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 provides residents the space and resources to build the future they want to see.
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 and non-binary 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 38 public programs, including our Chinatown Movement series.
- Mentoring 8 interns providing them grassroots community organizing experience and leadership skills.
- Supporting an emerging Asian American artist through our storefront artist residency Vincent Chong, who led calligraphy and bookmaking workshops with over 100 participants.
- And completing our second 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.
Now, this is where → YOU ← come in! To celebrate this year of growth, we are raising funds to continue our cultural organizing. We are asking you to contribute to our crowdfunding campaign to help launch the W.O.W. Project into its 4th year of programming. Your money will go directly towards developing our public programs, youth internships, 店面 Storefront Artist Residency. For example, $1,500 allows us to invite experts to teach our interns about Chinatown's art and activism history and different artmaking skills like papermaking to share back with the community, $1,000 will help us buy all the necessary supplies for our next artist-in-residence to hold community workshops, $350 will cover costs for one public talk, $100 covers the monthly electricity bill in the WOW studio.
There are some fantastic rewards for donors including*:
- W.O.W. Elder 長老 - $3,000 & above -recognition as a W.O.W. donor on our website and honorary plaque put up at the shop or a handpainted custom ceramic bulldog
- W.O.W. Auntie/Uncle 阿姨 /叔叔 - $1,000 - W.O.W. merch goody bag + a family membership at the Museum of Chinese in America or Thai food dinner for two cooked and served in the shop on W.O.W. porcelain by our director, Mei Lum!
- W.O.W. Family Member 家人 - $888 -W.O.W. goody bag full of all of our limited edition merch: W.O.W. tote, enamel pin, and Charlene Man x W.O.W. T-shirt.
- W.O.W. Benefactor 恩人 - $500 - A dinner for two at Taiwanese restaurant Ho Foods or a raku vase handcrafted by Gary Hom.
- W.O.W. Collaborator 合作伴儿 - $250 - a Chinatown walking tour by Gary, shopkeeper of Wing On Wo.
- W.O.W. Friend 朋友 - $188 - our new W.O.W. limited edition t-shirt inspired by our vintage business card or some goodies from Junzi Kitchen.
- W.O.W. Neighbor 鄰居 - $80 or more - a ceramic piece by Gary Hom.
- W.O.W. Community Member 社區成員 - $35 or more - personalized thank you card on our handmade confetti paper.
- *Note: these rewards will be available until supplies last! We'll be in touch after the fundraiser to confirm your mailing address and shipping costs or set up a time for you to come by the store.