Little known, the Tucson Chinese Cultural Center sits on a large piece of property in northwest Tucson, on the north side of River Road, between Oracle and La Canada.
Even being ethnically Asian I did not really know about this gem in Tucson until just recently. Built about five years ago and without government funding, this now-volunteer run organization is serving the Chinese and greater community. And it is landscaped with desert trees and rock ground cover to enhance the desert atmosphere of Pima County.
Classes in Chinese language, dance, and tai chi are offered, as well as numerous activities such as ping pong, internet access, exercises classes, mah jong tile playing, etc. to members and guests.
There’s also a lending library in the conference room of mostly Chinese history books, but others on Asian Pacific American culture as well.
If you were to drop by on a Thursday morning (like today) you will find the Senior program members (age 55 and above, some even in their 90s), enjoying their time together in a congenial setting. This is the most multi-ethnic event I’ve witnessed in Tucson in a long time. It costs only $60 a year for the Senior program which includes some of these activities aforementioned, plus optional field trips for the members (all races welcome, not only Chinese Americans).
Many times at events in Tucson I am the only Asian person in the room, but certainly not at this facility.
Rental of the facilities (large multi-purpose room & smaller meeting rooms) is available. I’ve seen wedding receptions held there, meetings by the Dept. of Transportation, even Indian dance classes. The sense of community is very strong at this cultural center, as witnessed by the dedicated volunteers, members, and love & care given to the facility.
For more information on the Tucson Chinese Cultural Center, please call 292-6900, go to their website at www.tucsonchinese.org, or drop by at 1288 W. River Road. And check out the large & colorful Chinese lion displayed in the foyer.