In 2015, artists Tomie Arai, ManSee Kong and Betty Yu formed the Chinatown Art Brigade, a new cultural collective that recognizes the power of art to advance social justice. As Asian American social justice minded artists, cultural workers and media makers we have roots in activism and movement-building work. We believe that art, culture and media work must serve and advance these social justice movements.
Currently, CAB is a project-drive collective that is working in close collaboration with CAAAV Organizing Asian Communities Chinatown Tenants Union, a grassroots organization that works with pan Asian communities around tenants rights, fighting evictions and building community empowerment.
As a new collective of Asian American social justice artists, cultural workers and media makers; our work is driven by the fundamental belief that collaboration with and accountability to those communities that are directly impacted by racial, social and economic inequities must be central to any cultural, art or media making process. Therefore we joined forces to launch ‘Here to Stay’, a project that includes a series of large-scale outdoor mobile projections that will address themes of gentrification, displacement and community resilience in NY Chinatown. Artwork based on oral histories, photography and video created in community-led workshops will be incorporated into photo and video montages that will be projected onto buildings and public landmarks in Chinatown and the Lower East Side.