Neighborhood Spotlight Series

Asian Arts Initiative

Date Awarded
Grant Period
04/01/12 to 05/31/15
Focus Area
Knight Arts Challenge

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To provide everyday artistic experiences in Chinatown and South Philadelphia by creating site-specific works for nontraditional places like restaurants, storefronts and public plazas

Summary: This series seeks to provide everyday artistic experiences for residents and visitors alike in Chinatown and South Philadelphia. The Asian Arts Initiative will invite five teams of artists to create site-specific works of art in nontraditional places – a restaurant, storefront window, parking lot, public park or plaza, for example. Each installation will engage residents through community workshops, other public programming and multimedia content. The project invites audiences to experience neighborhoods as destinations of diverse histories and spirited complexity.

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Project Team

Gayle Isa

Executive Director

Gayle Isa is the founder and Executive Director of Asian Arts Initiative. Gayle has been an active participant in Philadelphia's arts and culture community for the past 16 years, beginning as an intern and evolving as a staff member at the Painted Bride Art Center. She also spent three years working with the Southeast Asian Mutual Assistance Associations Coalition, learning about human services and advocacy within the Asian American community in Philadelphia. She has been a National Finalist in the Ford Foundation's Leadership for a Changing World program. She has served on the boards of the Philadelphia Cultural Fund and the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, and is currently on the Executive Committee of the National Performance Network and the Steering Committee of the nascent National Asian American Theater Project. Gayle was once an aspiring taiko (drum) player and is now learning to be a theater dramaturg.

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