March 5, 2014
CONTACT: James Eckerle, Interim Director
860.443.2545 x113 / [email protected]

The Lyman Allyn Art Museum Receives Grant to Support Free Public Forum in conjunction with its current exhibition Sub Urbanisms: Casino Company Town/ China Town.

NEW LONDON – The Lyman Allyn Art Museum received a grant for $1500 from Connecticut Humanities to help support the Sub Urbanisms Public Forum.

On March 29th, Lyman Allyn Art Museum and Connecticut College will host a free, daylong public forum (10AM-4:30PM) offered in conjunction with the museum’s newest exhibition, SubUrbanisms: Casino Company Town/ China Town (February 8 – May 12, 2014). The forum will feature speakers with backgrounds in architecture, urban design, land use, anthropology, journalism and American Studies and will explore issues of casino urbanization, suburban Chinatowns and the contested domestic landscape. Community residents and architecture and planning insiders alike will benefit from this open conversation on a local topic with a global reach. Thanks to a grant from Connecticut Humanities, Lyman Allyn is able to offer a program that invites visitors to reflect on the values, practices and public policies that determine how we live, and to consider how cultural expectations for building design might further change in response to growing ecological, financial and societal pressures.

A morning session at Lyman Allyn will feature a keynote lecture and gallery talk by Stephen Fan, curator of the SubUrbanisms exhibition. He will outline principles derived from his studies of single family home conversions into multifamiliy communities by Chinese casino workers in CT. Such principles question the cultural norms of how Americans live and may provide the basis for alternative housing models that address changing demographics and future financial and ecological pressures.

The program will continue in Silfen Auditorium (capacity approx. 100) at Connecticut College, a five-minute walk from the museum. Following lunch (available for prepurchase, and catered by the Golden Palace Chinese restaurant of Uncasville), four speakers will present 20-30 minute talks.

Chloe Taft will examine the presence of Asian casino patrons in public urban space at the Sands casino in Bethlehem, PA. She will interpret the negative attitudes toward the increased presence of Asian patrons by local workers in the former steel mill community as symptomatic of a larger anxiety toward a risk-based, global post-industrial economy.

Ellen Pader will analyze the latent cultural assumptions in American housing policy and how they may consciously/unconsciously discriminate against ethnic groups. She uses the Montville, CT building and zoning codes as a case study.

Aron Chang will question assumptions of immigrant assimilation through the case study of a Chinatown in the urban periphery of New Orleans. His talk will provide a backdrop for arguments in CT about the spatial integration or isolation of immigrant communities.

These will be followed from 3:30-4:30PM by a round table discussion led by journalist Adam Bowles, formerly of the Norwich Bulletin, whose articles on CT immigrant casino workers have appeared in the NY Times, and Jason Vincent, land use planner and Vice President of the Norwich Community Development Corporation. Questions and public participation will be encouraged as the panelists and audience reflect on the exhibit, the presentations and their own experiences in these communities. A free reception, providing further opportunity for informal discussion and exploration of the exhibit, will follow from 5-7PM at the museum.

For further information, please call 860.443.2545 or go to

Connecticut Humanities (CTH) is a non-profit affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities that funds, creates and collaborates on hundreds of cultural programs across Connecticut each year. These programs bring together people of all ages and backgrounds to express, share and explore ideas in thoughtful and productive ways. From local discussion groups to major exhibitions on important historical events, CTH programs engage, enlighten and educate. Learn more by visiting

Lyman Allyn Art Museum is a community-based museum located in New London, Connecticut. Founded in 1932 by Harriet Upson Allyn in memory of her father, Lyman Allyn, the museum serves the people of Southeastern Connecticut and is free to New London families. The museum is accredited by the American Association of Museums and is a non-profit organization with 501(c) 3 status. Housed in a handsome Neo- Classical building designed by Charles A. Platt, the permanent collection includes over10,000 paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures, furniture and decorative arts, with an emphasis on American and European art from the 17th through 20thcenturies.

The museum is located at 625 Williams Street, New London, Connecticut, exit 83 off I-95. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm and Sunday1:00 – 5:00 pm, closed Mondays and major holidays. For more information call860.443.2545, ext. 129 or visit us on the web at:


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