Why Chinatown? Why now? Why W.O.W. Project?
Powerful gentrifying forces are rapidly changing Manhattan’s Chinatown and the stakes are high. Those whose livelihoods are most impacted often do not have a platform to voice their concerns. The W.O.W. Project works to amplify these community voices.
The W.O.W Project was born from a turning point in the survival of the oldest shop in Chinatown, a five-generation owned family business that has witnessed almost a century of change in the neighborhood. It is a women-led initiative that has the mission of sustaining ownership over Chinatown's future by growing and protecting Chinatown's creative culture through arts and activism. This past year, we worked on this mission by:
- Hosting 18 public programs, including our Homeward Bound series which highlights everyday resilience in Chinatowns around the world
- Mentoring 10 interns providing them grassroots community organizing experience and leadership skills
- Supporting an emerging Asian American artist through our storefront artist residency which included 17 community paper cutting workshops with over 100 participants
- And completing our first year-long youth-led Resist Recycle Regenerate program which included political activism, oral history and papermaking workshops that taught 5 Asian American young women skills to explore their own histories of migration and to share with the community by making paper out of collected confetti during the Lunar New Year parade.
Now, this is where → YOU ← come in!
To celebrate this year of growth and raise funds so we can continue our cultural organizing in a time of rapid cultural displacement, we are asking you to contribute to this crowdfunding campaign to launch the W.O.W. Project into its 3rd year of programming. Your money will go directly towards developing our public programs, youth internships, 店面/storefront Artist Residency, and the Resist, Recycle, Regenerate papermaking project. For example, $1500 allows us to invite experts to teach our Resist, Recycle, Regenerate fellows different skills to share back with the community, $1000 will help us buy all the necessary supplies for our artist in residence to hold community workshops, $350 will cover costs for one public event, $100 will bring a youth intern to a workshop that will help them develop their personal projects.
There are some fantastic rewards for donors including*:
- W.O.W. Elder 長老 - $3000 or more - everything listed below + recognition as a W.O.W. donor on our website and honorary plaque put up at the shop
- W.O.W. Auntie/Uncle 阿姨 /叔叔 - $1000 or more - a hand painted customized ceramic bulldog + an annual membership to the Museum of Chinese in America
- W.O.W. Family Member 家人 - $888 or more - a Thai food dinner for two in the shop cooked by our director, Mei Lum!
- W.O.W. Benefactor 恩人 - $500 or more - A W.O.W. goody bag full of all of our limited edition merch: W.O.W. tote, 2 year anniversary poster, W.O.W. inspired patch, enamel pin, linoleum print, Wonton in a Million x W.O.W. collaborative sticker and W.O.W. postcard set of 3 designed by Taylor Jung
- W.O.W. Collaborator 合作伴儿 - $250 or more - a Chinatown walking tour by Gary, the current shopkeeper of Wing On Wo
- W.O.W. Friend 朋友 - $88 or more - a W.O.W. limited edition 2 year anniversary screenprinted t-shirt in the style of a band's tour shirt + papercut donated by Asian American Arts Centre
- W.O.W. Neighbor 鄰居 - $30 or more - Junzi ticket for a free bing or noodle bowl + W.O.W. inspired print
- W.O.W. Community Member 社區成員 - $10 or more - personalized thank you card on our handmade confetti paper
We will also be hosting a 2nd Anniversary celebration and fundraiser on June 23rd at DCTV (87 Lafayette St.) and you can purchase tickets by clicking Register. All the proceeds go directly towards the W.O.W Project’s programs and growth for its 3rd year. The evening will include an artist market featuring Asian American artists and W.O.W.’s very own limited edition merch, food and drinks from local Chinatown favorites like Oriental Garden, and many amazing musical, poetic, and comedic performances! You can visit our Facebook event page to purchase tickets.
*these rewards will be available until supplies last!