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The W.O.W. Project Annual Report Program Year 2018

About the Annual Report This annual report documents the W.O.W. Project’s third program year which ran from September 2018–July 2019. It contains insights and highlights from programs organized and held by the team over the past year, including our year-long internship program, youth program Resist Recycle Regenerate, 店面 Storefront and Makers Residencies, and public programs such as our Chinatown Movements: Past, Present, and Future series. This report also shares notable figures and statistics from the W.O.W. Project’s third year, as well as the project’s vision moving forward.

About the W.O.W. Project The W.O.W. Project is a women and non-binary run initiative located in the heart of Manhattan’s Chinatown and housed in the oldest operating store in the neighborhood. With the future of Chinatown threatened by displacement, it will take community solidarity and resistance to mitigate the powerful forces of gentrification. In response to this urgent need, the W.O.W. Project is creating space for conversations to happen across language barriers, economic backgrounds and generational gaps to actively shape the future of Chinatown. The W.O.W. Project’s mission is to sustain ownership over Chinatown’s future by growing, protecting, and preserving Chinatown’s creative culture through arts, culture, and activism.

© 2019 W.O.W. Project All Rights Reserved.

Contents Message From the Founder and Director. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 W.O.W. Project Organizational Chart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 W.O.W. Project 3rd Year By the Numbers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Internship Program. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Resist Recycle Regenerate (RRR). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 店面 Storefront Residency . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Public Programs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Looking Forward . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 W.O.W. Project Donors. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 How To Get Involved. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49

Message From the Founder and Director Three years ago, when I met Diane Wong and shadowed her on her dissertation interviews with different Chinatown community stakeholders, I felt the pull to understand what it meant to stay put, to stay in Chinatown, at home, at 26 Mott. I really never would have imagined that it would have all led me to where I am now, as the fifth generation owner of Wing on Wo and the founder and director of the W.O.W. Project. W.O.W. has become an intentional space for our community to engage in dialogue about our neighborhood’s past, present and future. It has become a site for so many young Asian Americans, women, non-binary folks and femmes to explore their identities, understand their histories and uplift each other’s voices. So much of this year has been about strengthening our community. Some highlights include empowering first year alums of Resist Recycle Regenerate to lead our second cohort of fellows through their 10 month journey, holding our very first Queer Trans People of Color writing workshop led by writer and cultural organizer Huiying B. Chan, and launching our Chinatown Movement series highlighting historic and contemporary movements focused on labor, housing, and LGBTQ justice in Manhattan’s Chinatown. Over this past year alone, we held 38 programs and engaged over 1000 community members and counting. We received 5 grants totaling over $45K, and worked with 8 community partners such as Chinatown Youth Initiative, Charles B. Wang Teen Resource Center, Henry St. Settlement’s Abrons Art Center and Senior Center, and Q-Wave. Our programs were powered by the $16K raised from our grassroots fundraising campaign last summer with 85% of our donations being $100 or less. We hope to continue this tremendous momentum we’ve been building since 2016 in making the W.O.W. Project a sustainable pillar for our Chinatown community. I am so excited to see how and where we’ll propel this cultural movement in its fourth year and beyond.

Thank you so much to everyone who has supported us thus far,

Mei Lum Founder and Director of the W.O.W. Project

W.O.W. Project Annual Report Program Year 2018

W.O.W. Project Organizational Chart


W.O.W. Project 3rd Year

open meadows foundation


New York Women's Foundation

Citizens Committee for nYC awesome foundation

W.O.W. Project Annual Report Program Year 2018

Lower manhattan cultural council

By the Numbers

1000+ participants

Internship Program

About the Internship Program W.O.W.’s internship program provides young people the opportunity to explore and learn about the link between arts and activism, Asian American identity and history, and community-based cultural organizing through an empowering project-based internship. During the yearlong program, interns work with one of W.O.W.’s pillar programs to gain first hand knowledge on grassroots community organizing. This year, interns worked on building the artist residency, creating media for the annual fundraiser, planning the Chinatown Movements Series, and assisting the Resist Recycle Regenerate program. The interns started the year with weekly orientation meetings to ground themselves in the W.O.W. and Chinatown community before they began helping with these programs as well as creating their own projects.

