Shaping Our Narrative

2020 Storytelling

In the spring of 2020, we supported five grantees to develop projects designed to promote diverse AAPI stories and raise community consciousness.

Screenshot of Zine "Richmond Is Home: Preventing a second displacement of Laotian Americans" - drawings of plants and authors names, Brandy Khansouvong, Sary Tatpaporn, Sasha Graham and Evan Bissell
Cover of zine, Richmond is Home
Drawing of temple
Inside cover of zine, Richmond is Home

Featured Project:

Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN) produced a zine called Richmond is Home that tells the story of home and displacement, featuring portraits and stories of Laotian residents in Richmond, California.

2020 Voting Together

Voting together is how we care for one another. #VoteTogether @Tori.Hong. An illustrated image of an elder knitting a community
Abolitionist Elder, Tori Hong
Vote for our families' dignity, unity, and joy. An elder and young person shipping mail off in USPS. A hand with various fruits.
Dignity, Unity, Joy, Kim Dinh

In 2020, Voting Together grants were offered to support local artists to create free-of-charge content that was readily made available to civic engagement groups during the 2020 elections.

Click here to view our 2020 Voting Together Gallery!

2021-2022 Creative Content

In 2021, we supported collaborations between artists and grassroots organizations to create content that could catalyze civic participation.

Featured Projects:

Hands holding three copies of ABCs of AAPI Coloring Book
ABCs of AAPI Coloring Book

In the wake of the Atlanta Spa Shootings tragedy, the Asian American Advocacy Fund (AAAF) sought to create something that would both celebrate the AAPI identity and further the representation of the AAPI community. In that spirit, AAAF created the ABCs of AAPI Coloring Book, which sold out 8,000 copies, was selected to be featured as a 150-foot art exhibit on the Atlanta Beltline, and from which a five-minute documentary was created, which was shown at schools nationwide during Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. Both the coloring book and mural were spotlighted on The Kelly Clarkson Show in May 2022.

Cover of Our Stories: An Introduction to South Asian America

The South Asian American Digital Archive (SAADA) convened a group of fourteen social media creators for a workshop, with SAADA sharing its work on South Asian American histories of political and civic engagement and the workshop participants sharing their insights into the use of social media as a catalyst for social change. Participants committed to creating social media posts about their experiences; their posts were clear evidence that they were changed by the workshop, and particularly by SAADA’s anthology, Our Stories: An Introduction to South Asian America.

From the Liwanag Storybook

The Filipino Migrant Center (FMC) sought to center the voices and skills of youth to amplify the lived experiences of Filipino frontline workers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, whose struggles with housing, basic needs, employment, and mental health accompanied physical health challenges. FMC created a short documentary and storybook that could be used to tell the stories of those on the forefront of the public health crisis. Titled “Liwanang (Light),” the film premiered in May of 2023 at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, and Liwanag the Storybook can be ordered online through their website.

A screenshot from Taking Root

Philadelphia’s VietLead has embarked on an ambitious and important project to explore the ongoing impacts of the resettlement of Southeast Asian communities in Philadelphia. The project centers on community storytelling, containing both a documentary film and community archive exhibit. The documentary film, Taking Root, premiered in June of 2023 at Tribeca Film Festival in Philadelphia.

A drawing of three women in the sky overlooking another person on the ground. Mountains and sea in the background.
 A Safe Place to Heal, Tiare Lefotu

Empowering Pacific Islander Communities (EPIC) launched a multimedia project entitled Pasifika Art: Reflection, Revival, (R)evolution, which, according to EPIC, was “grounded in the Pacific Islander [PI] cultural practices of talanoa and teu le vā, meaning talk story and to care for the space that connects us.” EPIC solicited community member input, utilized that input to commission four artists to create in their mediums in ways that spoke to its key messages, launched an art competition whose entrants ranged from 13 to 32 years of age, and held screenings of films by PI directors.

A poster from Asian Women’s Shelter that says, “Be the friend who brings it up”

Asian Women’s Shelter (AWS) created two impactful projects to reach two ambitious goals: to build anti-violence solidarity across immigrant AAPI and Black communities and to build AAPI community awareness and support of efforts to prevent domestic violence. To achieve the first goal, AWS engaged Beckie Masaki in first a participatory workshop to gather diverse perspectives from AWS staff, and community members, which culminated in a video featuring the art created by the participants of the workshop. AWS also worked with Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya to create violence prevention posters featured on Bay Area Rapid Transit and on a website with resources to address domestic violence.

2023-2024 Creative Catalyst Fellowship

Our Creative Catalyst Fellowship supports proposals that integrate the talents of artists and the activism of grassroots organizations toward artwork that can serve as a catalyst for civic participation. 

See our Creative Catalyst Fellowship here!