The Asian American Arts Alliance is a nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring greater representation, equity, and opportunities for Asian American artists and cultural organizations through resource sharing, promotion, and community building.
Since 1983, A4 has sought to unify, promote, and represent the artistic and cultural producers of one of New York City’s fastest-growing populations. We are a diverse alliance of artists, organizations, and arts supporters who believe that working together as a pan-ethnic, multidisciplinary community is essential to nurturing the development of artists and arts groups. A4 serves as a thoughtful convener of the Asian American cultural workforce around issues of race, identity, and artmaking and provides a critical voice for this community. We are the only service organization in the country dedicated to the professional development of Asian American artists in all disciplines.
Board of Directors Alumni Board
Reena Jana
Board President

Reena is a second-generation Indian-Filipina-American. Currently, she is Head of Content Strategy for Responsible Innovation at Google. She’s held various positions at Google, including Head of Product Inclusion and Creative Lead for Business Inclusion. She’s been deeply involved in various efforts across the company related to the development of human-centric AI, including the People + AI Research initiative.

Before Google, Reena was a product owner at IBM’s Design Lab, focusing on intrapreneurial employee engagement apps and content strategy (and earned a related design patent), as well as C-suite thought leadership. Prior to IBM, she was Executive Editor at frog design, where she led the firm’s external thought leadership and consulted on inclusive innovation content strategy with tech world clients. Before joining the tech world, she was the Innovation Department Editor at BusinessWeek, where she wrote about the value of new user experiences and business models found in emerging markets and within design for accessibility.

She’s advised and mentored startups and founders across industries, including Built NY and Owners.com (formerly Owners Network), and incubators such as New Inc., Matter Ventures, and Area 120. Reena holds a BA from Barnard College of Columbia University, an MA from Columbia’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and was a Fellow at Columbia Journalism School. A former figure skater and varsity ice hockey player, she spends her spare time these days working toward her black belt in mixed martial arts, paddle boarding, and playing the piano.

Tiffany Tay
Board Secretary
Tiffany Tay is a certified public accountant (CPA) at PwC with 10 years of experience primarily addressing international tax issues relevant to the investment management industry and a passion for data analytics and operational efficiency. She has also dabbled in the sweet side of culinary arts and is a huge dog lover (just ask her dog Coriander!).
Kelin Li
Board Treasurer
Kelin Li grew up in Beijing and moved to the United States for higher education at the age of 18. He received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Maryland College Park and a Master of Science degree in Quantitative Finance from Carnegie Mellon University. Kelin currently works at Macquarie Group and focuses on investment strategies in credit markets. Prior to joining Macquarie, he worked at TEN-X, a Real Estate FinTech firm, in New York for 2 years where he built analytics products and provided solutions to clients. Kelin has always been passionate about music that he began playing violin at the age of five and later on joined an alternative rock band in college. The most remarkable trip Kelin has done recently was a 4-day backpacking to Machu Picchu in Peru. Kelin joined the board of the Asian American Arts Alliance in 2019.
Amy Hau
Amy Hau is the Director of Marketing & Operations at WXY architecture + urban design. Prior to joining the award-winning architecture and planning firm, she was the Director of Administration and External Affairs at the Noguchi Museum, where she was part of the senior management team that stewarded the legacy of the world-renowned Japanese American sculptor Isamu Noguchi. In her three-decade career at the museum, she played a significant role in the transition of the artist’s estate into a museum, including the overseeing of its multi-phase $23 million capital project and the development of its master plan. She has served on her local community board since 2012 and joined the board of the Asian American Arts Alliance in January 2016.
Steven Hsiao

Steven is a director within the tax practice at PwC and has more than 13 years of experience with the firm as a state and local tax specialist. He holds a Masters of Science in Taxation from St. John’s University and he focuses on servicing a wide array of investment management clients such as hedge funds, private equity investment partnerships, fund of funds, and investment advisors.

Steven is a proud Taiwanese-American who grew up in an immigrant household in Queens. Diversity and inclusion have always been a big part of his life and throughout his career. Steven served as a mentor for APEX for Youth, a pan-Asian mentorship program, from 2010-2011. He is also a member of Ascend for business professionals.