W.O.W. Project Annual Report Program Year 2018

Internship Program

2018-19 Intern Cohort

Em He Public Programs and Managing Intern Barnard College

Cathy Choo (she/her) Public Programs Intern Townsend Harris High School

Jade Levine (she/they) Public Programs Intern Barnard College


Raina Liu (they/them) Storefront Residency Media Intern Columbia University

Fanny Li (she/her) RRR Media Intern Hunter College

Cynthia Tong (she/her) Public Programs Intern New York University


The W.O.W. Project internship is a community that builds many more communities by empowering young people to use their own stories, creativity, and leadership to strengthen communities they are a part of. Throughout this year, with all our antics in the park and shared yummy meals, the interns have taught me how to be vulnerable and challenge myself while also laughing and eating together. Together, we built an intentional community of growth and love. Look out world! W.O.W. interns are a force to be reckoned with!

Em He, Public Events and Managing Intern

Internship Program

2018-19 Internship Program Accomplishments


months (sept '18 - june '19)



I was drawn to the W.O.W. Project in general both for its unique take on arts and activism, and then I was also excited about being a part of a cohort of other Asian American youth. The project really places trust in young people to be the stewards of Chinatown, of Asian America, and of Chinese America.

W.O.W. Project Annual Report Program Year 2018

– Jade Levine, Public Programs Intern

Internship Program

Interning at RRR has been a very rewarding and healing experience. I’m not only discovering more about myself and the Chinese diaspora but also learning more about my craft through hands-on experience and the trust/ confidence the W.O.W. family has in me. The RRR fellows have been an absolute joy to be around. I hope the short film about the RRR program does justice to their intelligence, creativity, and authenticity. – Fanny Li, RRR Intern

Clockwise from top left: Em and Jade at the W.O.W. Project 3rd year anniversary; Fanny filming RRR final showcase; W.O.W. 2018-19 Intern cohort from left to right: Fanny, Em, Cathy, Cynthia, Raina, and Jade.


Resist Recycle Regenerate (RRR)

About Resist Recycle Regenerate (RRR) Resist Recycle Regenerate is a youth program that seeks to intersect art and activism through building women-centric leadership within the Chinatown community. RRR’s youth mentorship program model promotes young women as leaders and role models to inspire growth and leadership development in their peers. Former fellows can become program leaders, mentoring and guiding the next cohort of younger fellows.


The program is organized into three main phases: in the first phase, former fellows teach the incoming cohort how to make paper out of recycled confetti collected during the annual Lunar New Year Parade. RRR invites volunteers to help collect discarded confetti fireworks, engaging the community to join in the process of recycling confetti into new creative materials. Next, guest artists teach various artmaking skills (such as paper-cut and calligraphy) to fellows so that they can reclaim creative cultural practices in a women-led space. In the second phase, program leaders teach the current fellows how to facilitate and lead papermaking workshops for the community. In the past, we have conducted fellow-led workshops for seniors (Henry St. Settlement’s Abrons Art Center), LGBT+ organizations (Q-Wave), and other community institutions (Museum of Chinese in the Americas). The third phase of the program synthesizes the skills, experiences, and interests that have been fostered throughout the year. Program leaders guide the current cohort through the process of creating final projects that incorporate their handmade confetti paper and apply the artmaking skills they learned. These projects engage with themes of personal and collective migration stories, Chinatown history, daughterhood, and diasporic belonging. Fellows share and discuss their projects with the community by displaying their work in the store during the final showcase. The showcase provides a space for the fellows and program leaders to collectively reflect on their growth and development as artists, young leaders, and community members who are invested in the past, present, and future of Chinatown.

W.O.W. Project Annual Report Program Year 2018

Resist Recycle Regenerate (RRR)

2018-19 RRR Program Staff Program Leadership Team

Juliet Phillips (she/her) Program Coordinator & Teaching Artist

Mei Lum (she/her) Program Director



Kristin Chang (she/her) Sarah Lawrence College

Ja Bulsombut (she/her) Sarah Lawrence College

Jing Chen (she/her) Millennium High School


Angela Chan (she/her) Fort Hamilton High School

Bonnie Chen (she/her) Brooklyn Tech High School

Serena Yang (she/her) Hunter College High School

Lokyee Yan (she/her) East Side Community High School

Resist Recycle Regenerate (RRR)

2018-19 Resist Recycle Regenerate Program Timeline

Phase 1: Skill Building

Phase 2: Community Engagement and Outreach

Sept 2018 – Jan 2019

Feb – April

Lunar New Year RRR Confetti Collection 16

Confetti Papermaking Workshop at Q-Wave

Confetti Papermaking Workshop at MOCA

Phase 3: Final Projects April – May

Confetti Papermaking Workshop with NYU

W.O.W. Project Annual Report Program Year 2018

RRR Final Showcase: Myth & Memory

Resist Recycle Regenerate (RRR)

