Since 2006, AWGC has raised and awarded nearly $800,000 to projects by individual artists and community groups that contribute to progressive social and political change.
2016 GRANT PROJECTS
The Argus Project • $8,000
Ligaiya Romero, lead artist and producer
Based upon Argus Panoptes, the Greek giant with 100 eyes, the project serves as a metaphor for an awakening citizen body to police brutality and violence. The Argus Project is a creative intervention in three acts: 1) a futuristic wearable device; 2) a 360° video installation featuring interviews with former police officers and people impacted by police violence that becomes an immersive storytelling device; 3) community training programs including know-your-rights info and workshops on counter-surveillance and social media.
• WEB SERIES
Bolo Bahen: Indo-Caribbean Women Speaking Our Truth! • $4,000
Jahajee Sisters is a movement-building organization committed to creating a safe and equitable society for women in the Indo-Caribbean community. In collaboration with Media Sutra, Jahajee sisters will create Bolo Bahen, an oral history web series that will tell the stories of Indo-Caribbean women, who are marginalized as Indian women of the South Asian Diaspora as well as Caribbean women. The project will address the impact of gender-based violence in the Indo-Caribbean community for use as an organizing tool to spark dialogue, inspire transformation and incite action.
• MULTIMEDIA PUBLIC ART
CareForce • $5,000
Studio REV and Marisa Moran Jahn
CareForce is a multimedia public art project and mobile studio (a souped up 1967 Mercury station wagon called the CareForce One) that energizes the caregiver workforce around fair workplace policy and wages and quality care for families. The project’s primary constituency is the 12,000 member affiliated domestic workers in New York City and its target audience is New York City’s 250,000 domestic workers who will be sought through street outreach (libraries, parks, places of worship). Key partners include the National Domestic Workers Alliance, Caring Across Generations, the Urban Justice Center and Adhikaar.
Driven Mind • $3,000
Kimberlee Bassford, producer, director and writer
Driven Mind is a half-hour documentary about Iris Chang, a Chinese-American historian and author of the bestselling book, The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II. She became an outspoken advocate for Chinese and Chinese American communities, especially on issues relating to war. Seven years after her groundbreaking work, she committed suicide. The documentary interweaves the last six months of her life and her rapid descent into depression, medication and suicide, with her life as a driven child, journalist, activist and mother. The film explores mental illness through Chang’s story and aims to reduce the stigma associated with these issues among Asian Americans.
• PUBLIC ART
Here to Stay • $10,000
Chinatown Arts Brigade: Tomie Arai, Betty Yu and ManSee Kong in collaboration with CAAAV
The Chinatown Arts Brigade is a new collective of Asian American social justice minded artists, cultural workers and media makers. Here to Stay is an outdoor public art project featuring photo and video montages addressing gentrification, displacement, and community resilience in New York City’s Chinatowns, which will be projected onto buildings and public landmarks in Chinatown and the Lower East Side. The montages will be comprised of artwork produced in community workshops led by the Brigade’s three founders in partnership with CAAAV, a grassroots tenants rights and community empowerment organization, and The Illuminator, a political collective that will provide technical assistance and the use of their mobile projection unit.
Interstate • $2,500
Melissa Li and Kit Yan
Interstate is a musical based on the real-life experiences of a queer, Asian American band’s first cross-country tour. The musical follows the lives of the band members, a lesbian singer-songwriter, a FTM (female-to-male) transgender spoken word artist, and a young transgender queer female assigned at birth teenager, as they tour over 40 states. The grant will help fund a workshop reading, casting of diverse Asian American people, rehearsals and production. The project will include community, talkback sessions during the workshop, and partnership with local community groups.
Migrant Kitchen: Asian Migrant Kitchens Project • $7,000
Sarah K. Khan
Migrant Kitchens Project is a monthly series of journalistic pieces, photography and short films on the daily struggles and joys of urban women immigrants who work as street food vendors, restaurant owners/ workers, cooks and caterers. AWGC support will help fund the segment on Asian American immigrants working in the food industry in Queens. Collaborators include ROC-United, Brand Workers, Food Chair Workers Alliance, the Street Vendor Project, the Queens Museum of Art and Culinary Backstreets.
Okduki: Never Stand Down • $8,000
Asian Pride Project
The Asian Pride Project is a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer arts and advocacy group that promotes the acceptance of LGBTQ individuals in the Asian American community with a focus on families. The grant will help produce a short documentary film featuring five Asian fathers of LGBTQ-identified children who join together to talk about the nuanced and delicate process of parenting LGBTQ kids. The film will explore the fathers’ individual journeys towards acceptance while navigating prejudice from within their own extended families and cultural communities. Community partners include NQAPIA, PFLAG, NYC-API Pride Project, among others.
• ORAL HISTORY WORKSHOP
Project Home • $8,000
Asian American Writers’ Workshop
The Asian American Writers’ Workshop seeks to bring together isolated, elderly Asian American women living in New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) public housing with Asian American women teaching artists who will lead workshops on oral history and story sharing. Project Home, currently in its pilot phase at one NYCHA facility with funding from City Council Member Corey Johnson, creates safe spaces for the women to tell stories, ease their social isolation and help break down language and generational barriers. The grant will also help the Workshop build a lasting network of Asian American women teaching artists
Project Mukti • $3,500
Equality Labs is a New York City-based South Asian American human rights organization that focuses on centering the leadership of South Asian minority groups in the ongoing redefinition of South Asian identity across the diaspora—with specific emphasis on Dalits (formerly known as the Untouchable caste in India), Adivasi (indigenous), Muslim, Buddhist and Christian South Asian women. The proposed project includes: 1) a five-day arts organizing camp to help create a series of art campaigns targeting the issues of caste apartheid and religious fundamentalism in the community; 2) a monthly healing circle for women; 3) development of a long-term strategy to take on Hindu fundamentalist networks within the community; 4) production of powerful art (like video, posters, guerilla skits, signage) that can be used for ongoing education and organizing campaigns.
• MULTIMEDIA ORAL HISTORY
Voices of Amnesty • $8,000
Voices of Amnesty is an oral history and multimedia project about the lives of immigrants legalized by the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1985 (IRCA). Kayhan, a social justice and human rights storyteller and educator, will produce sharable and publicly accessible video and audio shorts about amnesty recipients, whose accomplishments show the positive impacts of legalization that should be at the center of discussions about immigration reform. Project partners include the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, Make the Road NY and the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum.
Women Leaders of the First Intifida Untitled Film Project • $8,000
Just Vision increases the power and reach of Palestinian and Israeli grassroots leaders working to end the occupation and build a future of freedom, dignity and equality. The grant will support post-production of a feature-length documentary about the untold story of the first Intifada, the largest strategic mass mobilization effort in Palestinian history, remarkable not only for its use of grassroots nonviolent tactics, but for the central leadership role Palestinian women played. The film will be the centerpiece of a public education campaign targeting community groups, activists on the ground, broadcasters and the press on the power and effectiveness of popular resistance.