Asian Arts Initiative advances racial equity and understanding, activates artists, youth, and their communities through creative practice and dialogue grounded in the diverse Asian American experience.

“Where art meets community.”


For 25 years, Asian Arts Initiative has worked to connect cultural expression with social change, using art as a vehicle to explore the experiences – and meet the needs of - Asian Americans and the diverse communities of which we are a part.


Located in Philadelphia’s Chinatown North, and situated in a former Warner Brothers screening house. Asian Arts Initiative is home to a multidisciplinary arts center offering access to exhibitions, performances, artist residencies, youth workshops, organizational and program space, and a community gathering space whereby all people can view and create art that reflects our lives, as well as think critically and creatively about the future we want to build for our communities. In practice, the organization has been explicit in creating experiences where artists, young people, and community members of all ages, races, and class backgrounds can gather and engage in discourse, ensuring that the creation of art - with a goal of tackling social issues and effecting change - is a participatory process.



Asian Arts Initiative’s 25th Anniversary Celebration boasts 4 days of multiple artist projects that highlight the cultural complexities within all diverse communities, while showcasing the interconnectedness and shared experiences between Asian American communities and all people. For over two decades, Asian Arts Initiative has been intentional about leveraging the power of art to serve the community’s interests, while driving the broader agenda of positive transformation and growth. This active work and the mission behind it will be represented May 3-6, 2018.    


Founded in 1993 in response to community concerns about growing racial tension between African American and Asian American communities, the organization grew out of a program at the Painted Bride Art Center: Philadelphia’s first-ever Asian American Arts Festival: Live Traditions/Contemporary Issues. 25 years later, our work remains rooted in this initial concern, and programming is centered around building community and gaining greater cross-cultural understanding through the arts.