Reflection by RRR Leaders We began as fellows in the first year of the Resist Recycle Regenerate (RRR) program. We didn’t know what to expect, but we soon became a tight-knit community that learned from each other and explored the importance of art and heritage. The basement studio of Wing on Wo became our second home. Now as leaders, we are so excited to welcome new people into our space. We learned how to facilitate weekly workshops for the fellows, how to create safe spaces to talk about art and identity, and how to guide others through their personal projects and goals. We feel that RRR has really grown as a program and that the fellows have learned to innovate with paper-making skills in ways that far exceeded anything we could have imagined. We especially enjoyed a zine-making workshop where we wrote a collective poem. We each contributed one line to the group poem, and the results of our writing showed the power of collaboration and the importance of using our voices. Another one of our favorite moments as leaders was watching the fellows facilitate workshops themselves. We saw how the skills we learned last year were being passed down to the next generation of fellows. RRR has become a lineage of young women who empower our community through activism and art. We are so excited about the fellows’ final projects and how they reflect the themes of family, identity, and Chinatown history that we set out to start conversations about. We can’t wait to see how RRR continues to leave behind an impact on young women in our community.

RRR Leaders Kristin Chang, Jing Chen, and Ja Bulsombut

The biggest takeaway from the program was being able to be in a workspace with amazing women who share the same aspirations and goals as me. It was really fun getting to know one another and building friendship, while learning the same art skills together that I know I can use in the future for other projects.

Angela Chen, RRR Fellow Photo of RRR Fellows at their annual confetti collection by Eric Jenkins-Sahlin.

Resist Recycle Regenerate (RRR)

2018-19 RRR Program Accomplishments







I came into the program thinking I was going to learn how to make paper and connect it to the history of Chinatown. But as the program progressed, I learned that it was much more than paper-making and a historical based initiative. Every week, cool artists came and taught our cohort a certain skill that I will always remember and utilize as I move forward with my career. The people that you meet will change your life: the support system and consistent affirmations and the desire to bring change is an important component to this program.

Bonnie Chen, RRR Fellow Thank you to our sponsors and donors:

W.O.W. Project Annual Report Program Year 2018

Resist Recycle Regenerate (RRR)

“It’s especially urgent to center art...[and] reframe it as something that is by and for the community rather than something that needs to be brought in, as if art doesn’t indigenously exist already in accessible, community-based forms.” – Kristin Chang

Clockwise from top left: Placekeeping tour with Tomie Arai. Photo by Donna Karimi; Papermaking workshop at Henry St. Settlement’s senior center; Photo of RRR team at the annual confetti collection from top left: Juliet, Melody, Kristin, Ja, Lokyee, Jing, Mei, Angela, Bonnie, and Serena by Eric Jenkins-Sahlin.

店面 Storefront Residency

About the 店面 Storefront Residency W.O.W. provides a 6-month artist residency opportunity for an emerging Asian American artist at the oldest operating store in Manhattan’s Chinatown. The artist-in-residence is invited to create a final storefront window installation by and for the community in celebration of the Lunar New Year. During W.O.W.’s third 店面 Residency, Vincent Chong co-produced work with over a hundred community members through his 24 free bookbinding, seal engraving and calligraphy workshop sessions. Participants created work that then went into a window display for the storefront at 26 Mott Street in celebration of the Lunar New Year and the year of the earth pig. Vincent focused on his experience in traditional Chinese calligraphy and bookmaking, and how this has impacted his interests in representation through art on paper and how materials are used to express the complexities of queer, diasporic identities. During Vincent’s residency, he collaborated with Huiying B. Chan and Clara Lu on creating a space intentionally set for queer, trans, people of color, to explore writing and bookmaking, titled Sonic Reverberations.

W.O.W. Project Annual Report Program Year 2018

店面 Storefront Residency

2018-19 店面Storefront Residency Staff

From left: Vincent Chong (he/they) Artist-in-Residence, Clara Lu (she/her) Residency Coordinator, Huiying B. Chan (they/them) Sonic Reverberations facilitator.


