湾区文化沙龙 (BACCS)

About Us

Bay Area Chinese Culture Salon (BACCS) strives to be the leading public forum for interdisciplinary knowledge sharing and impartial discussion of public issues in the North America mandarin-speaking community. BACCS is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.


Opening Remarks

The Bay Area is a unique place. It’s not quite a city, or rather, it’s a decentralized, distributed city. Without a single massive center, it has fostered countless remarkable achievements.

The Chinese community in the Bay Area is also unique. We are almost all immigrants, mostly young, a generation that grew up with the rise of the internet, adapting to a life of working, learning, playing, and connecting online.

In recent years, we’ve noticed a regrettable phenomenon: information flows faster and faster, each person has access to more and more information, yet the gap between people seems to deepen. Solid barriers are erected between echo chambers. The internet seemingly connects islands, but often, insurmountable divides appear between them.

We don’t believe we have the power to break down these barriers, nor do we think these barriers are the cause of many problems. We’re more inclined to believe that the emergence of barriers is a result of many existing complex issues. Only through sufficient communication, listening, and understanding can we reveal each individual’s multifaceted nature and each multifaceted thought.

We hope that on beautiful weekends, everyone can step out from behind their screens, meet face-to-face, shake hands, hear each other’s voices, and see each other’s faces.

The Bay Area Cultural Salon was born out of this desire. Inspired by the New York Cultural Salon, we hope to build a platform for dialogue and sharing, enriching our thinking, expanding our knowledge, making friends, and satisfying our unquenchable curiosity about the world.

Are we wise enough? Of course not. Today, encyclopedic geniuses no longer exist, and a digitized encyclopedia is just a few megabytes of data. The only thing that thrives is the wisdom, thought, and creativity within each person’s mind.

Are we inclusive enough? Perhaps not entirely. We accept diverse viewpoints, but we do not welcome extremist ideologies or hate speech. We embrace different disciplines, but we reject pseudoscience and despise fake news. We have a clear judgment of “right and wrong,” and we hope to pursue goodness based on truth; only on the premise of goodness do we pursue beauty.

We believe in the power of reason. Every rational person is a free singer; they don’t need to be an exceptional vocalist, but together they can create beautiful music.

We also believe in the power of culture. Following the threads from ancient civilizations to modern academia, we appreciate the fusion of natural sciences and humanities, drawing from diverse strengths with broad-mindedness. Consensus built on a foundation of general knowledge tends to be more mature and robust. We believe that only by constructing a high-quality public culture can we create a beautiful public life.

To borrow a metaphor from Hannah Arendt, public space is like many people sitting around a table, connected yet separated. Through face-to-face in-depth communication and sharing, people can spark ideas, inspire each other, and seek truth.

The Bay Area Cultural Salon aims to create such a round table. For many of us, the Bay Area may just be one stop in life, but every stop can be extraordinary. Even as people come and go, and times change, we hope this Bay Area Cultural Salon table will always be here.


Bay Area Cultural Salon's First Anniversary Finding Lonely Islands

As the title suggests, and like many others, the Bay Area Cultural Salon has stumbled through a year, but with no intention of stopping.

As the title suggests, and like many others, the Bay Area Cultural Salon has stumbled through a year, but with no intention of stopping.

Last summer, the Bay Area Cultural Salon emerged after a few dinners. In our opening remarks, we hoped the salon could at least serve a basic function: to let people with different ideas see each other, reducing the hostility that can easily arise from the anonymity of screens. Who would have thought that later, the most extravagant thing would be to meet in person?

Last summer, California also had heatwaves and wildfires, but no masks were needed, no global pandemic, and no daily shocking death tolls that numbed us. Last summer, we didn’t have to worry about not being able to fly out of the U.S., nor about not being able to return after flying out.

Last year, we talked about the next generation of information exchange platforms, and later, we talked about how to wash our hands. Last year, we talked about how to eat healthier, and later, we talked about which restaurants to avoid to survive. Last year, we discussed whether the green card backlog for Chinese would be delayed, and later, we worried about whether H-1B visas were still valid…

In the past year, a phrase has become particularly popular: “No man is an island.” But we’ve found that some people may become lonely archipelagos, such as those lacking scientific information about epidemic prevention, those fearing police violence daily, those who have lost basic security and freedom, and those who can’t see these people, including ourselves.

The farthest distance in the world is not a copper wall or iron wall separating you and me, but our ignorance of each other’s existence, as lonely islands. The most direct way to connect more islands is to actively travel.

Like many activities, the salon was forced to move from offline to online.

As early as February, before the COVID-19 pandemic was taken seriously by American society, we, from across the ocean, were already deeply worried. So, with the pandemic as the theme, we launched our first series of events with cultural salons across the U.S. We invited several professionals in biomedicine, healthcare, and other fields, conducting seven sessions to provide comprehensive science popularization on the history, reality, and prevention of epidemics.

At the same time, we invited young American artist Jiabao Li and curator Hongbin Zheng to discuss the topic of art’s intervention in society, starting from the pandemic series.

In June, as social movements against police violence erupted in many parts of the U.S., we took this opportunity to invite several friends who study political science, sociology, and law to plan six sessions with the New York Cultural Salon, analyzing the deep-rooted racial issues in American society.

