The W.O.W Project’s mission is to sustain ownership over Chinatown's future by growing, protecting and preserving Chinatown's creative culture through arts, culture and activism.
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Inspired by her family's pivotal moment with their building and century-old business, Mei Lum founded The W.O.W Project out of a desire to bring the issues and concerns of a rapidly changing Chinatown into a space for community dialogue.
During the winter of 2015, Mei serendipitously met Cornell University doctoral candidate, Diane Wong, as she was conducting interviews for her dissertation on the gentrification of Chinatowns in the U.S. Shortly after Diane interviewed Mei, Mei began to shadow Diane on her interviews with different community stakeholders in Chinatown NYC over the course of 3 months. Through this experience, Mei was able to listen to the concerns of the people that make up her community and bring her family’s experience with the possible erasure of Wing on Wo & Co. into context, pushing her to think more largely about the effects not only on her family, but their block: Mott Street and the larger Chinatown community.
The W.O.W Project was inspired by these community's stories. Since the inaugural W.O.W Project panel: The (Re) Generation of Chinatown in May 2016, The W.O.W Project has put on six other panel discussions including: Chinatown: NY’s Newest Gallery Scene? & Tough Times: Chinatown Women & the Struggle to Build Community, held a community design challenge, and is now in our second year of our 店面 Storefront artist residency.
Watch this short documentary on how The W.O.W Project started on its journey in May 2016:
- Resist Recycle Regenerate Project Chinatown-wide CNY Confetti Collection
- Resist Recycle Regenerate Project Communtiy Papermaking Workshops
- W.O.W. Youth Film Series: 9-Man Screening
- W.O.W. Youth Film Series: Third World Newsreel x Chinatown Artbrigade Collaborative Screening
- Homeward Bound Series: Memory, Identity & Resilience Across the Chinese Diaspora
- Chinatowns Around the World featuring Huiying B. Chan
- West Coast Chinatown Solidarity Tour featuring Mei Lum & Diane Wong
- Oral History Collaboration Night
- Pearl River Mart Exhibition
- Resist Recycle Regenerate ROOTS Final Showcase
- 店面 Residency Arts & Activism Roundtable + Artist Talk hosted at Museum of Chinese in America
- Chinatown Storytelling Open Mic Night
- New York Public Library Workshop: 'Let's Talk Chinatown: Oral Histories of a Changing Neighborhood' with Diane Wong & Mei Lum
- W.O.W's 1 Year Anniversary Celebration & Fundraiser
- Asian American Female Filmmakers Series
- W.O.W Summer Mobile Cart
- W.O.W Project West Coast Tour
- Asian American Female Filmmaker Series' Screenings
- 店面 Residency Opening Reception