About Vincent Chong Vincent Ge-Ming Lia Chong (莊志明) is a queer, mixed-race Chinese American artist and printmaker. The Chinese side of his family has roots in Chinatown via the Daipang (大鵬) peninsula, and the Italian and English side of his family has roots in Binghamton, NY and outside of London, UK. He studied Chinese calligraphy and stone seal engraving for about three years, and currently works as a printmaker in NYC. Vincent’s everyday art practice consists of calligraphy studies, watercolor painting, seal carving, etching, and bookmaking. We often talk about the erasure of queer people and our narratives, but throughout Chinese history we have seen the burning of books and burying of intellectuals since the beginning of the dynastic system. Vincent believes it’s important to address not just the erasure of queer people, but the burning of our narratives and the burying of our lives. Vincent’s residency approached both traditions of Chinese calligraphy and bookmaking from a queer perspective to focus on reimagining and rewriting narratives to include those people erased from history as a central theme. For Lunar New Year, Vincent filled the Wing On Wo window display with spring couplets (春聯) and a bookshelf displaying the artwork of participants from free public workshops on Chinese calligraphy and bookbinding.

ĺş—é?˘ Storefront Residency

2018-19 Storefront Residency Program Timeline

Residency Begins

Calligraphy + Calligraphy Workshop Bookmaking Workshops at Columbus Park

Holiday Calligraphy Cards

October 2018

Sonic Reverberations Cohort 1, Session 1

Spring Couplets Calligraphy Workshop 24

Sonic Reverberations Cohort 2, Session 1

Sonic Reverberations Cohort 1, Session 2

Dress to Impress Calligraphy Event

Sonic Reverberations Cohort 2, Session 2 Residency Storefront Opening

Through Queer Lenses: Orientalism & Traditionalism Panel

January 31, 2019

March 1

W.O.W. Project Annual Report Program Year 2018

Residency Closing Dinner

Artist Talk

March 26

店面 Storefront Residency

Reflecting on Building QTPOC Spaces As the Residency Coordinator for the second year in a row, I had the pleasure of working with Vincent Chong. Each residency has been a really special experience, particularly in the way I’ve witnessed artists grow their artistic practice to encompass educational workshops where participants re-engage and reclaim their relationships or traumas with traditional practices and cultural histories. This year especially, I developed an appreciation for building a queer, people of color-focused, chosen family from my friendship with Vincent. I realized how beautiful, important, and amazing it is to fill intentional spaces where queer, trans people of color (QTPOC) feel a belonging – which needs to be a part of our everyday work in the way that we reclaim our bodies, space, histories, and identity. Through Sonic Reverberations, a collaboration between Huiying B. Chan, Vincent and I, I learned the significance of exercising our imagination of a future where queer, trans people of color are at the forefront. We welcomed two cohorts into the studio, read, talked, made books, shared food and vulnerabilities, and imagined a future where everyone is patient with one another’s growth, where scarcity is nonexistent. I am deeply appreciative of the residency as a platform for growth and exploration for both the artist in their relationship between craft, heritage, and community engagement. I am also grateful for the W.O.W. Project and residency as a space for me to feel rooted and connected to my heritage. As the Residency Coordinator for the second year in a row, a Chinese American, and a native New Yorker, I am thankful for the guidance of the W.O.W. Project, Mei and the Lum family. I’ve been able to grow my understanding of how cultural and community organizing can operate in practical and artistically fulfilling ways.

Clara Lu Residency Coordinator


2018-19 店面 Storefront Residency Accomplishments




a panel featuring


4 queer creatives



171 workshop participants



3 of free public 4 8 programming 7





W.O.W.’s vision of empowering the Chinatown community inspired me to critically examine my relationship to my racial/cultural identity and to move beyond one tied exclusively to my family. Highlighting the narratives of Asian Americans with roots in Chinatown...and other narratives vastly and subtly different from my own, I started to better understand how my Asian American identity superseded the imprint my family left on me, and how it could serve as a foundation for how I would confront society’s perplexing social issues. Vincent’s residency provided a space to understand queerness in the larger context of asian/POC identity and to uplift the narratives of our community. – Monica Chen, Workshop Participant

W.O.W. Project Annual Report Program Year 2018

Photo of Vincent Chong’s calligraphy workshop by Eric Jenkins-Sahlin.

店面 Storefront Residency

I’m grateful for being part of the internship program through the W.O.W. Project and learning more about historical community work that happened in Chinatown, such as the Basement Workshop and their work in defining what it means to be Asian American. It helped me to think about my own identity and how community work can materialize in our actions. Working with the residency team, assisting workshops, and attending events all helped stimulate concepts about being Asian American, young and queer.” – Raina, Storefront Residency Intern


Top to bottom: Our annual residency closing dinner cooked by Chef Zoey Gong of Table 81 with residency jury and creative team; Mei Lum with Vincent at his very first calligraphy workshop. Photos by Eric Jenkins Sahlin.