Steven currently resides in Manhattan and spends his free time traveling and pursuing good eats.

Alan Lo

Alan Lo is first generation, Australian-born Chinese who moved to New York City in 2010. He received his Bachelor of Economics and Bachelor of Commerce from the Australian National University in 1997. Currently, Alan is an Associate Director in the Credit Risk Management group of Macquarie and has been with the organization since 2007 covering various sectors including commercial real estate, infrastructure, corporate lending, and equity investments. Alan has been a member of the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand since 2004 and, prior to his time at Macquarie, worked at various accounting firms and financials institutions in Sydney and London including Deloitte, PWC, and Merrill Lynch.

Alan is passionate about art, music, and travel. His travel pursuits have taken him to more than 40 countries across Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas. One of his most recent memorable trips was camping with the Grizzlies in Brooks Falls, Alaska. Alan’s original intent when moving to the US was to only stay for 2 years, but he is now a proud Brooklyn condo owner, which is shared with his wife and two Korean rescue dogs.

Athena Robles
Athena Robles is a visual artist whose work involves drawing, sculpture, printmaking, and installation. Early in her career, she was included in the exhibition New American Talent at the Laguna Gloria Art Museum in Austin, TX, and she has since exhibited nationally, including at the Contemporary Museum in Honolulu, the Soap Factory in Minneapolis, and in New York at the American Museum of Natural History. A Van Lier fellow in 1995, she has participated on panels for the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the Ford Foundation, and others. Robles has collaborated on projects for the artist collective Godzilla and the Asian American Arts Alliance, where she serves as a board member. Her experience in arts administration and communications includes positions at Creative Capital Foundation, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, Art in General, and the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston. In addition, she is a freelance writer, copy editor, and consultant on integrated media; publication projects include the Warhol Initiative, published by the Warhol Foundation. Robles holds an undergraduate degree in art and psychology from Drew University and a master’s in fine arts from Cornell University. Her collaborative project Counter Culture Cash with Anna Stein was featured on Artnet News and their joint work continues to receive support and recognition from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and the Front Room Gallery in Brooklyn, among others, and is being presented at symposiums and conferences across the country. She was born in New York City and is currently based in Washington, DC.

Anna Abdon-Grady, 2007 – 2010
Thelma Adams, 1990 – 1992
Arun Aguiar, 1994 – 1997
Esther Ahn, 2021– 2023
Lee Allen, 1997 – 2000
Stephen Bai, 2001 – 2001
Aparna Balaraman, 2017 – 2020
Theodore Berger, 2007 – 2014
James Berroya , 2009 – 2010
William Chan, 1999 – 2011
Eveline Chang, 2017 – 2019
H.T. Chen, 1984 – 1986
Jeffrey Chen, 1999 – 2000
Fay Chiang, 1986 – 1989
Jennie Chien, 1993 – 1998
Amy Chin, 1990 – 1998
Charlie Chin, 1989 – 1990
Jackson Chin,1993 – 1997
Rockwell Chin, 1993 – 2014
Anita Chiu, 2017 – 2021
Jennifer Cho, 1995 – 1996
Lillian Cho, 1998 – 2000
Lucia Choi-Dalton, 1995 – 1995
Larry Chua, 1993 – 1994
Carolyn Curran, 1989 – 1989
Celeste Dado, 1989 – 1993
Charles Danziger, 1993 – 1994
Moy Eng, 2001 – 2001
Rebecca Estepa, 1989 – 1991
Marlena Gonzales, 1986 – 1986
Mariko Gordon, 2006
Tara Gupta, 2017 – 2018
Janet Hayakawa, 1991 – 1994
Terry Hong, 1995 – 1996
Fred Houn, 1983 – 1986
James Hun, 2001
Claire Iwatsu, 1989 – 1990
Blane Kieng, 1997 – 1997
David Kim, 1989 – 1991
Grace Kim, 2000 – 2001
Jenny Kim, 1997
JiYoung Koo, 2001 – 2002
Robert Ji-Song Ku, 1997 – 1999
Leslie Kuo, 2017 – 2020
Corky Lee, 1984 – 1998
Diana Lee, 2009 – 2015
Elizabeth Lee, 1997
Fay Ann Lee, 2013 – 2016
Robert Lee, 1983 – 1989
Ronald D. Lee, 2017 – 2023
Wangsheng Lee, 1997
Lorraine Leong, 1998
Phyllis Leung, 1990 – 1990
Mimi Liu, 2002 – 2005
Lily Lu, 2009 – 2018
Elliot Lum, 2020-2022
Wai Look, 1999 – 2010
Robert Ma, 1996 – 1997
Diane Miller, 1998 – 2000
Yong Soon Min, 1986 – 1993
Greg Morozumi, 1983 – 1984
Kathy Mukaida, 1989 – 1990
Nobuko Cobi Narita, 2002 – 2005
Kay Nishiyama, 1992 –1994
Grace Kim Niwa, 2001 – 2002
Alan Okada, 2005 – 2011
Michael Oshima, 2005 – 2008
Lisa Philp, 1994 – 1996
Hong Qu, 2003 – 2017
Ravi Rajan, 2009 – 2017
Grace Sun, 1992 – 1994
Mark Swicegood, 2011 – 2020
Sonnet Takahisa, 1989 – 1990
Hwi-Sook Koh Taylor, 1995 – 2003
Jennifer Wah, 1996 – 2002
Helen Wan, 2015 – 2019
Eric Wong, 2009 – 2015
Derrick Wong, 1991 – 1994
Eleanor San San Wong, 1990 – 1992
Amy Yong, 2019 – 2021
Judy Yu, 1990 – 1994
Ken Yu, 1998 – 2006
Sherman Yu, 1997 – 2000
Cindy Zhou, 2014 – 2017

