Student: Linh Ha

School: Endicott College

The Vietnamese American Cultural & Art Center (VACA) is a program that establishes a foundation that lift second-generation Vietnamese Americans and create a safe space for them to express themselves. The history of immigration laws and diaspora reveals numerous challenges faced by the Vietnamese community, as seen after the Vietnam war and Covid-19. However, Expanding into intergenerational differences shows a conflict between Vietnamese family’s mindsets. For example, as first-generation immigrants become parents, they often struggle to meet their children’s needs while navigating personal hardships. U.S. born second-generations may feel distant from their culture due to miscommunication and lack of support for their mental health.

The VACA advocates for second-generation Vietnamese Americans to reconnect with their heritage and strengthen familial and community bonds. Strategies implemented to support mental health and cultural identity include family counseling, community programs, and cultural performances. In addition, incorporating Vietnamese architecture and materials inspired by Vietnam will allow users to better connect with Vietnamese culture. Furthermore, each space were developed to help families and communities to connect in variety of ways. For example, the educational suite holds language classes that help the second generation learn Vietnamese to communicate with their family better, while the dining room will allow them to connect through food. The purpose of the Vietnamese American Cultural & Art Center (VACA) is to bring awareness to the struggles of the immigrant community and serves as a model for other cultures in the United States to support their minority communities.

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Dorchester, Massachusetts

Plans & Imagery