Projects


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.

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2017 GRANT PROJECTS

• TV SERIES
Before the Wall • $7,000
Jennifer Betit Yen and the Asian American Film Lab
A five-episode television crime drama series that takes place in a near-future dystopian America where xenophobia and sexism has been normalized in everyday life and impact women and women of color in particular. The series, which features two Asian American female leads, dramatizes the fears and concerns about the way women will be treated under the current, real-life political regime.

• DOCUMENTARY FILM
Blowin’ Up • $12,000
Stephanie Wang-Breal and Once in a Blue, Inc.
A feature-length documentary film about the innovative Human Trafficking Intervention Court in Queens that is disrupting traditional criminal justice approaches to trafficking and prostitution by redefining the women in it as victims instead of criminals. The film follows Judge Toko Serita who presides over the court, and the women and girls arrested in police raids who pass through its doors every day.

• PUBLIC ART
DRAW NYC in Chinatown • $3,000
The Uni Project
A free, portable art studio outdoor installation in Sara D. Roosevelt Park at Hester Street to encourage hundreds of local residents to gather and draw. Designed to increase access to art-making as a visible, enjoyable part of urban life, this pop-up project will connect professional and student artists with the public, and expose New Yorkers to the creative effort and artistic potential of fellow residents.

• DANCE
Freedom Isn’t Free • $4,000
Kaoru Ikeda and MoustacheCat Dance
A project that incorporates oral history, documentary materials and dance performance to draw parallels between the prejudice and persecution experienced by Japanese Americans during World War II and the attacks against ethnic and religious groups in today’s America. The grant will support expanding the piece from its current solo form into a more fully realized work for a spring 2018 premiere.

• MUSICAL
Interstate • $4,000
Melissa Li and Kit Yan
A musical that tells the story of a queer Asian American band’s first cross-country tour and an isolated transgender teen who is inspired by the band and their parallel experiences with love, family, struggles and finding a community. The project, a 2016 AWGC grantee, will produce a concert reading at the New York Musical Theater Festival in in July 2017.

• DOCUMENTARY FILM
Nailed It • $12,000
Adele Pham
A documentary film chronicling the genesis and 40-year history of the Vietnamese nail salon and its influence on an $8 billion-dollar industry. This new round of funding will support the production of an updated ending to the film, reflecting the activism of the project’s community partner, Mekong NYC. The organization will use the film as an educational, outreach and advocacy tool as they hold safety workshops inside nail salons and lobby Albany for occupational health reforms.

• WRITING WORKSHOP
No-Name Mind: Stories of Mental Health from Asian America • $3,000
Nina Sharma
This youth writing workshop for young Asian American women focused on mental health will explore what it means to convert private despair and silence into language and action. This interdisciplinary approach combines literary, socio-historical and psychological material that encourages participants to interpret and critique representation in media, art and culture and craft counter-narratives of their own.

• WRITING WORKSHOP
Profile This: Girls • $12,000
Asian American Writers’ Workshop
A workshop series to encourage and empower young women to create their own counter-narratives to Islamophobia through writing, video, and photography, showcasing what life as a Muslim, Arab, South Asian girl in New York is really like. The project is a multi-faceted, artistic challenge to xenophobic stereotypes of their communities.

• MULTIMEDIA
Resist Recycle Regenerate • $4,000
Mei Lum and The W.O.W. Project
A series of workshops for Asian American girls that teaches papermaking and printmaking using discarded Chinese New Year fireworks recycled as hand-printed zines. In collaboration with MOCA and the School of Authentic Journalism the girls will conduct oral histories, map their family histories and learn about immigration laws that have shaped Chinatown’s past and how they can intervene in its future as young artists and activists.

• DOCUMENTARY FILM
Women Leaders of the First Intifida Untitled Film Project • $7,000
Just Vision
A feature-length documentary about the untold story of the Palestinian women who led the largest strategic, nonviolent unarmed grassroots mass mobilization effort in Palestinian history, timed to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the First Intifada and the 50th anniversary of the occupation. A past AWGC grantee, the project will use the grant for the film’s 2017 launch, including a public education campaign.