Asian American women are facing increasing levels of racist violence during the COVID-19 pandemic, spurred by fear and misinformation. Our culture normalizes harm against low-income and working-class women, immigrants, massage workers and sex workers of color. In the last year, nearly 4,000 anti-Asian hate crimes have been reported in the AAPI Hate National Report - the majority against women. We all have a role to play to stand up for Asian women, #StopAsianHate and #UpliftAsianArtists.
As an act of solidarity with the AAPI (Asian American and Pacific Islander) artist community, Earth Altars will be donating 25% of profits from online sales to a non-profit organization called Asian American Women Artists Association (AAWA) during the month of April 2021.
AAWAA was founded in 1989 in San Francisco to promote the visibility of Asian American women artists. Since then, AAWAA has been a home for artists, social justice organizers, academics, and volunteers dedicated to advancing the visibility and recognition of Asian American women in the arts. AAWAA offers exhibitions, publications, public programs and a super informative website.
Just a few days after the horrific murder of 6 Asian American women in Georgia in March 2021, I attended a beautiful and inspiring event called Illuminate - featuring performances from a number of super-talented Asian American poets and writers. AAWAA hosted this event and this is how I learned about their work.
Learn more about AAWA’s Membership platform, their amazing virtual events, programs and speakers bureau, and how to get involved and support at their website: https://www.aawaa.net/
Upcoming for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, AAWAA and Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center (APICC) in San Francisco are teaming up to co-present SOWING AGENCY: Seeding the Future of Environmental Justice, a multidisciplinary exhibition inspired by the fight for environmental justice, activating AAPI communities to engage in the issues of today’s climate crisis while working to realign our relationships with the Earth and highlighting collective leadership by BIPOC communities. On view at SOMArts Cultural Center and online April 30 through May 23.
The exhibition features a number of artistic disciplines that work to realign our relationships with the Earth and highlight collective leadership. With the show’s broad coalition of community partners, Sowing Agency weaves local and global climate resistance into our cultural consciousness and reflects on the grief and resiliency rooted in “seeding the future.” AAWAA says: “This show is birthed from our deep frustration and grief at the impact of climate change on the API community both in the SF Bay Area and globally.”
Ready to learn more and take action?
“Over the past year, our communities have had to face an increase in racist, xenophobic and violent attacks. Rising against these cycles of hate, art has the potential to make people feel seen, inspiring avenues toward empathy, healing and empowerment. At AAWAA, we provide safe spaces and opportunities for Asian American women artists to speak out through creativity and expression. Uplifting art by Asian American women is one step toward the social change we all envision of cultivating equity in the arts.” (AAWAA website)
Anti-Asian Violence Resources
AAWAA’s Resource List
I love playing with words and things in nature to create impermanent nature art (earth altars) and poems. This blog is a place to share. I post more regularly on Instagram & Facebook - @lauraloescher.art.