China Residencies is proud to announce our first fiscally-sponsored project, The W.O.W. Project, a public platform and space for community engagement in New York City's Chinatown. 

About the W.O.W. Project

Founded in May 2016 by Mei Lum, the W.O.W. Project’s mission is to engage the community to shape the future of Chinatown by bringing together youth, elders, business owners, and concerned residents in conversation and innovative idea generation.

The W.O.W. Project’s inaugural event, “The (Re)Generation of Chinatown,” featured a panel of second and third generation Chinese Americans who have chosen to either revive their family businesses or start their own businesses in Chinatown. The panelists discussed the role they are playing in shaping Chinatown's future, especially in the midst of rapid neighborhood changes. After making a splash with their first event, the W.O.W. Project continued the conversation with their second panel, “Chinatown: New York’s Newest Gallery Scene?”. Co-hosted by the Chinatown Art Brigade, the panel addressed the wave of galleries that have opened in NYC's Chinatown, which have been dramatically transforming the historic enclave into NYC’s latest arts district.

In September, Wing On Wo hosted a film screening of “City of Hands,” a film about young artists in Jingdezhen, which also served as a launch of the store’s new porcelain wares, sourced from the former imperial porcelain-making town. The W.O.W. Project’s most recent event, The Crate Wood Design Challenge Showcase, featured the five finalists and their designs from an open call for artists to redesign and repurpose Wing On Wo’s shipping crate wood. At the event, the public was invited to view their designs and meet the artists to learn how their work was inspired by the W.O.W Project's community vision. 

Going forward, the W.O.W. Project will continue to host events that will bring together the Chinatown community. In November, W.O.W. will host a panel on Women in Chinatown, and their leadership in Chinatown’s politics, business, and culture – an important reversal in a community historically dominated by men. W.O.W. will continue their on-going partnership with the Chinatown Art Brigade (CAB) by hosting an event on CAB’s project, Here to Stay. CAB members will speak about their initiative to raise awareness of tenants’ rights and gentrification in Chinatown through public art and direct action. 

China Residencies and The W.O.W. Project will collaborate to create a new artist residency program to supports local artists while fostering connection to ceramic artists in Jingdezhen, China. The residency will provide workspace, equipment and support for ceramics artists in Wing On Wo’s historic 26 Mott St location. The residency will help continue to bridge the connection between New York’s Chinatown community and China.

About fiscal sponsorship:

Fiscal sponsorship is a financial and legal system by which a legally recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization (like us) provides limited financial and legal oversight for a project initiated independently by another entity. China Residencies' fiscal sponsorship program helps residency programs and creative projects aligned with our mission by providing an opportunity for these projects to receive grants and tax-deductible contributions from individual donors

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