ĺş—é?˘ Storefront Residency

About Sonic Reverberations Sonic Reverberations was an intentionally crafted creative writing and bookmaking workshop centering queer and trans writers of color, created in collaboration with third artist-in-residence, Vincent Chong, creative writer and cultural organizer, Huiying B. Chan, and Clara Lu. An open call was made in December 2018 to host two cohorts of 9 participants, over the course of 2 sessions in January 2019. The program was free of cost with all materials provided, and no prior experience was required for participation. The purpose of Sonic was to create a space where queer and trans people of color (QTPOC) could focus on exploring the power of self and collective healing and imagination through reading, discussing, and writing to work by QTPOC poets, novelists, organizers, scholars and revolutionaries. It came from a central belief in creative spaces by and for QTPOC. Through Sonic Reverberations, participants sought to find power in their voices and truths, and creating, unafraid.


Top to bottom: Sonic Reverberations participants folding paper to fill their books; Sonic Reverberations cohort 1 posing with their completed books; Sonic Reverberations cohort 2 posing with their completed books.

Sonic Reverberations Accomplishments 12 11 10 9


1 2

hours of 3 programming 4 8 7




2 cohorts of 18 participants

W.O.W. Project Annual Report Program Year 2018

books made

店面 Storefront Residency

Sonic Reflections I facilitated two workshops of Sonic over the course of four sessions with seven to ten selected participants in each, the majority of whom were from the Asian diaspora. Through reading poetry and visionary fiction, discussion, meditation, writing, and sharing our writing, we discussed our writing lineages, experiences, the current state of things in America today, and how we move towards the futures we want to see, live and thrive in. It came from a central belief in creative spaces by and for us, inspired by past writing workshops I have attended at the Asian American Writers’ Workshop with Kay Ulanday Barrett, and Winter Tangerine. For me, queerness is about abundance and living the futures we want to see now. It is from our imaginations that societies are created and changed. There aren’t always spaces for us as QTPOC to reclaim and cultivate our radical imaginations and visions for our presents and futures—personally and intergenerationally. Together, we built a space where all of that felt more possible. As a facilitator I learned to trust myself, the participants, and process. I saw and felt once again that creative spaces for QTPOC exclusively are indeed vital and that together we truly have all we need to survive and thrive.

Huiying B. Chan Writer, Cultural Organizer

Huiying B. Chan reading from Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements at a Sonic Reverberations workshop.

店面 Storefront Residency

I feel fortunate and deeply grateful for the opportunity to share in this space — it was powerful medicine to enter together into parts of ourselves that carry dreams, vision, creative imagination as QTPOC while also making space for the histories and ancestral wisdom we carry and to engage in craft with such deep history.” – Sonic Workshop Participant

Despite its brief two–weekend span, Sonic Reverberations was everything that I needed in a writing workshop. Huiying created a space in which it felt perfectly safe to be vulnerable, and where truly important and transformative discussions could happen. Without any pressure to share if one isn’t ready, or without any competition whatsoever, we were able to build and share a healing energy with a mind towards future possibilities. The fact that the second class focused on science fiction and Afrofuturist writers was so significant to me – it’s so important to remember that our creative spaces have the potential to create change on a grander scale. The space they held for us felt welcoming and safe—a meaningful, intentional space for QTPOC poets that I hadn’t yet been able to find—and I was so thankful to be a part of it all.“ – Sonic Workshop Participant

W.O.W. Project Annual Report Program Year 2018

店面 Storefront Residency


Special thanks to: Our jury

Visiting Curators

Tomie Arai Ming Bai Clara Lu W.O.W. Family - Evan Louis, Gary & Lorraine Lum Emily Mock Juliet Phillips Lena Sze Ryan Wong

Herb Tam Eugenie Tsai Paul Wong

We are immensly grateful for Vincent Chong and Huiying B. Chan’s passion and intentionality in making and creating space for queer and trans people of color through this residency.

Photo of Vincent Chong’s calligraphy by Mischelle Moy.