In Memoriam

Wai Look served as the manager of the Business Volunteers for the Arts program for the Arts & Business Council of New York. She was responsible for the recruitment, training, and placement of business professionals as volunteer management consultants within arts organizations throughout the five boroughs. Prior to joining the staff of the Arts & Business Council, Wai served as orchestra manager for the New York Pops, where she managed operations for the orchestra’s Carnegie Hall series, international and domestic touring, educational outreach programs, as well as fundraising and special events. A native New Yorker, Wai was a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College.

Michael Oshima established A4’s non-profit 501c(3) status and served as board member from 2005 until his untimely passing in July 2008. He was deputy general counsel of Safe Horizon, Inc., the United States’ largest provider of victim assistance services. We mourn his loss and are blessed to have benefited from his kindness, generosity, and wisdom.

The creation of the Asian American Arts Alliance was part of a larger cultural movement occurring in the United States in the latter half of the 20th century, propelled both by a shift in immigration and by the powerful influence of the Civil Rights movement. Several pioneering Asian American groups had started their activities in New York City in the 60s and early 70s, including Art Resources for Teachers and Students, Asian American Dance Theatre (now Asian American Arts Centre), the Chinese American Arts Council, Four Seas Players, and Basement Workshop (a group of artists, urban planners, and activists whose activities had begun in Chinatown in 1971). This was followed by another wave of groups in the 70s with organizations including Asian CineVision, H.T. Dance Center, Music From China, New York Chinese Cultural Center, Pan Asian Repertory Theatre, Yueh Lung Chinese Shadow Theatre (now Chinese Theatre Works), and others. However, the Asian American arts community as a whole lacked a collective body to represent the interests of its talented yet under-recognized members.

In 1983, Helen Cash Jackson and Barbara Ho from the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA), which had been the main funder of several of the Asian American groups through its Special Arts Services (SAS) program, convened a meeting to discuss the need for a central service provider in the Asian American arts community. A follow-up meeting ensued at the Basement Workshop, where community leaders, including Tisa Chang, H.T. Chen, Rocky Chin, Peter Chow, Sharon Hom, Fred Houn (later Fred Ho), Bob Lee, Corky Lee, Jack Tchen, Eleanor Yung, and others came together to answer this need and launch the Alliance for Asian American Arts and Culture.

