We are very happy to announce the grants awarded from our recent call for proposals – for projects led by or primarily serving Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander (AAPI) artists and practitioners within the Penn community.
Fourteen projects are being supported, which represent a diverse collection of practices across the performing and visual arts, film, children’s literature, and public art. The projects are being led by a wide range of Penn community members including five individual students and one student group, four alumni, three staff and one faculty member.
Please join us in congratulating everyone involved, and read about the fourteen supported projects below. We will also be posting additional information about these projects and participating artists and practitioners to our website (sachsarts.org) later this summer.
We want to also acknowledge our gratitude to our panelists including faculty members Jo Park and Fariha Khan from the Asian American Studies Program, and Eugene Lew from the Music Department, as well as The Sachs Program staff and Board Co-chair Sharon Hayes. And we want to thank all who applied. We will be announcing our next round of grantmaking opportunities in the fall.
The Sachs Program supports a creative, culturally diverse, and pluralistic Penn community. We are committed to supporting individuals and groups from all races, ethnicities, gender identities, sexual orientations, religions, disabilities, and socioeconomic backgrounds, and to the long-term work needed to center diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racism within the Sachs Program and more broadly within the arts at Penn.
For information on other resources for AAPI communities at Penn and in Philly, as well as for learning about engaging with AAPI arts, culture, history, and heritage, we encourage you to visit the following sites (please note that this is not an exhaustive list):
- Pan Asian American Community House (PAACH)
- Asian American Studies Program
- South Asian Center
- The Center for East Asian Studies
- James Joo-Jin Kim Program in Korean Studies
- Asian Arts Initiative
- Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation
- South Asian American Digital Archive
- Japan American Society of Greater Philadelphia
- Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival
- Collaborative Cataloging Japan
- Cambodian Association of Greater Philadelphia
- Southeast Asian Mutual Assistance Associations Coalition
- Ania Vu
Through the Doors – An Opera for Chamber Ensemble, Multimedia, and Electronics
Doctoral candidate Ania Vu will produce a chamber opera, of which she is both the composer and librettist, that invites the audience to engage with questions about personal freedom, choice, and the role of time.
- Asima Samanta
Odos Non Grata
Penn staff member Asima Samanta will present Odos Non Grata, an art installation at the LGBT Center featuring fabrics dyed and scented with natural South Asian produce and spices, inspired by a racist incident Samanta experienced on their commute to Penn.
- Cliff Akiyama and Romana Lee-Akiyama
The Chen Lok Lee Legacy Project
Philadelphia-based AAPI leaders and a Penn alum will research, archive, and present the work of seminal artist, educator, and immigrant Chen Lok Lee.
- Dixon Li
Doctoral candidate Dixon Li will begin work on an ensemble dance piece, “Ga(u)ze,” which explores how queer dancers of color respond to the racialization and sexualization of their bodies.
- Penn Vietnamese Student Association (VSA)
VSA will produce its first animated annual culture show, Caged Swans, which seeks to tackle Vietnam’s complex history.
- Gracelynn Wan
Public Library Mural
Rising senior Grace Wan will paint a mural for the children’s space at the Walnut Street West Public Library.
- Jo Tiongson-Perez
Children’s Book of Indigenous Philippine Tales
Penn Museum staff member Jo Tiongson-Perez in collaboration with artist and educator Denise Orosa will produce a children’s book of eight short, lyrical retellings of native Filipino stories in both English and Tagalog, illustrated by Filipino artists.
- Karen Kim
Recent graduate Karen Kim will create an audiovisual project, “Moonflower”, which uses themes of cuteness and creepiness to explore Korean women’s long and continuous history of erasure, rewriting, and silencing.
- Kathy Tang
Asian Experiences Reconstructed (2021)
Penn staff member Kathy Tang will create collages of the contemporary Asian American experience grounded in photographs of storefronts associated with the Asian community.
- Kay Seohyung Lee
Recent MFA graduate Kay Seohyung Lee will produce a mural representing the unique and complex experiences and struggles Asian bodies endure in Philadelphia, the birthplace of America.
- Kyuri Jeon
Thread & Needle
MFA alum Kyuri Jeon will produce Thread & Needle a short film that explores how structural violence lingers on collective bodies through the lenses of tattoos.
- Rupa Pillai
Faith and Resilience of Asian/American Small Business Owners
Faculty member Rupa Pillai, working with students in her Asian American Religions class, will study altars at grocery stores, restaurants, and other Asian/American retailers, exploring the impact of the pandemic on Asian/American business owners.
- Shelley Zhang
Li Delun in Philadelphia
Doctoral candidate Shelley Zhang will produce a pop-up exhibit, symposium, and recital highlighting the underrecognized impact of the ‘father of western classical music in China,’ conductor Li Delun, and his work with the Philadelphia Orchestra during their 1973 China tour.
- Xiaoxiang (Nathan) Li
MFA student Nathan Li will respond to the normalization of violence by producing a new sculpture based on the Crowd Control Tool used by the Chinese Police and inspired by the work of Marcel Duchamp.
Additional information about each of these projects will be added to the Sachs Program website in the coming weeks.