Public Programs

About W.O.W.’s Public Programs W.O.W.’s public programs and events seek to continue conversations across language barriers, economic background and generational gaps about pressing issues that are currently relevant to the community. In the past, the project has hosted discussions on tough topics like systemic sexism in community leadership and the art world’s role in gentrifying an ethnic neighborhood like Chinatown. The conversations and community engagement fostered through W.O.W.’s public programs help promote understanding across generational gaps to sustain long-term community engagement and development. This year we hosted a total of 38 public programs including panel discussions, artist talks, poetry readings and program series like Chinatown Movements: Past, Present, and Futures.

W.O.W. Project Annual Report Program Year 2018

Public Programs

2018-19 Public Programs Staff

Public Program Leadership Team Diane Wong, Huiying B. Chan, Mei Lum

Cynthia Tong (she/her) New York University

Em He

Barnard College

Cathy Choo (she/her) Townsend Harris High School

Jade Levine (she/they) Barnard College

2018-19 Public Program Accomplishments

12 11 10 9




hours of 8programming4 7


42 total

public programs




r ke a m s rie se rams g pro




5 general public programs


resi d prog ency ram s


Public Programs

2018-19 Public Programs Timeline

Building Community Through Bilingual Media in LA’s Chinatown: A Talk with WAPOW Founder, Wendy Chung

Maker Series: Demolition Paranoia in Beijing

Nov. 2018

Women Writers at WOW: Favorite Daughters

Maker Series: Lion Dance Behind the Lens

Dec. 2018

Jan. 2019

Maker Series: Food for Thought: A Journey Through Art, Food and Identity Year of Abundance: A Lunar New Year Celebration Feb. 2019


Maker Series: An Artist A Guzheng Artist Talk with Talk with Jia Sung Clara Lu and Kayla Briet

Maker Series: A Talk & Workshop with Artist Xiao Mei

April 2019

March 2019

Chinatown Movements: Garment Workers Organize May 2019

Chinatown Movements: Movement for Housing Justice June 2019

Chinatown Movements: Queer Chinatown History Tour WOW Project 3 Year Anniversary Celebration

Chinatown Movements: Open Mic Night

July 2019

W.O.W. Project Annual Report Program Year 2018

AAWW x Women Writers at WOW: M/Other

Public Programs

Nov. 9, 2018 Makers Series: Demolition Paranoia in Beijing

Photo of the Sponge Gourd Collective discussing changes in Beijing.

Jan. 18, 2019 Makers Series: Lion Dance Behind the Lens


Clockwise from top left: Will Moy presents his photographs; Will Moy with family; Will Moy’s photos hanging in the Wing on Wo & Co. shop. Photos by Will Moy.

Public Programs

Feb. 16, 2019 Year of Abundance: A Lunar New Year Celebration in Collaboration with Abrons Art Center and Yellow Jackets Collective

Left: W.O.W. Project volunteers assisting art-making activities; Right: Jia Sung, Vincent Chong, and Clara Lu after their performance. Photos by Mei Lum and Eric Jenkins-Sahlin.

June 14, 2019 W.O.W. Project 3rd Year Anniversary Celebration


Clockwise from top left: Jean Chiang reading Fay Chiang’s work from Basement Workshop’s Bridge Magazine publication; W.O.W. Project collaborators pose at the Yellow Jackets Collective photobooth; attendees laugh during a performance. Photos by Marion Aguas. W.O.W. Project Annual Report Program Year 2018

Public Programs


Clockwise from top left: Attendee reading from the Asian American Feminist Collective book shop; Wo Chan performing in drag; Bonnie Chen giving a tarot card reading; Tomie Arai reading poetry from Bridge Magazine; Vincent Chong, Huiying B. Chan, and Clara Lu presenting their performance; Audience members seated before performances begin. Photos by Marion Aguas.

About Chinatown Movements Series Chinatown Movements: Past, Present, & Futures is an intergenerational series of public events that highlight historic and contemporary movements focused on labor, housing, and LGBTQ justice in Manhattan’s Chinatown. The series includes panel discussions, film screenings, bilingual walking tours, and a culminating open mic. Chinatown Movements is the first series of its kind in the neighborhood to engage community members in understanding how we can learn and build from Chinatown’s historic social movements to address similar, pressing present-day concerns. Chinatown Movements: Past, Present & Futures is funded in part by Humanities New York with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Citizens Committee of New York City’s Neighborhood Grant.

W.O.W. Project Annual Report Program Year 2018

Kheel Center, Cornell University

Public Programs

June 6, 2019 Movement for Housing Justice

From Left: Panelists; Audience members; Panelists speaking. Photos by Marion Aguas.

May 24, 2019 Garment Workers Organize


From Left: Panelists discussing; Audience members; Group photo with panelists. Photos by Marion Aguas.