Recently, we completed our third series of events on East Asian art, starting from traditional Chinese murals, to the spread and evolution of painting, and then to the Chinese art in San Francisco where we live.

Here, we especially want to thank all the speakers of the salon over the past year. Thank you for your willingness to spend your time and energy to contribute wonderful sharings to this platform. At the same time, we also want to thank all the volunteers who have contributed to the operation of the salon.

We are also very grateful to our neighboring organizations that have provided us with support and help, including but not limited to:

NY Chinese Culture Salon, Boston Chinese Culture Salon, Ann Arbor Chinese Culture Salon, LA Stories, Seattle Chinese Culture Salon, Matters.news, 706 Youth Space, The Paper Thought Market, The Paper Private History, Seven O’Clock Books & Movies, Plan C, Society of Heart’s Delight, ZaiGeZaiGu Community, Stanford Chinese Students and Scholars Association, UCSD Chinese Students and Scholars Association, USC Chinese Students and Scholars Association, SJSU Chinese Students Association, UC Davis Chinese Students and Scholars Association, and UC Berkeley Chinese Students and Scholars Association.

We still hold our original intention, hoping to maintain a round table as much as possible, creating exchanges of knowledge, culture, and thought. Especially now, communication and dialogue seem far more important than a year ago.


Bay Area Cultural Salon's Second Anniversary

With your virtual companionship, the Bay Area Cultural Salon has completed its second year.

Although the pandemic is not yet over, compared to the anxiety and uncertainty of a year ago, we now have a more definitive understanding of this pandemic, and the availability of vaccines has brought some peace of mind. Offline life around us has basically returned to normal, and we hope that the salon can return offline soon to meet you in person.

In the past year, the Bay Area Cultural Salon has held more than 20 online events, covering topics such as comprehensive science popularization of COVID-19 vaccines, American politics, climate change, tech ethics, digital currency, immigration status, women’s rights, as well as cultural and artistic topics like sound, language, and podcasts. These events have received widespread response across various online platforms and have been republished by multiple media outlets.

We would like to express our special thanks to every speaker who has graced the Bay Area Cultural Salon, sharing their expertise and thoughts. We are also very grateful to the salon’s volunteer partners who have helped the salon spread its message in more effective and diverse ways.

We would also like to thank all the organizations we have collaborated with over the past year (in no particular order):

NY Chinese Culture Salon, LA Stories, Ann Arbor Chinese Culture Salon, Seattle Chinese Culture Salon, Boston Chinese Culture Salon, Champaign Cultural Salon, Women Overseas, Society of Heart’s Delight, Committee of 100, Montage Play SC, Feiyu Theater, ZaiGeZaiGu Community, Chinese Comedy at Silicon Valley, Association of Chinese Students and Scholars at Stanford (ACSSS), Alliance for Impact, UXREN

We look forward to our next journey together.

In the third year of the Bay Area Cultural Salon, we still believe that diversity and connection are worthwhile ways to engage with the world.

We will do our best to maintain this round table, providing a small public space for friends living in the Bay Area and beyond, whether online or offline, to support each other, share, and create meaning.


Supporting Cultural Diversity, Building a Spiritual Home

The Bay Area Cultural Salon is dedicated to building a diverse cultural exchange platform for the Chinese community in North America. We encourage rational dialogue, promote community connections, and work together to create a high-quality public cultural life.

Since our establishment in 2019, we have organized lectures on a wide range of topics, from a comprehensive exploration of the history, reality, and prevention of epidemics, to in-depth analysis of social issues such as racial conflicts, to important topics like earth science, women’s rights, and technological ethics. This year, we have further expanded the geographical boundaries of the salon. From the cultural relic restoration work of Baoyandi at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET) on the East Coast, to Professor Jiaran Ma’s research on Chinese female students studying in the West in Australia, to the insights of a Middle East Studies scholar at Cambridge University on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, each event is an attempt to build bridges across distances.

At the same time, we collaborate with local artists in the Bay Area, incubating and supporting a series of local community art projects. Our collaborative achievements include works exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art and performances held at the Asian Art Museum, which have not only received enthusiastic responses from community members but also garnered coverage from local mainstream media.

In the past year, we have also formally established a partnership with Roxie, a non-profit independent cinema in San Francisco. In addition to bringing classic films like “Farewell My Concubine” and “Spicy Love Soup,” as well as series screenings by directors Pema Tseden and Jia Zhangke, we have also introduced “Journey to the West,” and organized the only officially authorized North American fan event for “Slam Dunk.” In the coming two weeks, we will also be screening “Youth (Spring)” by director Wang Bing and “The Last Emperor” by Bernardo Bertolucci. We look forward to your attention. The Bay Area Cultural Salon will reinvest the proceeds from these screenings into new independent film production incubation, taking concrete action to support the diversity and independence of cinematic art.

In the coming year, we will continue our efforts to bring more cultural events. Your support will directly contribute to our creation, planning, and project incubation, adding more colors to our public life. We believe that when enough seeds are sown, when enough trellises are woven into a network, we will eventually reap a flourishing spiritual home. Let us witness and support the development of art and culture in the Bay Area together.