Staying Ahead, Afloat, and Awake with AAI

A check of one million dollars presented to Asian Arts Initiative by City of Philadelphia’s Mayor at a check ceremony.

Image: Founding Executive Director, Gayle Isa, at a check ceremony for our 1219 Vine Street building in October 2007.

Hello friends,

I got some good news, and some promotional news.

The good news is Asian Arts Initiative received word last week that its application for the Paycheck Protection Loan was approved by PNC Bank. Now, I’m sharing this not to gloat or to give PNC free publicity, but I thought it was important you knew where our next few paychecks came from. You see, when a banker and a client love each other very very much, they make several attempts at filing a complicated loan application on a website that keeps crashing. And after hitting refresh over and over for three straight days during the fiscal equivalent of ovulation, and you finally succeed in submitting your paperwork, you’re told you now have to wait ten days to see money babies in your account.

After we’d initially been told that the application would not move forward, I spent days berating myself. I think many of you will empathize with feelings of rejection, n’est-ce pas? Well, it was in the shadow of remorse and panic that our beloved Loan Mama called to see if the details of the beneficiary agreement were accurate, because apparently we were flagged for inconsistent information. And folks, you aren’t gonna believe this, but the details of the beneficiary agreement were not accurate.

I had misspelled my own last name in the application.
[Let’s all take a minute here to breathe a deep breath of humiliation for me.]

I want to take this moment to offer gratitude to the people who look out for typos, broken codes, inconsistent excel formulas, and other minor but actually major details. The future is full of red tape and I hope all of our proofreaders are ready.

That’s the good news. I warned you there was promotional news. Well, it’s NOT to promote the Benefit in a Box, because I don’t even need to look at our sales forms to confirm that each and every one of you readers has purchased a #2020BennyBox or donated in the name of AAI to make sure someone in the Philadelphia area gets one, N’EST-CE PAS?! I don’t need to promote something all of you have already reserved, right?!

So the thing I want to point you toward is our news blog, where we’re getting to know Asian American poets in a bite-sized interview series called: I Am A Poet. Up now are interviews with the award-winning Bakla poet Aldrin Valdez and the Philadelphia based sonic painter, Mel Hsu!