When you envision a bookstore, what comes to mind? Books, certainly, and maybe a café in the corner. But do you also picture a stage, music studio, and lab? If so, I have a feeling you must be imagining the East Meets West Bookstore.
What It’s All About
Located in between Harvard Square and Central Square, the East Meets West Bookstore was founded in 1999 by husband and wife Jin Au and Wen Kong. They opened the shop as a Chinese-language bookstore meant to empower Asian Americans through scholarship.
So this sounds like any other bookstore, if specialized in its content, right? Wrong.
In 2004 David Sun Kong, son of Jin Au and Wen, left his own mark on the bookstore by expanding the focus from books to include community events. These events include everything from open mic nights, to private invite-only DJ sets, to writing workshops, to open collaborative art labs, to standup comedy.
All these various events aim for the bookstore’s goal of encouraging the creative potential of individuals and communities through artistic expression. They merge art, technology, and social justice to achieve their purpose of:
Making dreams real, and
Writing their own history.