group photo of AAI staff

photo of Anne Ishii

Anne Ishii (she/her)
Executive Director | ext. 701

Anne is a writer, editor and translator, who for the past ten years has worked specifically to achieve visibility and recognition for art and artists that touches on issues of gender and sexuality in the Asian diaspora. In her quest to platform more and better iterations of work from the API diaspora, Anne has worked in publishing and advertising, venture consulting and content strategy.

photo of Mehgan

Mehgan Abdel-Moneim (she/her)
Lead Teaching Artist

Mehgan is a dance, performance and visual artist based in Philadelphia. She has studied Ballet, Modern and Postmodern dance, but recently focused her training on Kenpo and club dances including Salsa, Bachata and Waacking. Her visual art practice is a shifting exploration of found object sculpture, interactive installation, photography, painting, woodworking and maybe more - depending on what she finds in the trash. If she’s not dancing, building ideas out of recycled/bartered items, or encouraging young students to create, you’ll find her performing snarky skits on instagram.

Photo of Ann Adachi-Tasch

Ann Adachi-Tasch (she/her)
Project Manager

Ann is a musician, arts administrator, and mother of three children. Since 2010, Ann’s work has revolved around thinking about the interconnection and the economy between access and preservation, in particular pertaining to Japanese avant-garde moving image works, and has worked to open a wider access to the history through digital platforms and exhibitions, while establishing a network of caretakers to preserve and secure longevity of film and video materials. 

portrait of clarissa

Clarissa Cheung (she/they)
Development Coordinator

Clarissa joins AAI through her belief in the expansive possibilities of art and community. Grounding herself in the connections between our past/present/and future, she brings with her a background of literature and ethnic studies that informs and inspires her understanding of the world, and holds close her experiences with student organizing. Prior to AAI, Clarissa worked with various DMV-based non-profits where she focused largely on practicing trauma-informed and survivor-centered care through art and healing spaces. Outside of work, Clarissa finds joy in making home brunches + sharing meals with loved ones, picnics and walks, sunroofs, and re-learning instruments + other art practices from her childhood. 

photo of Dominique Chua

Dominique Chua (she/they)
Creative Assistant | ext. 710

After growing up in the Philippines and Taiwan, Dominique moved to the US for their studies and to pursue work in the performing and visual arts. As Creative Assistant, they’re excited to support the curation and artistic programming at AAI, while getting to more fully connect with Philadelphia’s Asian arts community. They love learning about history, climbing, elaborate picnics in the park, and being on trains. 


photo of Joyce Chung

Joyce Chung (she/her)
Curator | ext. 714

Joyce is a curator and writer. Her curatorial interests include performance, media art, intersections of feminism and visual arts, identity politics, and Asian and Asian American art. She previously worked at a number of museums and galleries both in Seoul and New York, including the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea, Hyundai Card, Kukje Gallery, as well as for the Gwangju Biennale and Performa. 

photo of Daniela

Daniela Galindo (she/her)
Teaching Artist

Daniela is a Mexican-American educator and visual artist raised in Houston, newly based in Philadelphia. She studied Photography and French at St. Edward’s University. Prior to joining AAI, she spent a brief period working as an English language instructor to newcomer and refugee youth and spent six years as a museum educator in the Studio & Gallery Programs at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. These experiences sparked her passion for arts education and her life-long commitment to make art accessible to people of all backgrounds. In her free time, Daniela enjoys improving her skill in various art practices such as crochet and ceramics, exploring nature, visiting museums in new cities, cooking, and spending time with her two cats. 

photo of Hanzi

Hanzi (they/them)
Teaching Artist

Hanzi is a Chinese-American visual artist, illustrator and educator. Having been born and raised in the US, their art education journey eventually led them to China to complete their master’s in contemporary art, where they engaged with traditional art forms such as ink wash painting and calligraphy, alongside new media. In their art practice, they combine digital and traditional image-making techniques to explore their experiences in the diaspora and what uniquely emerges from that space between cultures. Besides art, Hanzi enjoys fashion, cooking, and going on leisurely hikes.

