The Asian Women Giving Circle, the first and one of the largest Asian American grassroots philanthropy groups in the country and the only one led by all women, turns ten this year and is throwing a party to celebrate on Tuesday, November 10, 2015, at the AIA/New York Center for Architecture, 536 LaGuardia Place in New York from 6:00pm to 8:30pm. For more information and tickets, click here.
The event, which is open to the public, will feature special performances, including award- winning artist and performer Kelly Tsai, a silent auction, wine, food, DJ, and tarot readings. Guests will also have a change to meet and mingle with the Giving Circle’s 2015 grantees. Proceeds from the event will go to group’s 2016 grantmaking pot.
Founded in New York City in 2005 by Hali Lee with 20 other women, the Giving Circle was modeled after the traditional Korean geh, where friends pool and share money to support each others’ ventures. Lee added a philanthropic twist to this crowdsourcing practice and the Asian Women Giving Circle was born. The group, a fiscally sponsored project of the Ms. Foundation for Women, has made more than $700,000 in grants to projects that contribute to cultural and political change, led by Asian American women artists and community-based nonprofits in New York City.
“Asian Americans are the fastest-growing ethnic group in New York City, yet our communities receive only a tiny fraction of philanthropic funding,” Lee said. “Like the artists and nonprofits we fund that are breaking new ground with their work, we realized to make change, we had to be the change ourselves as donors.”
The Asian Women Giving Circle’s 2015 grants went to: AALDEF, for a print and web-based magazine by and about undocumented Asian women in NYC; Kayhan Irani’s Muslim Women’s Story Lab, which will use oral history and improv theater to deepen Muslim women’s engagement around Islamophobia and community leadership; Kundiman, for a multimedia project in partnership with Adhikaar that will showcase work by Nepalese immigrant women at local nail salons, temples, and restaurants; Joyce Yu-Jean Lee, for an art installation/Internet cafe in Manhattan’s Chinatown that will explore censorship and gender issues in China.
Grants also went to Marisa Marquez, for Ms. Oriental, a play about the high suicide rate among Asian American women; Adele Pham, for an organizing and education effort among nail salons workers, using her documentary film Nailed It, as a centerpiece; South Asian Youth Action (SAYA!)’s workshops with young South Asian women to support peer education on body image, relationships, gender discrimination and domestic violence; Jennifer Betit Yen, for The Opposite of a Fairy Tale, a documentary film that tackles elder abuse in the Asian American community.
Created by RAISE
A $13,000 grant to fund the creation of a zine to spark conversation and honest dialogue about and by undocumented Asian women and youth. Each issue will focus on a specific theme and will be available both in hard copy and on a multimedia website. The project will be led by members of RAISE (Revolutionizing Asian American Immigrant Stories on the East Coast), a pan-Asian group, of all undocumented “Dreamers”—young people mobilized by President Obama’s 2012 DACA Act. RAISE is affiliated with AALDEF.
• WORKSHOPS AND READINGS
A Letter Home: Nepali Stories
Created by Meera Nair, Kundiman, and Adhikaar
A $11,000 grant for A Letter Home: Nepali Stories, a multimedia project in partnership with Adhikaar that seeks to excavate the perspectives and voices of immigrant women from Nepal in New York City. Ten women will take part in writing and photography workshops led by award-winning writer Meera Nair. The work will be shared through public readings and displays in community-based venues such as nail salons, temples, and restaurants.
Created by Kayhan Irani and Women in Islam Inc.
A $11,000 grant for the Muslim Women’s Story Lab, a series of hands-on workshops that seeks to deepen Muslim women’s engagement in three areas: Islamophobia, the inclusion of women in mosques and in community leadership. Ten to fifteen Muslim women will participate in a monthly immersive learning community using oral history, story telling, improvisational theater, and portraiture.
• MULTIMEDIA ART INSTALLATION
Created by Joyce Yu-Jean Lee
A $8,000 grant to support Firewall, an art installation in Manhattan’s Chinatown that will transform a rented storefront into a one-of-a-kind Internet café that explores censorship of gender issues in China. The public will be invited to compare disparities on Google and Baidu by researching terms and images online as part of a broader dialogue about Internet freedom.
Created by Marisa Marquez
A $8,000 grant for the development of Ms. Oriental, a play that explores the high suicide rate among Asian American women. The play centers on a struggling actress who is visited by a coterie of notorious female figures including China’s Empress Dowager, Lady Murasaki, and warrior-queen Lakshmibai. The artist will partner with New York City schools and colleges as part of her educational outreach strategy.
• EDUCATION CAMPAIGN
#NailedIt: Vietnamese and the Nail Industry
Created by Adele Pham and Third World Newsreel
A $13,000 grant to support an organizing and education effort among nail salon workers, leveraging Nailed It, the filmmaker’s feature-length documentary about the industry’s origins as pioneered by Vietnamese immigrants. The film and “know your rights” pamphlets about the harmful health effects of working with chemicals commonly used in the industry will be distributed to nail salons workers in every New York City borough.
