Upcoming Town Halls
* Did you miss the last Town Hall? Visit our Tumblr to check out all the amazing artists, organizations, and pitches!
What it is
Town Hall is the Asian American Arts Alliance's cornerstone gathering for the Asian American creative community. Since 2009, the Alliance has brought together artists, arts workers, curators, producers, as well as professionals from nonprofits and other sectors, to share ideas, promote creative projects, learn about opportunities, and find collaborators. Town Hall is intended to nurture and catalyze the creative energy of this vibrant community by providing a regular, safe space for people to come together and be inspired.
The format of Town Hall is simple. Artists and arts organizations sign up in advance to pitch – you're invited to publicize any upcoming projects, promote an event, ask for help or collaborators, inform others about a grant opportunity or residency, or simply introduce yourselves or your work to the community. The catch? You have 60 seconds to deliver your pitch before you're booted off the microphone. But you don't have to pitch to attend – we welcome anyone to just come and listen! And feel free to bring something yummy to share – after the pitches, you can mingle over a potluck and get to know some fellow artists.
Town Hall takes place in different locations around the city, including New York Foundation for the Arts (Brooklyn); the Greene Space at WNYC, Alwan for the Arts, Chen Dance Center, the Japan Society (Manhattan); and Crossing Art Gallery (Queens).
We're always looking for volunteers to help out at Town Hall! If you're interested, please contact
Alex Young at
ayoung [at] aaartsalliance [dot] org
with the subject line
“TOWN HALL VOLUNTEER.”
Why we do it
The Alliance has historically been a hub for information sharing and dissemination. We grew out of the civil rights movement and our mandate has been to find, circulate, and share information and resources for and about our community. In this sense we have been building community from our very beginning. Town Hall provides a physical space for the community at large to come together to reinforce existing ties and create new ones. With these bi-monthly gatherings, we hope to support our community in developing a collective identity, from which rich and productive collaborations and partnerships can spring.
Town Hall attracts artists in all disciplines: musicians, composers, dancers, choreographers, actors, filmmakers, visual artists, writers, designers, and others. Many arts workers also attend – from small to large arts organizations, including from the Harlem Arts Alliance, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Museum of Chinese in America, Public Theater, Rubin Museum, and many others. Town Hall welcomes professionals from other sectors as well, including colleagues from other nonprofit organizations. Many funders have come to Town Hall to present grant opportunities, including Asian Women Giving Circle, Brooklyn Arts Council, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, New York Foundation for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, Queens Council on the Arts, and many others. City Council Members Jimmy Van Bramer and Peter Koo, both of Queens, have also participated.
What people say
“The session this morning was truly inspiring. Such an abundance of talent!”
-Jonathan Hollander, Battery Dance Company
“I've met many people at Town Hall that have led to new alliances…I learned about the [Lower Manhattan Cultural Council] grant at one of the Town Halls, applied and recently found out that I am getting funding for a new project. It is the first Asian American networking event I have ever been to (repeatedly) that genuinely feels like community bridge building.”
-Christine Toy Johnson, Filmmaker
“Thank you for letting me do my pitch today. It was great to hear about the work that artists are doing in the community.”
-Cheryl Ikemiya, Senior Program Officer for the Arts, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation
“We are always grateful to you for this forum to promote our events and the networking opportunities afterwards. This is what makes a4 unique in that these events are bringing people together not just for events and projects but for ‘community’.”
-Karen Kriegel and Athena Najat, Dancers
“QCA connected with a4 and Theresa Loong at a Town Hall and subsequently, they participated in a professional development panel that QCA held re: Kickstarter. Wonderful community connections demonstrate how mutually beneficial the Town Halls are.”
-Jackie de Dios, Queens Council on the Arts
“The greatest benefit of all has been the nurturing and supportive environment that I always experience at every Town Hall--it is as if I have found a whole new "family" of brothers and sisters all engaged in the arts. I find every Town Hall inspiring and come out of them "high" on artistic excitement."
-Caroline Sun, Visual Artist