Asian American Arts Alliance

Wai Look Award

The Asian American Arts Alliance
2017 Wai Look Awardee:


Writer and Editor
Editorial Director, The Asian American Writers' Workshop


Click here for a downloadable PDF of the 2017 Award Guidelines.

About Jyothi Natarajan
Jyothi Natarajan is an editor and writer based in Brooklyn. She is Editorial Director at the Asian American Writers' Workshop, an alternative arts space devoted to literature at the intersection of race, migration, and social justice. At AAWW, she oversees the editorial direction of AAWW's online magazines and manages The Margins Fellowship for emerging Asian American creative writers. Her writing has appeared in the anthology Good Girls Marry Doctors (Aunt Lute, 2016) as well as in The Caravan. For the past eight years, Jyothi has volunteered with and served on the board of IndyKids, a volunteer-led social justice-oriented youth journalism initiative. Since 2016, she has served as IndyKids' director.

Wai Look Award
Established in 2011, the Wai Look Award for Outstanding Service to the Arts is a tribute to the life and work of Wai Look, who served on the Asian American Arts Alliances board of directors from 1999 until her death in December 2010. She spent most of her career in the arts, as an administrator and in artist services, and devoted herself to helping others. Ms. Look also strongly believed in the importance of volunteering, which was reflected in her personal, as well as professional life. The award is given periodically to an Asian American who is making a significant contribution to the arts by demonstrating a commitment to outstanding service, advocacy and/or leadership.

About Wai Look (1969–2010)
Born in New York, Wai Look was one of five daughters in a Chinese American family. She grew up in Queens and graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in 1991. Since that time, she held positions in management and development for the United Hospital Fund, the Arts & Business Council of New York, and the New York Pops. A longtime board member of a4, Ms. Look served on the executive committee as board secretary. She also served on the board of the Artists Community Federal Credit Union. 

Previous Awardees

2016 - Sarah Gambito and Joseph Legaspi, Co-Founders of Kundiman
2015 - Christina Chiu, Author, Co-host & Curator, Pen Parentis
2014 - Suzette Porte, Associate Director, Ma-Yi Theater
2013 - Gladys Chen, President, Second Generation Productions
2012 - Christine Toy Johnson, Actor, Playwright, Filmmaker
2011 - Deepa Purohit, Co-Founder, Rising Circle Theater Collective

Learn more about our previous awardees here.

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