A Letter from the Executive Director

by Lisa J. Gold

The Asian American Arts Alliance (A4) is more than just a service organization. Since its founding 1983 (and even before its formal codification), A4 has been a connector, an advocate, a haven, a family, and much more to a wide-ranging community of artists, art supporters, activists, advocates, and Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in New York City.

The organization has continued to evolve and respond to the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community as history evolves and moments require recognition of movements and changes in discourse, understanding, and acceptance.

Betty Yu's "We Were Here" project (2021) by Nava DerakhshaniAsian American Arts Alliance

A look at the "We Were Here" project projection Betty Yu in Flushing Commons in 2021.

Flushing Town Hall (2021) by Seungjae SeoAsian American Arts Alliance

A moment of story gathering at Flushing Town Hall in 2021.

A4 has continued to evolve and respond to the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community through the years. As history evolves, and moments require recognition of movements, A4 has continued to lead through changes in discourse, understanding, and acceptance.

In recent years, through a devastating pandemic, and an unleashing of unbelievable anti-Asian sentiment, A4 has become even more relevant and necessary, providing an anchor and sanctuary during a period of extreme uncertainty.

A4 Honors Basement Workshop (2016) by Gil SeoAsian American Arts Alliance

Rocky Chin speaks on behalf honoree, Basement Workshop, at the A4 2016 Gala.

Small, scrappy organizations like A4 always punch above their weight and are often thought to be much larger than they are. And while much has changed in the dynamics of nonprofits and cultural organizations, one thing that sorely hasn’t changed is the amount of funding that supports organizations led by and serving AAPI communities. It’s truly a miracle that A4 has been able to hang on and continue to innovate and support the community given the disparate lack of funding available to our community.

It is my hope that this brief introduction to A4 will shed light on the range of activities and groundbreaking efforts to change the representation of our community in society, and advocate for full, fair, and equitable participation.

In Community,
Lisa Gold
Executive Director

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