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General Info
Asian American Arts Centre was founded in 1974 in New York City to address the distinctive concerns of Asian Americans in the United States. Its mission is to promote the preservation and creative vitality of Asian American cultural growth through the arts, and its historical and aesthetic linkage to other communities. The Arts Centre accomplishes this by presenting and interpreting the ongoing synthesis of contemporary American and Asian art forms, utilizing performance, exhibition, and public education.Asian American Arts Centre was founded in 1974 in New York as Asian American Dance Theatre, a not-for-profit community arts organization. Over the years, its programs have expanded to include four major areas: performance presentations, exhibitions and catalogue publication, folk arts research and documentation, and education. Located in New York's Chinatown, the Arts Centre has held many of its programs in other sites and locations in the country. Performances and exhibition have toured to southern and western states as well as to Hong Kong. The video "Singing to Remember" has been featured in numerous video festivals and conferences across the country. Since its inception, the organization has contracted a thousand artists, of which approximately 40% have been women, and every year reaches countless numbers of audiences through the television media and live presentations.Current major programs include the Exhibition series and catalogue production begun in 1983, Asian American Artists' Slide Archive begun in 1982, a permanent research archive of over 1400 entires documenting since 1945 the history of Asian American Artists in the United States, the Traditional Arts Presentation and Documentation program begun in 1985, and the Community Art School and the Arts-in-Education program begun in 1978. The Artists-in-Residence program concluded in 1993 having supported nineteen young artists.The Arts Centre's Traditional Arts program aims to research and present the traditional arts as art practices with spiritual, ethical, health, and communal components. Far from naive, these folk art/life practices serve to maintain a satisfying balance in life. The Arts Centre is mindful of traditional art's potential to offer contemporary perceptions an equanimity that has eluded the stress of modern conceits and the pursuit of excellence.Some of the highlights in the exhibition program included the year-long "CHINA: June 4, 1989" exhibition series with 270 artists shown at PS1 and Blum Helman Warehouse of which 30 artists works later traveled to Cleveland, Texas, Michigan, and Hong Kong, "The Mind's I Series" in 1986 on the issue of identity, "Public Art in Chinatown" in 1988 on new metaphors for the community, "And He Was Looking for Asia" in 1992 on diverse alternative stories of Christopher Columbus, "Passion and Compassion: Five Artists Reflections on Buddhism" 1996, "Three Generations: Towards a History of Asian American Art" in 1997, and a series of three historical exhibitions entitled "Asian American Artists and Their Milieu: 1945 to 1965" documenting a cultural presence spanning over 70 years, "Stream Segment" in 1997 featured American artists influenced by Asian as part of the Annual series where emerging artists are exhibited, "7lb 9oz: The Reintegration of Tradition in Contemporary Art" 1999, etc. Collaborative exhibitions include "We Count! The State of Asian Pacific America" 1992 in conjunction with Mayor Dinkins' Asian Affairs Office documenting the twenty major issues facing Asian American Community, "Betrayal and Empowerment" in 1994 with Columbia University Teachers College in which the Arts Centre participated in a symposia on Asian Americans, "Ancestors" in 1995 on African American and Asian American historic ties and aesthetic relations with Kenkeleba House, "Cross Cultural Voices" in 1999 with Korea Society and Steven Gang Gallery, and AAAC Story in 2001 reviewing the 27 year history of the Arts Centre.A picture of Asi
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Lower East Side, Downtown Manhattan


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