photo of Liz

Liz Karcewski (she/her)
Operations Assistant | ext. 702

Liz is a Filipino American illustrator based in Philadelphia. She is inspired by art and community and her recent work centers around topics of mental health and connection. Liz also loves being out in nature, attending music events, and trying lots of different restaurants and food spots. She is also the proud parent of her pandemic cat Mango! She is excited to be a part of the AAI team and assist with all things operations!

photo of Dave Kyu

Dave Kyu (he/him)
Director of Programs | ext. 703

Dave began working with Asian Arts Initiative as an artist in its inaugural Social Practice Lab cohort in 2011. Dave has also led the organization through its first community planning process, creating People: Power: Place: a cultural plan for Chinatown North/Callowhill. In his current role, Dave oversees the strategy and implementation of its public programs, and continues to coordinate alongside advocacy efforts in Chinatown and Chinatown North. He is the co-editor of Campfire Stories: Volumes I & II. 

staff photo Jino

Jino Lee (he/him)
Marketing & Communications Supervisor | ext. 706

Jino is an image maker and artist working in print media, digital content, and brand experiences. He uses tools like lens-based media, publishing, graphic design, social media, and creative strategies to explore and apply how the visual media we engage with every day construct our experiences and memories. Prior to joining the marketing team, Jino spent 4 years as a Lead Teaching Artist at Youth Arts Workshop of AAI where he developed and taught arts curricula focusing on digital media, publishing, and community engagement. 

photo of Matt Nelson

Matt Nelson (they/all)
Managing Director | ext. 707

Matt has been professionally collaborating with Asian Arts Initiative since 2012; first as a tenant and then later joining the staff in 2015. Matt is a Philadelphia-based artist, producer, arts facilitator, and educator whose personal artistic practice currently focuses on microhabitat design utilizing living bioscape materials and organisms.

photo of Samantha Quinn

Samantha Quinn (she/her)
Director of Operations | ext. 709

Samantha joined the Asian Arts Initiative team in the summer of 2021. Prior to joining AAI, she has worked with local nonprofits including the College of Physicians of Philadelphia/Mütter Museum, and Philadelphia Futures. In her current role as Director of Operations, Samantha integrates her professional background in education and nonprofit administration, with her passion for arts and culture. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, crafting, gardening, and exploring Wissahickon Valley Park with her dog.

photo of Joey Wong

Joey Wong (they/them)
Director of Development | ext. 708

Joey Wong is a trans Filipino who carries with them a deep appreciation for the stories of their ancestors, whose care fuels Joey’s drive to work in public service and cultural spaces. Prior to working as the Director of Development at AAI, they received their masters in nonprofit management and worked with various nonprofits and academic institutions serving Asian American and Latine communities in Philly and DC. In their spare time, Joey loves crying to Filipino movies + songs, speeding downhill on their bike, and cultivating new buds in their garden.

photo of Kong Yang

Kong Yang (she/her)
Youth Education Programs Manager | ext. 705

Kong is a Hmong-American Artist born in Northern
Thailand and raised in Providence, Rhode Island. While she is a self-taught painter and printmaker, Kong studied Fine Arts with a concentration in Sculpture at The Rhode Island College, and holds a Bachelor of Science in Culinary Arts & Food Service Management from Johnson & Wales University. Kong’s work is influenced by her Hmong heritage, generational stories of migration and integration, and the tensions between identity and cultural belonging. Before joining AAI’s education team, Kong worked with immigrants and refugees in Philadelphia, and taught Special Education in Tucson, Arizona. During her free time, Kong works out of her studio in Kensington, lives with four cats and loves horror films. 

Gayle Isa is a Founder and former Executive Director of Asian Arts Initiative. Gayle has been a Douglas Redd Fellow focused on arts and community development and has served on the boards of the Philadelphia Cultural Fund, the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, the National Performance Network, and the national Consortium of Asian American Theaters and Artists. She has also been a member of the Philadelphia Mayor’s Commission on Asian American Affairs and the Mayor’s Cultural Advisory Council, and was the first Asian American appointed to serve on the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. She has been an aspiring dramaturg and taiko drummer, and is currently focusing her creative energy on parenting her school-aged daughter.