Located in the heart of Chinatown, the W.O.W. Project is a new women-run initiative growing, protecting, and preserving Chinatown’s creative culture and history through arts, discussion and activism. Founder Mei Lum is the 5th generation owner of her family’s 93-year-old porcelain ware business and the oldest operating store in NYC's Chinatown, Wing on Wo & Co. (W.O.W.).
The W.O.W. Project directly responds to the community’s needs by addressing pressing concerns voiced by all generations, gender-identities, and economic backgrounds. With the future of Chinatown’s multi-generational community threatened by displacement, it will take community solidarity and resistance to mitigate the powerful forces of gentrification. The W.O.W. Project is a space for Chinatown residents to sustain ownership over our community’s future.
In their first year, they hosted 13 public programs with a total attendance of over 500 people, each program reaching their maximum capacity of about 40 people. They’ve launched an annual storefront artist residency, initiated a design challenge to recycled decades of wooden crates, hosted two emerging filmmakers screenings and an open mic night of storytelling from Chinatown residents.
Homeward Bound: Memories, Identity, and Resilience in the Chinese Diaspora, is a series of 5 public events: presentations, panels,and a visual exhibition, highlighting everyday resilience across the Chinese diaspora in Chinatowns on the East and West Coasts and eight countries that are confronted with urban displacement. This is the first series of this kind initiated by the W.O.W. Project and two Chinese American scholars who have spent the past years conducting ethnographic, community-based research on the diaspora. This project addresses the need for our community's stories and residents' voices to be uplifted and heard in a rapid time of change and to bring those conversations into a global focus.
The final event of their series will be held on July 19, 2018. Get your tickets now.
If you're inspired by the W.O.W. you can support them during their 2nd Anniversary Fundraiser.
Funded by New York City, NY (June 2018)