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July 24, 2019

Asian Women Giving Circle Gives $78,000 in Grants to Nine NYC-Based Artists and Projects

Asian Women Giving Circle



July 8, 2019

Contact: Hali Lee, [email protected]


Asian American Women’s Voices: Our Past, Present and Future

Asian Women Giving Circle Gives $78,000 in Grants to Nine NYC-Based Artists and Project


NEW YORK, NY – From President’s Trump’s travel ban and the #MeToo movement to the oral histories of New York City elders who lived through the interment of Japanese Americans and the mass refugee exodus of the Vietnam War are among the projects funded this year by the Asian Women Giving Circle.

“Every year that we make these grants, we’re struck by the bridges between projects that connect our histories as Asian Americans to our present-day struggles,” said AWGC founder Hali Lee. “We’re immensely proud to stand with this year’s grantees, each of who challenge us to write history in our names and fight for a future that is inclusive and just.”

An Act of Worship (Documentary)

Nausheen Dadabhoy


A film about the immediate, real-time events following Trump’s 2017 travel ban against citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries, focusing on the response from the Muslim American community, activists, and attorneys as they descended on airports across the country to protest the policy and offer legal support to travelers ensnared by it. A document of the web of resistance against the rising threat of Islamophobia and hate crimes.

Free Chol Soo Lee (Documentary)

Su Kim


Before Vincent Chin, there was Chol Soo Lee. Lee This film revisits this wrenching and largely forgotten episode in Asian American history by recounting the story of how Lee, wrongly convicted of murder, became a flashpoint for Asian American activism in the 1970s and how his life, post-release, threatened to tarnish, and even undo, the movement’s legacy. A tale of immigrant’s search for belonging, the evolution of Asian American political identity, and the human toll of being a symbol.

Legacy (Oral History Project)

Korean American Story


Asian American women’s voices have been marginalized from the coverage of #MeToo despite their long history of sexual stereotyping and exploitation and their roles as feminists and activists in the movement. This project will interview Korean American women survivors of sexual harassment and assault and leaders in the fight for justice and parity. Interviews will be archived as part of’s Legacy Project.

Mirror Mirror (Multimedia Project)

Amita Swadhin


A companion piece to a groundbreaking stage work created by the artist with the Ping Chong theater company, this project centers the stories of child survivors of sexual abuse and draws on the healing and leadership of LGBTQ+ people of color. The grant will be used to create a NYC-based multimedia art exhibit, healing circles, and public workshops to expand public understanding of childhood rape and sexual assault.

NY Japanese American Oral History Project

Japanese American Association of New York (JAANY)


This project will capture the under-told stories and contributions of Japanese and Japanese Americans in NYC who lived through the transition from incarceration in the internment camps to the post-war era. Recorded interviews with surviving members of this community and other material will be archived on, and shared with the Japanese American National Museum.

There is a Portal (Multimedia Performance)

Kayhan Irani


This one-woman show uses live performance, multiple characters, video projections and humor to share memories from the Iranian revolution, family migration and the artist’s own struggle to assimilate in NYC. The show’s multimedia elements will refract the current age of digital connection, cyber-bullying and surveillance. Audience members will be invited to share their own stories during and post-performance.

The TIDE Film Festival

Julie Young


TIDE (Truth, Intent, Disrupt, Entitle), a new Brooklyn-based film festival that spotlights and empowers filmmakers of color, will showcase 25+ films written, directed, or produced by emerging filmmakers from around the world in November 2019. The event will also offer workshops, and panels to connect filmmakers from underrepresented communities with audiences and industry professionals.

Vietnamese Boat People (Podcast)

Tracy Nguyen Mar


A podcast series featuring voices from the Vietnamese Boat People generation, an aging community of post-war refugees whose stories of loss, survival, and resiliency have been largely excluded from the dominant narrative of the Vietnam War in the US. The grant will go toward production and preservation of the stories of refugees in the NYC area (1975-1990s), as part of the mass exodus of two million people.

Untitled Documentary on Aging

Sarita Khurana


This documentary short follows a group of older women at India Home, an innovative community organization in Queens that serves immigrant seniors, and explores the women’s experiences and challenges as they navigate the complexities of aging as part of an unprecedented wave of seniors who are growing old far from the land where they were born.


The Asian Women Giving Circle, the first and largest volunteer giving circle in the nation led by Asian American women, funds art projects that contribute to cultural and political change created by Asian American women artists and activists in New York City. AWGC is fiscally sponsored by the Ms. Foundation for Women.