In these challenging times, it is more important than ever for us to come together as a community in solidarity. COVID-19 has impacted our communities deeply, and we wish everyone safety and health as we all work together to build and recover. In the wake of this crisis, AWGC grantees have been doing incredible work to leverage the arts and community organizing to combat anti-Asian xenophobia.
“I grew up in Queens, not too far from the epicenter of the pandemic in New York. I wanted to tell the stories of my neighborhood aunties and uncles who are now amongst the most vulnerable. I am inspired by the ways our communities continue to show up and take care of one another.”Sarita Khurana, filmmaker
As part of A-Doc‘s COVID stories series, AWGC grantee Sarita Khurana released her microdocumentary, “Home, Delivered,” following South Asian seniors living in Queens as they find comfort with the help of the local India Home Senior Center.
Sharing stories of Asian Americans collaborating with other communities
Launching May 1st during Asian American History Month, Perpetual Collaborators is a website/virtual museum created by 2018 AWGC grantee Cecilia R. Mejia and other Asian-American artists and social impact producers. In response to Xenophobia as well as racist attacks against the Asian-American Community, the project is a play on the “model minority.” Perpetual Collaborators collects stories and content that highlights important collaborations between Asian Americans and other communities.
Submit your story here
Art of Me
Power and Community Artist Series
Cecilia’s non-profit, Art of Me, is collaborating with Content Creators and Artists on an interactive digital art series with two workshops each week for high school students, educators, mentors and parents. These interactive art sessions are a collaborative, open and fun space to learn, create and cope with experts in their crafts in storytelling, creative writing, music and more. To get more info or sign up, email firstname.lastname@example.org!
What will life be like for Asian-Americans when we return to school, the workforce and society?
Cecilia is also working on an animated short film about what it will be like to return back to “normal.” The piece will follow a family, days after the stay-at-home orders are lifted, while reflecting on what was wrong with our old normal that led us to this point. The launch date is still to be determined as Cecilia is still working to raise funds to pay the animators and illustrators.
“Racism is a Virus” PSA
Asian American Film Lab PSA campaign and 72 Hour Shootout
Two-time AWGC grantee Jennifer Betit Yen has been doing amazing work with The Film Lab to produce a campaign of PSAs to combat anti-Asian COVID-19 related racism and to inspire people to take action to help their communities.
The Lab is also offering a monthly series of virtual filmmaker how-to workshops in May to assist people in creating “art in isolation” and make sure their stories continue to be told, even in a quarantine. In addition, Film Lab is forging ahead with The 72 Hour Shootout filmmaking competition, making adjustments to allow filmmakers to shoot, even if in isolation, to ensure underrepresented faces, voices and stories are told. The 72 Hour Shootout will take place from June 4th-7th, and the top ten films will be announced and screened in July.
Explore creativity, imagination, and self-reflection
Independent artist and 2011 AWGC grantee Kelly Tsai is helping our community through Quarantine with her #CreativeQuarantine posts! Kelly’s #CreativeQuarantine posts are free, artistic writing prompts posted each morning (except Friday) at 10 AM EST on her Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
Kelly’s posts provide space for people to be creative each day, create positivity, and use their imagination. Set a timer for five minutes or longer and, with whatever prompt feels bets, start writing!
We’re so grateful to our grantees for all of their amazing work to support and uplift our communities in these times of need. To help us continue to support New York’s Asian-American women artists, you can donate to the Asian Women Giving Circle.