Staff

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. 

photo of Audra Allen

Audra Allen (she/her)
Director of Advancement | ext. 713

Prior to joining AAI Audra specialized in fund development and capacity building for arts and performance-based nonprofits across the Mid-Atlantic region. Her background in community organizing and government has informed her work and produced creative partnerships between policy-makers and the philanthropic sector exploring cultural engagement. 

photo of Rodney Camarce

 

Rodney Camarce (he/him)
Engagement Coordinator | ext. 704

Rodney returns to the Asian Arts Initiative after serving multiple arts organizations throughout Philadelphia as a visual artist, a facilitator, the Youth Development Manager for the Mural Arts Program and a graphic recorder for the Bartol Foundation, Lenfest Foundation, and Ground Work USA. He has served as a Co-Ambassador for the Racial Equity Network for the National Guild for Community Arts, has been a Community Organizer in South Philadelphia and the International District in Seattle, works to build solidarity among all people in struggle, believes that we must subvert this cultural genocide by any means necessary, and practice radical optimism to imagine new possibilities.

portrait of clarissa

Clarissa Cheung (she/they)
Advancement Assistant

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

Bio coming soon!

 

 

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 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 Dave Kyu

Dave Kyu (he/him)
Creative Supervisor | ext. 703

Dave is a socially engaged artist and writer. Born in Seoul, South Korea, and raised in the US, his work explores the creative tensions of identity, community, and public space. He has made public art with communities for the Asian Arts Initiative, Mural Arts Program, and the City of Philadelphia. His own creative projects have found him commissioning skywriting planes to write messages 10,000 feet over Philadelphia, and doing everything Facebook told him to do for a month. His essays have been published in Generocity, the Artblog, and the Philadelphia Citizen.

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 Xuan Liu

Xuan Liu (she/they)
Creative Technical Assistant | ext. 715

Xuan is an interdisciplinary action-based artist. She works conceptually through various digital mediums and social engagements, which offer places for her to examine strategies for dealing with real-life struggles. Her medium includes video, sound, live performance, writing, and community programming, and her works have been exhibited internationally in New York, Paris, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Shanghai, etc. In her spare time, she enjoys punk/metal music, spicy food, and crocheting for friends.

photo of Matt Nelson

Matt Nelson (they/all)
Director of Operations & Finance | 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)
Office Director | 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 Office Director, Samantha integrates her professional background in education and nonprofit administration, with her passion for arts and culture. In her free time, she loves traveling, crafting, gardening, and interior design.

photo of Clee Ross

Cleeandre Ross (he/him)
Caretaker | ext. 711

Cleeandre is a student at the master’s level attaining a clinical psychology degree. He has been in choirs, theater productions, and a member of many hip-hop dance teams. Cleeandre’s desire is to help in making the world a more accepting place, but he understands that starts with changing himself. Cleeandre is excited to assist in making AAI a safe and welcoming place for the community.

photo of Joey Wong

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

Joey Wong is a trans Filipinx who carries with them a deep appreciation for the stories of their ancestors, whose care fuels Joey’s drive to continue equity work in public service and social justice spaces. Prior to working at AAI, they received their masters in nonprofit management and worked with various nonprofits and academic institutions serving minoritized 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 Visual Artist born in Thailand and raised in Providence, Rhode Island. Her backgrounds are in Sculpture, Culinary Arts, and Special Education. Her work is inspired by traditional Hmong embroidery and textiles celebrating Hmong women and their resiliency to cultural change. As an immigrant and refugee in the United States, Kong has always been interested in generational stories of migration and integration as she continues to explore the tensions between her identity and cultural belonging. During her free time, Kong works out of her studio in Kensington, is an avid runner, traveler, 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.