Staff

CONTACT US

Asian Arts Initiative
1219 Vine St
Philadelphia, PA 19107  ·  map
info@asianartsinitiative.org
Phone: 215-557-0455

Anne Ishii, Executive Director | ext. 701
Mehgan Abdel-Moneim, Lead Teaching Artist
Audra Allen, Director of Advancement | ext. 713
Rodney Camarce, Senior Programs Manager | ext. 704
Noorie Chowdhury, Programs Assistant | ext. 709
Joyce Chung, Curator | ext. 714
Hanzi Han, Teaching Artist
Dave Kyu, Director of Programs | ext. 703
Jino Lee, Marketing & Communications Manager | ext. 706
Matt Nelson, Director of Operations & Finance | ext. 707
Samantha Quinn, Office Director | ext. 709
Cleeandre Ross, Caretaker | ext. 711
Joey Wong, Development Manager | ext. 708 
Kong Yang, Youth Education Programs Manager | ext. 705 

 

Our Staff

Anne Ishii
(She/her)

Executive Director

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.

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.

Audra Allen
(She/her)

Director of Advancement

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. 

Rodney Camarce
(He/him)

Senior Programs Manager

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.

Joyce Chung
(She/her)

Curator

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. 

Hanzi Han
(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.

Dave Kyu
(He/him)

Director of Programs

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.

Jino Lee
(He/him)

Marketing & Communications Manager

Jino is an image maker and an 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. 

Matt Nelson
(They/them; He/him)

Director of Operations & Finance

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 work utilizes manipulated materials, site-specific installation, and devised performance to explore self-examination, voyeuristic observation, and historical anachronism.

Samantha Quinn
(She/her)

Office Director

Samantha joined the Asian Arts Initiative team in the summer of 2021. Prior to joining AAI, Samantha has worked with local nonprofits including the College of Physicians of Philadelphia/Mütter Museum, and Philadelphia Futures. Born and raised in Philly, with a professional background in nonprofit administration and education, and a passion for arts and culture, Samantha is excited to dive into this new role with AAI! In her free time, she enjoys traveling, crafting, gardening, and DIY house projects.

Cleeandre Ross
(He/him)

Caretaker

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.

Joey Wong
(They/them)

Development Manager

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.

Kong Yang
(She/her)

Youth Education Programs Manager

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.