• WORKSHOP/DOCUMENTARY FILM
Desi Girls Documentary Film Project
Created by South Asian Youth Action (SAYA!)
A $11,000 grant to fund a documentary film and education project that will explore body image, personal relationships, sexual health, gender discrimination, domestic violence and cultural pressures of growing up South Asian and female in the US. Twenty young South Asian women will take part in a series of workshops that will culminate in their working with a filmmaker to produce a documentary for use as a peer-education tool.
• FILM SHORT
The Opposite of a Fairy Tale
Created by Jennifer Betit Yen and the Asian American Film Lab
A $11,000 grant for The Opposite of a Fairy Tale, a short film that will tackle elder abuse in the Asian American community, based on the experiences of the filmmaker’s own grandmother. The film seeks to throw light on this under-reported problem, educate viewers on how to prevent and address elder abuse and offer resources for victims.
Lia Chang is an award-winning filmmaker, a Best Actress nominee, a photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek, which will screen at the Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival on November 21st. She is profiled in FebOne1960.com Blog, Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.
Photos: Camille Darby, Naveen Bahar Choudhury, Kristine M. Reyes, Diana Son, Michael Korie, Larry O’Keefe, Michael Weller, Tonya Pinkins, Lynn Ahrens, Stephen Flaherty and More at DG Fund Fellows Presentation
Greg Watanabe makes Broadway Debut as Mike Masaoka in ‘Allegiance’
AsAmNews.com: Q & A with Arthur Dong, Award-winning Filmmaker and Author, Gay Icon, Distinguished Professor of Film
Jose Llana, Christine Toy Johnson, Ann Harada, Ali Ewoldt, Raymond J. Lee, Josh Dela Cruz, Alan Ariano, Joanna Carpenter and more set for CHANGING THE STATS: ASIAN AMERICANS ON BROADWAY Concert on Nov. 2
Hide and Seek starring Lia Chang and Garth Kravits screens at the 2015 Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival (PAAFF15) in Women’s Shorts Program at Asian Arts Initiative on Nov. 21
Two-time Tony nominee and Emmy winner André De Shields and Broadway in Chicago President Lou Raizin to be honored at DePaul University theatre gala on Nov. 9
Film Lab Screening of #72HrSO Films at Time Warner Theater & Panel Discussion of Mass Media Constructions of Beauty
AsAmNews.com: George Takei, Lea Salonga, Telly Leung, Michael K. Lee and more at the first preview of Broadway’s Allegiance; opens Nov. 8
Alldigitocracy.org: “Allegiance,” Featuring George Takei, Lea Salonga and Telly Leung, Opens November 8
AsAmNews.com: Creating an Asian American presence on Wikipedia, one WikiAPA Edit-a-thon at a time
AsAmNews.com: Jaygee Macapugay set for Broadway Debut in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s School of Rock-The Musical
AsAmNews.com: The King and I’s Special Performance Benefits The Actors Fund
Playbill.com: Hugs, Laughs and Photobombs By Tony Winners! Go Backstage at the Special Actors Fund Performance of The King and I
Broadwayworld.com: Photo Flash: Phylicia Rashad, Andre De Shields & More Original Cast Members from THE WIZ Reunite in Central Park!
BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA Cast Reunion featured in BLACK BELT MAGAZINE August/September 2015
Drumhead Magazine: Living Colour Drummer Will Calhoun, Photos by Lia Chang
AsAmNews.com: Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Ruby Yang talks about her new film, My Voice, My Life
AsAmNews.com: Actor Tzi Ma Rides ‘Hell On Wheels’ to New Heights
AsAmNews.com: What’s Next for Sesame Street’s Alan Muraoka, Director of Critically Acclaimed The Report
AsAmNews.com: Sesame Street’s Alan Muraoka Directs New Off Broadway Drama THE REPORT
Broadwayworld.com: Photo Flash: First Look at THE REPORT as Part of FringeNYC
AsAmNews.com: Arthur Dong’s Forbidden City, USA: Chinese American Nightclubs, 1936-1970 wins American Book Award
AsAmNews.com: Future Looks Bright for Asian American Cinema
Playbill.com: Retweet! BroadwayGirlNYC’s Picks For Most Useful Theatre Women on Social Media
AsAmNews.com:Playing Hide And Seek With Actress Lia Chang
AsAmNews.com: The King and I’s Jose Llana, Ruthie Ann Miles and Betsy Morgan Perform Concert in the Park
AsAmNews.com: AAPI Heritage Month: My Grandmother’s Detention on Angel Island
Crafting a Career
Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.
All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2015 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at firstname.lastname@example.org