June 9, 2019 Queer Chinatown History Tour

Clockwise from top left: Queer Chinatown History Tour event graphic; Em and Jade speaking; group photo of tour. Photos by Marion Aguas.

Looking Forward

Looking Forward

Reflecting on W.O.W. Project’s Upcoming Program Year


The W.O.W. Project is an example of what community control could look like for a neighborhood. It inspires us to think about the future of cities and what we would like to see in our communities. The project provides residents the space and resources to build the future they want to see. While there are similar resistance movements in Chinatowns across the country, I truly believe that what sets the W.O.W. Project apart is the fact that Mei is always careful to build on existing grassroots efforts and is mindful of who she and her project is accountable to at the end of the day. My work with the W.O.W. Project has also been a constant reminder me that home is sacred and that home is a place of possibilities. In the past feminist theorist and activist Bell Hooks has written about how home constitutes a site of resistance and contains a radical political dimension of subversion, renewal, self-recovery, and healing – the W.O.W. Project does just that. The significance of the W.O.W. Project lies within the fact that it disrupts the erasure of women in narratives of activism in the city. I am moved by the generations of women who have cultivated these intimate spaces in Manhattan’s Chinatown and the women who continue this work at 26 Mott Street.

Diane Wong (she/her) Assistant Professor and Faculty Fellow, Gallatin School of Individualized Study, NYU

W.O.W. Project Annual Report Program Year 2018

Looking Forward

Makers Residency In the 2019 program year, we are launching the Makers Residency program, a 3-month long opportunity for a maker to refurbish 50+ year old shipping crate wood into a functional object for Chinatown residents. The Makers Residency is an expansion on a previous crate wood design challenge that engaged Chinatown residents in October 2016. Building on its success, W.O.W Project plans to continue to create access to art-making activities for the community through the Makers Residency program while also innovating creative solutions that reuse raw materials back into the lives of our neighbors. This year’s maker-in-residence is Heidi Ratanavanich. Heidi’s design will be used to teach woodworking 101 workshops to young community members in collaboration with community partner, Chinatown Youth Initiatives. The residency will conclude with a final showcase exhibiting works by both Heidi and workshop participants honoring the journey the raw material has made from Hong Kong to New York City and celebrating its new functionality. The Makers Residency is made possible in part by Citizens Committee for New York City Reuse and Repair Grant, and with public funds from Creative Engagement, supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and administered by LMCC.


Participants learned how to drill, hammer, sand and assemble their very own chair and shelf in the Makers Residency woodworking workshop in collaboration with Chinatown Youth Initiatives.

About Heidi Ratanavanich Heidi Ratanavanich (she/they) is a visual artist and educator born in the year of the dog. Based in Philadelphia since 2013 with deep feels to Chicago and Thailand, Heidi’s work uses a range of digital and analog media—particularly woodworking, printed matter, broadcasting and public/private gatherings—to inquire upon the politics of place and space. Heidi is specifically interested in the intersection of food sovereignty, ecology and economy. They teach at Moore College of Art and Design and work at Future and Sons, building and renovating homes in Philadelphia. They are committed to a yoga practice on Thursdays.

Looking Forward

Homeward Bound: Global Intimacies in Converging Chinatowns Huiying B. Chan and Diane Wong curated the exhibit “Homeward Bound: Global Intimacies in Converging Chinatowns.” The photography exhibit uses photographs, oral histories, and multimedia archives to highlight stories of migration, displacement, and everyday resilience in Chinatowns around the world. This exhibit is the first of its kind to honor, preserve, and build on the history and present day issues of Chinatowns through communityled and curated narratives from residents globally. It centers the radical intimacies of strangers and the possibilities of narrating diasporic movement, estrangement, and belonging and draws from four years of ethnographic research and oral history interviews with the Chinese diaspora that spans nine countries and thirteen cities, including: New York City, San Francisco, Boston, Los Angeles, Vancouver, Seattle, Lima, Havana, Johannesburg, Guangzhou, Ho Chi Minh City, Singapore, and Sydney. The exhibit was recently shown at Pearl River Mart, one of the oldest department stores in New York’s Chinatown. However, the curators see the exhibit as being a living project—one that extends beyond the walls of a gallery and is rooted in community needs and engagement. Homeward Bound: Global Intimacies in Converging Chinatowns will travel to Boston’s Pao Art Center in Spring 2020. Thank you to our sponsors and donors:


