Growing up, dancer and choreographer Lenora Lee went to youth groups and summer programs at the Donaldina Cameron House in San Francisco's Chinatown. A conversation several years ago with the filmmaker James Q. Chan, a friend who attended these programs with her, led Lee to create, The Escape, which deals with the human trafficking of Chinese women at the end of the 1800s and in the early 1900s.
“I wanted to do research about what these women had to go through and learn their stories,” Lee said. “I went to the Cameron House which provided services for these women and young girls. I was reading first hand accounts of what they had to go through, and it became clear to me this was really modern day slavery.”
For the past year, Lee has been an artist fellow at the de Young Museum, working on The Escape, along with Rescued Memories: New York Stories, which focuses more on labor trafficking.