Fostering a culture of civic participation within Asian American and Pacific Islander communities.
Creative Content Grants
Images from VietLead’s Creative Content Grant project.
The AAPI Civic Engagement Fund was able to offer a new grant opportunity this year with recent additional fundraising. After an open call request for proposals produced dozens of application submissions, and an extensive review by senior staff and two individuals contracted who work in the field of civic engagement impact and arts funding, respectively, subgrant awards were made to nine AAPI grassroots civic organizations. These local groups will collaboratively integrate the creative talent of local artists with their work and implement art projects of innovative and timely artwork that can be used as a catalyst for civic participation. The projects will be completed in early 2022, and updates and links to the artwork will be uploaded to the Fund’s website soon thereafter.
Launch Digital Ambassador program of local Georgia-based influencers (e.g., digitial/graphic designers, film/videographers, singers/musicians) to use art to engage people on issue-based advocacy campaigns. Focusing on increasing participation of key ethnic groups in anticipation of the 2022 midterms and year-round power building. Part of efforts to grow the AAAF base and strengthen relationships with local artists.
Engage AAPI communities in both anti-Asian hate violence (from outside AAPI communities) and domestic violence within AAPI communities through multilingual art print social media. Work in Oakland w/community partners A Safe Place (Black domestic violence organization) and Black Women Revolt Against Domestic Violence and support survivors to make survivor-driven art.
Work with local artist to create political education tools in at least 4 languages (Hmong, Karen, Vietnamese, Chinese) to discuss the roles of different elected offices. Targeting Asian ethnic communities in Minnesota with high limited English rates.
Multimedia project grounded in Pacific Islander cultural practices. Responses to Instagram prompts (e.g., how does policing impact you and your family?) will be shared with Pacific Islander poets, visual artists, and musicians to create pieces inspired by the community via an art contest and commissioned pieces. Art will be shown at outdoor and virtual community screenings of Pacific Islander films. Accompanying social media campaign will feature art created, artist interviews, and discuss issues addressed such as incarceration and decolonization.
Partner with Filipino immigrant youth filmmakers and artists to share stories of community members whose lives have been changed by COVID-19 and create a short documentary and accompanying storybook. This project will help build on its existing advocacy campaigns.
Advocate for AAPI curriculum to be adopted by State Board of Education. Will use video art to share the voices of young people and raise awareness via social media for its importance. Will also create educational videos highlighting parts of AAPI curriculum.
Two-day educational workshop about South Asian American histories of civic/political engagement for young creators/social media influencers. Workshop open to 15 young South Asian American creators/influencers.
Platform launch of “Moving Toward Justice” featuring storytelling of community engagement. Will include videos of impacted members’ stories, social media engagement, website to host the platform, webinars, and panels. Art will be produced to shift the narrative away from good vs. bad immigrant dichotomy and will feature Southeast Asian refugees.
Create documentary about Southeast Asian experience in Philadelphia, including how Southeast Asian communities were resettled into predominantly Black and poor neighborhoods from 1975-1995 and how current local development boom is leading to evictions. VietLead will create a community archive and interview community leaders about the resettlement and building of the Southeast community.
The AAPI Civic Engagement Fund commissioned thirteen Asian American and Pacific Islander local artists to create thirteen different digital art pieces to encourage the AAPI community to turn out for this election cycle. The #VotingTogether Artist Open Call was produced in conjunction with the organizationCulture Surge.
Art is a powerful tool to move the hearts and minds of people to take action and turn out to vote on Election Day. The artists created on the theme of “Care: The AAPI community leads by caring about each other. How will your vote on November 3rd show how you are caring for our community?” In response, the artists made illustrated graphics to songs to dance videos to TikTok videos – all the encourage the AAPI Community that we need to be voting together. The various artwork is available bilingually and in-culture for the Vietnamese, Chinese, Hmong, South Asian, Sikh communities and more.
Art has the ability to bring people together and to empathize with one another – and we know that AAPI community will turn out to vote inspired more now by these pieces.