Since 2006, AWGC has raised and awarded nearly $1 million dollars to projects by individual artists and community groups that contribute to progressive social and political change.
2020 GRANT PROJECTS
Arts & Democracy
A series of intergenerational and bilingual arts-based workshops for Bangladeshi women and female youth participants in Kensington, Brooklyn led by artist Monica Jahan Bose. The workshops will explore climate change and gender justice issues through traditional and experimental arts practices including fabric art and oral history, culminating in a performance and showcase at the annual Kensington Community Fair.
Free Rein Projects
Jaime Sunwoo’s “Specially Processed American Me” is a surreal autobiographical performance that uses the history of SPAM, the canned meat, as a portal into the artist’s upbringing and her family’s experiences during the Korean War. Through a narrative collage of oral history, video, song, shadow play, and cooking, SPAM becomes a powerful symbol of colonization, immigration, and assimilation. Premiering at The Brick in 2021.
This project revives the 1916 “Pizzicati” created by Michio Ito, a Japanese immigrant and legendary choreographer and dancer who was deported to Japan in 1941 and erased from the history of American modern dance despite his celebrated and groundbreaking choreography for Broadway productions and Hollywood films. Ikeda will perform the piece at the American Dance Guild Festival and at NY’s Ailey Citigroup Theater.
(Creative Writing Workshop)
A series of three 8-hour-long creative writing workshop intensives led collaboratively by Kundiman and Asian American Feministic Collective. These workshops will emphasize the study of Asian American feminist authors and movements and will culminate in a final reading and zine featuring the workshop participants’ in-process works.
“Export Quality,” a play by three Filipina-American playwrights is based on true sex trafficking cases and stories drawn from research and conversations with advocacy groups and from their own community activism. Through the stories of Filipina women trafficked in the US through the mail-order industry, the play examines violence against women, gender inequality, and the impact of colonialism on women in the global south.
National Asian American Theatre Co.
“The In Between: A Love Story,” a play by Deepa Purohit, featuring an all Asian American creative team, is a story about colonizers and colonized, island cultures, and living “in between” all the time as immigrants. The play represents NAATCO’s first time representing other immigrant groups besides Asians in its history. Development will include outreach to immigrant groups as audiences and participants in the creation of the piece through moderated workshops.
“Fly in Power,” tells the story of Yang Song, a Chinese migrant and massage parlor worker who fell to her death during a police raid in Queens in 2017, and the activism that ignited the formation of Red Canary Song, a grassroots group led by a former sex worker and labor organizer that advocates for migrant sex workers and migrant leadership and fights against unjust policies.
(Multimedia Arts & Street Festival)
The Bayanihan Public Art Festival will build the visibility of the Filipino presence in Little Manila Queens and include a walking tour featuring participatory theater, oral history and dance-based storytelling; a public art work honoring Philippine women’s “love labor” inspired by Tandang Sora, a revolutionary hero; and a zine by and with women artists involved in cultural and place-keeping work.
(Untitled Documentary Project)
A documentary short that exposes the challenges, compromises and logistics of long-term care planning for people with disabilities. The film explores larger questions of inheritance and responsibility through the story of Anna, the filmmaker’s sister, an adoptee with special needs and Anna’s struggle to find independence and understanding in a world that does not accommodate her disability.
“Between Goodbyes” follows a Korean Birth Mother Ok Kyung and her daughter Mieke as they struggle to connect despite years of separation, fragile reunions, and coming out across cultures—reframing adoption as a form of family separation. The film shines a light on the unique realities of birth families of queer adoptees, and how being queer adoptee requires a coming out or coming to terms with oneself.
(Multimedia Arts Installation)
“Five Cents a Can: Making Visible the Invisible” is a visual arts exhibition centered on the lives of Asian women who collect cans for a living, raising questions about migration, inequality and aging while poor and Asian. Oil painting portraits of the can collectors, many of who are former garment factory workers, will be exhibited with video and sculptures at the Museum of Chinese in America.