Sixteen Weeks

Sixteen weeks. We’ve been in this indefinite work at home situation at AAI for sixteen weeks. And as the new fiscal year opens without any fanfare or further clarity on what the future may entail, sixteen weeks may as well be a carton of milk, because time makes no sense to us anymore. In the last three and a half months we have:

  1. Kept everyone at AAI, healthy, safe and protected from exposure to the effects of C19.
  2. Kept our education programming well and running--our YAW classroom continues to meet online, where our teaching artists have developed curriculum not to replace the joys of in-person interaction but to find ways to manipulate the internet for their benefit. Our Summer YAW program (theme: Decolonize the Internet) will be in session Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 2-5 pm, July 20-August 14.
  3. LAUNCHED A NEW WEBSITE.
  4. Did I mention A NEW WEBSITE? I know it’s hard to pay attention to these things when you’re in the middle of a revolution, but please peruse our new design.
  5. Launched our first digital exhibition: Thank You No Thank You.
  6. Held the Asian American Artists Town Hall for Spring 2020, featuring the expertise of financial heads, to navigate these chaotic end times of the economy as we know it.
  7. And speaking of chaotic money issues: we went full Zillenial and hosted our first digital+in-home Spring Benefit on Twitch plus courier delivery of “Benefit in a Box,” watch the full stream here.
  8. Continued progress on a major capital improvement project in our building.
  9. Penned campaigns and supported the Arts and Culture industry’s collective objection to the Mayor’s budget, which eliminated the Office of Arts Culture and Creative Economy. Our voices were heard to a point, and the office has been reinstated.
  10. Penned campaigns to Defund the Police--PHLArtsForBlackLives.com which continues to share valuable Next Steps tools for accountability in our sector--and continue to fight for the lives of Black peers and neighbors in Philadelphia.


That we did ten great things, or any thing, in a time when we’re all feeling the debilitating effects of a pandemic compounded by a belated revolution, is pretty astonishing. That we did it without getting hurt/sick is a blessing. 

With that, AAI will be closing its offices for the next two weeks (July 13-23), so that staff may take time to rest up for the long haul ahead. We will be back and at it in full force July 27, and look forward to continuing The Work.

Our Youth Arts Summer Camp will still proceed, as will the Artists Town Hall (it’s not too late to sign up!)

--Anne