korematsu story with various topics in history, including other civil rights heroes and movements, World War II, the Constitution, global human rights, and Asian American history. The Institute makes connections to present-day civil rights discrimination and political scapegoating, such as mass incarceration, anti-immigrant sentiment, and Islamaphobia. They work toward building solidarity and partnerships with other groups and organizations to accomplish their mission. In 2009, the Fred T. Korematsu Institute was founded to honor Fred Korematsu’s legacy. It was originally a local community and education program whose vision changed in 2010 as a result of Fred Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution being established in California on January 30 in perpetuity. They’ve since become a national organization that inspires others through the Fred Korematsu story.
About the National Japanese
American Historical Society
The National Japanese American Historical Society, Inc. (NJAHS), is a 501 c (3) non-profit organization, incorporated in 1981, and dedicated to the collection, preservation, authentic interpretation, and sharing of historical information of the Japanese American experience for the diverse broader national and global community. NJAHS strives to be a catalyst for change through cross-cultural awareness by learning from the past and influencing the future. NJAHS’s headquarters is based in San Francisco with its core programs conducted at two sites: one at the NJAHS Peace Gallery & Archives at 1684 Post Street at a convenient storefront location along San Francisco Japantown’s commercial corridor, and the other at the Military Intelligence Service (MIS) Historic Learning Center, Building 640, 640 Old Mason Street, Crissy Field, Presidio of San Francisco within the National Park Service’s Golden Gate National Recreation Area.