Clockwise from top left: Exhibition setup of photos from ‘Rooting’ section; Overview of exhibition setup; Installation shot of exhibition objects. W.O.W. Project Annual Report Program Year 2018

W.O.W. Project Donors

Special Thanks We couldn’t do this without our incredible community and supporters. We’d like to extend a special thanks to: Funders

Fiscal Sponsor China Residencies

Community Partners AK Press

Chinatown Youth Initiatives (CYI)

Museum of Chinese in America

Asian American Feminist Collective

Confetti Systems


Asian American Writer’s Workshop

Haymarket Publishing


Charles B. Wang Teen Resource Center Henry St. Settlement House China Residencies

• Abrons Art Center

Chinatown Art Brigade (CAB)

• Senior Center

Yellow Jackets Collective

Donors W.O.W. Auntie/Uncle 阿姨 /叔叔 John Brown W.O.W. Benefactor 恩人 Hannah Lee Wendy Look W.O.W. Collaborator 合作伴儿 Richard Lin Cathryn Selman Diane Gibson Joyce Yu Joyce Phillips Bob Eng

W.O.W. Friend 朋友 Andrew Teoh Arlan Huang Christina Chin Yoonjin Ha Diane Wong Emma Karasz Emily Mock Eugenie Tsai Ferris Tseng Gordon Ng Harrison Yee Jane Joseph Jeannette Lee Joanie Kwok

Joan Simon Kevin Chan Laura Wang Laura Wnek Lei-Leen Choo Lillian Rountree Lawrence Wu Maggie Dillon Michael Laha Michael Lin Michele Wong Jocelyn Fong Nathaniel Brown Keith Leung Roger Lam Photo by Mischelle Moy.

W.O.W. Project Donors

Stephen Lloyd Sophia Tsao Symphony Chau Tiffany Yau Tracie Lee Mark Tseng-Putterman Vanessa Moy May Ying Chen Wing Yan Sang Kevin Yi Shuen Huang Jenni Loo


W.O.W. Neighbor 鄰居 James Chan Kira Simon-Kennedy Michelle Chen Sam Luu Jessie Ngok Ryan Wong Lauren Cheung Christina Lee Clara Lu Denise Zhou Annie Hurwitz Ami Li Alexandra MacLeish Anna Harsanyi Anthony Lui Bailey Roese Benjamin Lundberg Randall Kennedy Esther Cohen Calvin Stalvig Christian Schwartz Curtis Ho Cynthia Koo Diane Jean-Mary Diane Wong D Victoria Gibson Heidi Lau Elizabeth Moy Esther Kim Francis Tseng Susan Fang Feifei Liu Gordon Mark Laura Clise

W.O.W. Project Annual Report Program Year 2018

Peter Brown Jan Lee June Kim Katie Salisbury Leslie Kuo Linda Shum Mairead Harris Margot Boyer-Dry Mi Hye No Martin Lin Noa Kasman Oksana Mironova Patrick Chen Raymond Chow Sylven Beck Stephanie Kim Erik Otto Tadesh Inagaki Tara Mei Smith Ursula Liang Vivian Sangsukwirasathien Valerie Mero W.O.W. Community Member 社區成員 Elliott Smith Holly Mitchell Ami Glazer Aree Worawongwasu Nicki Stein Tom O’Keefe Vipul Chopra Chelsey Gao Nathan Brown Megan Cattel Hannah Joseph Emma Chew Murphy Kasia Chmielinski Dessa Lohrey Daniel Cheng Kimberly Murphy Nina Psoncak Ann F Hoffman Kevin Huang Taylor Lahey Christine Hsieh Christina Lee Minju Bae

Jessica Wu Bonnie Tse Roya Khosroabadi Calvin Prashad Ali Salas Rebecca Chan Gilen Chan Gary Lundberg Elisabeth Siegel Diane Zhou

How To Get Involved 26 Mott Street, New York, NY 10013



Book Design Book design by Clara Lu with help from Cynthia Tong, Alicia Kwok, Tyler Gibson, and the W.O.W. Team.

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W.O.W. Project Annual Report Program Year 2018  

ABOUT THE W.O.W. PROJECT ANNUAL REPORT PROGRAM YEAR 2018 This annual report documents the W.O.W. Project’s third program year which ran fro...

W.O.W. Project Annual Report Program Year 2018  

ABOUT THE W.O.W. PROJECT ANNUAL REPORT PROGRAM YEAR 2018 This annual report documents the W.O.W. Project’s third program year which ran fro...