KSW Ignite Award

Nominate a contemporary artist/activist to be honored at KSW's 45th anniversary celebration

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Over its 45 year history, Kearny Street Workshop has supported Asian Pacific American artists by creating a nurturing environment to develop their creative voice. Many artists received critical support to develop their craft, present their work to a receptive audience, or have their first exhibition or publication opportunity. Examples include Cartoon Art Network illustrator, Hellen Jo; poet, Genny Lim, and even acclaimed filmmaker, Wayne Wang, who first presented at KSW’s showcase of Asian American films, Gold Mountain on the Silver Screen.

Much of KSW’s art and organizational mission were derived from the struggles and issues surrounding the Chinatown/Manilatown neighborhood that the organization originally called home: the struggle for low-income housing; garment and electrical union workers’ strikes; and the connection with the tenants of the International Hotel.

Today, many of these same issues continue to impact our communities. Gentrification displaces long-time residents; attacks continue on immigrants, people of color, and gender non-conforming people; and a dramatic divide between the haves and the have nots is widening.

For KSW’s anniversary celebration, Building Legacies: 45 Years of Art and Resistance, we want to honor a contemporary artist that contributes to Kearny Street Workshop and embodies the organization’s roots in cultural activism. This award is open to nominations and selected by a committee of KSW directors from throughout its 45-year history.

The awardee will be recognized on Thursday, April 19 at the Chinese Culture Center in San Francisco. The artist will receive two complimentary tickets including the VIP dinner led by People’s Kitchen Collective co-founder and former KSW board member, Sita Bhaumik, and reception/program with acclaimed novelist and playwright, Jessica Hagedorn; award-winning journalist, Bernice Yeung; and Bay Area rising star, Ruby Ibarra! 

Nominations are open until Friday, February 16 at 5 p.m. Pacific Time. The winner will be contacted by March 1. To submit a nomination, please complete the form below.

Name of Nominator *
Name of Nominator
Name of Nominee
Name of Nominee
Phone # of Nominee
Phone # of Nominee
(MISSION STATEMENT: KSW presents, produces, and promotes art that empowers Asian Pacific American artists and communities. We envision a more just society that fully incorporates Asian Pacific American voices informed by our cultural values, historical roots, and contemporary issues)
Provide links in the text box or send files to info@kearnystreet.org with subject "KSW45 Awards"

Selection Committee:

  • Jim Dong (co-founder)

  • Zand Gee (former executive director)

  • Mark Izu (former executive director)

  • Nancy Hom (former executive director)

  • Truong Tran (former executive director)

  • Ellen Oh (former executive director)

  • TJ Basa (former executive director)

Building Legacies: 45 Years of Art and Resistance is on Thursday, April 19, 2018 at 7pm at the Chinese Culture Center of San Francisco at the Hilton in San Francisco’s Chinatown. Co-presented by the Chinese Culture Foundation. For more information contact jason@kearnystreet.org.