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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The W.O.W Project is a community-based initiative that reinvents, preserves, and encourages Chinatown’s creative culture and history through arts, culture and activism. Located inside Wing On Wo & Co., the oldest continually-run family business in New York's Chinatown, The W.O.W Project was established by fifth-generation store owner, Mei Lum, to bring concerns of a rapidly changing Chinatown into a resident-led space for intergenerational dialogue and action. Since its inception in 2016, The W.O.W. Project has held numerous panel discussions about the role of art and social change, an annual storefront artist-in-residency program, film screenings showcasing Asian American women filmmakers, and several Chinatown storytelling open mic nights, that have reached over 1,000 residents. Our core mission is to create space for conversations to happen across language barriers and generational gaps to actively shape the future of Chinatown.

Since much of our work is place-based, we would like to acknowledge our position as settlers, as Manhattan’s Chinatown is on occupied Lenape land. We have to acknowledge the layers of displacement and dispossession that have taken place—specifically structures of settler colonialism that perpetuate ongoing violence towards Indigenous people—and acknowledge indigenous people’s ongoing resistance to settler colonialism.

Wing on Wo & Co's storefront on a sunny day.

Watch this short documentary on how The W.O.W Project started on its journey in May 2016:


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