Creative Catalyst:
2021-2022 Creative Content

In 2021, the AAPI Civic Engagement Fund was able to offer a new grant opportunity due to the influx of new funders. This Creative Content program supported proposals that integrated the talents of artists and the activism of grassroots organizations toward artwork that can serve as a catalyst for civic participation. A three-person committee experienced in civic engagement and the arts reviewed the proposals submitted in response to our open-call request, and nine organizations were selected.

View some of our featured projects below.

Two people hold up four books to the camera, the title of which reads "ABCs of AAPIs: A Coloring Book" with a collage of illustrations.

ABCs of AAPI Coloring Book

Asian American Advocacy Fund

ABCs of AAPI Coloring Book

In the wake of the Atlanta Spa Shootings tragedy, the Asian American Advocacy Fund (AAAF) sought to create something that would both celebrate the AAPI identity and further the representation of the AAPI community. In that spirit, AAAF created the ABCs of AAPI Coloring Book, which sold out 8,000 copies, was selected to be featured as a 150-foot art exhibit on the Atlanta Beltline, and from which a five-minute documentary was created, which was shown at schools nationwide during Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. Both the coloring book and mural were spotlighted on The Kelly Clarkson Show in May 2022.

A poster which reads "Our Community Our Responsibility" underneath which is a profile view of a person looking upwards. Behind her, a pair of figures are embracing, a pair of figures including one in a wheelchair are talking and looking at a phone, and a father is lifting his child in the air.

A poster from Asian Women’s Shelter that says, “Our community our responsibility”

Asian Women’s Shelter

Anti-Violence Solidarity Campaign & Let’s Talk About Us Campaign

Asian Women’s Shelter (AWS) created two impactful projects to reach two ambitious goals: to build anti-violence solidarity across immigrant AAPI and Black communities and to build AAPI community awareness and support of efforts to prevent domestic violence. To achieve the first goal, AWS engaged Beckie Masaki in first a participatory workshop to gather diverse perspectives from AWS staff, and community members, which culminated in a video featuring the art created by the participants of the workshop. AWS also worked with Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya to create violence prevention posters featured on Bay Area Rapid Transit and on a website with resources to address domestic violence.

A Safe Place to Heal, Tiare Lefotu. Three young faces appear ghost-like in the horizon, looking down onto land rising out of the sea.

A Safe Place to Heal, Tiare Lefotu

Empowering Pacific Islander Communities

Pasifika Art: Reflection, Revival, (R)evolution

Empowering Pacific Islander Communities (EPIC) launched a multimedia project entitled Pasifika Art: Reflection, Revival, (R)evolution, which, according to EPIC, was “grounded in the Pacific Islander [PI] cultural practices of talanoa and teu le vā, meaning talk story and to care for the space that connects us.” EPIC solicited community member input, utilized that input to commission four artists to create in their mediums in ways that spoke to its key messages, launched an art competition whose entrants ranged from 13 to 32 years of age, and held screenings of films by PI directors.

Filipino Migrant Center

Liwanang (Light) Multimedia Project

The Filipino Migrant Center (FMC) sought to center the voices and skills of youth to amplify the lived experiences of Filipino frontline workers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, whose struggles with housing, basic needs, employment, and mental health accompanied physical health challenges. FMC created a short documentary and storybook that could be used to tell the stories of those on the forefront of the public health crisis. Titled “Liwanang (Light),” the film premiered in May of 2023 at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, and Liwanag the Storybook can be ordered online through their website.

The cover of "Our Stories: An Introduction to South Asian America" laid over a collage of three images: one portrait of a South Asian woman looking directly at the camera, one family photo with five figures posed in front of a car, and one faded group photo of South Asian men in suits.

Cover of Our Stories: An Introduction to South Asian America

South Asian American Digital Archive

Our Stories: An Introduction to South Asian America

The South Asian American Digital Archive (SAADA) convened a group of fourteen social media creators for a workshop, with SAADA sharing its work on South Asian American histories of political and civic engagement and the workshop participants sharing their insights into the use of social media as a catalyst for social change. Participants committed to creating social media posts about their experiences; their posts were clear evidence that they were changed by the workshop, and particularly by SAADA’s anthology, Our Stories: An Introduction to South Asian America.


Taking Root Documentary

Philadelphia’s VietLead has embarked on an ambitious and important project to explore the ongoing impacts of the resettlement of Southeast Asian communities i Philadelphia. The project centers on community storytelling, containing both a documentary film and community archive exhibit. The documentary film, Taking Root, premiered in June of 2023 at Tribeca Film Festival in Philadelphia.