In its initial years, A4 operated informally out of the offices of Expedi Printing, Inc., on West 13th Street. A4 started producing a quarterly Calendar of Events and developing a joint mailing list and membership brochure for the community. By 1985, A4 had expanded membership to include a number of organizations still in existence today including Asian American Arts Centre, Asian CineVision, H.T. Dance Center (now Chen Dance Center), Chinatown History Project (now Museum of Chinese in America), Four Seas Players, and Music from China. Within three years of its inception, membership increased to more than 30 organizations and individual artists. In 1985, A4 worked with the Henry Street Settlement to co-sponsor its first month-long visual and performing arts event, Roots to Reality: Asian Americans in Transition. With the leadership of Fred Ho and Bob Lee, assisted by Yong Soon Min, A4’s first coordinator on staff, the event set out to celebrate and explore the unique identity, history, and contributions of traditional and contemporary Asian American artists. The first local Asian American multidisciplinary arts festival of its kind, the event drew more than 300 people and spawned a second incarnation the following year, Roots to Reality II: Alternate Visions.

The latter half of the 1980s marked a time of deeper stabilization within the Asian American artistic community. In 1988, A4 obtained 501 © 3 status, officially becoming a tax-exempt, non-profit organization. A4 set up home in its first official office at 339 Lafayette Street. With its move to a new physical location, A4 also adopted a new name, retiring the old Alliance for Asian American Arts and Culture for the more compact Asian American Arts Alliance. In 1988, C.N. Yee was hired as the first executive director, soon to be followed by Karen Chinn in 1989. A4 began to offer workshops on topics such as marketing and funding opportunities and to host special events such as visual arts exhibits. The last major project for A4 in the 1980s was to publish a Directory of Asian American Arts Organizations in New York and New Jersey, a comprehensive guide to more than 80 groups.


The 1980s had marked a time of pronounced growth within the Asian population. No longer limited to East Asian countries, immigration in the 1980s and 90s began to trend towards both Southeast Asian and South Asian nations as well. Between 1990 and 2007, the Asian and Asian American population nearly doubled in New York City, growing to almost a million.

Correspondingly, the 1990s were a decade of huge growth and expansion for A4. It began publishing the Dialogue newsletter to inform constituents about community arts events, advocacy issues, and funding opportunities. In 1991, A4 organized Defining Our Culture(s), Our Selves, a conference in partnership with the Asian Pacific Student Alliance at Hunter College. That same year, Amy W. Chu took over as the new executive director. Two years later, A4 organized the first national Asian American conference, Beyond Boundaries, in collaboration with the Association of Performing Arts Presenters, which brought together more than 250 artists, writers, activists, funders, and representatives from cultural organizations, advocacy organizations, museums, and academia nationwide.

June Choi was hired as executive director in 1992 and in 1994 A4 received a $325,000 multi-year grant from the Joyce Mertz-Gilmore Foundation to launch the Technical Assistance & Regrant Initiative (TARI), allocating cash grants and technical assistance to help stabilize Asian American arts groups in NYC. This would be the first of many regrant programs spanning almost 15 years. A4 continued to publish its monthly Arts Calendar and added a Corporate Funding Guide for constituents. It began publishing a Resources & Opportunities listing of jobs, workshops, resources, competitions and grant opportunities to complement the calendar. Also added to these resources was a directory of Asian American touring artists, Asian American Artists Ready to Tour!. In 1995, A4 moved to 74 Varick Street and in 1996, Lillian Cho was hired as the new executive director.

Looking to further expand services for the Asian American artistic community, A4 started a new program called Artist Series, a number of roundtables and seminars about topics such as public art/public spaces, commissions, community-based teaching artists, and the impact of arts in education in the Asian American arts community. In 1998, the TARI regrant program completed its third and last round after having awarded a total of $204,789 in grants and thousands of hours of technical assistance to more than 25 organizations. In the same year, A4 began a new initiative funded by Chase Manhattan Bank for small Asian American arts groups. The Chase SMARTS Regrant Program provided cash grants of $2,000-$3,000 for projects or equipment which supported organizational development of Asian American arts groups. Chase SMARTS ran for 4 years and provided 34 grants, totaling $96,400. Next, A4 made another step towards more nationwide community building by publishing a new Asian American Arts Resource Directory, listing nearly 200 arts organizations and touring artists nationwide.

In the same year, 1998, A4 refashioned Dialogue into a magazine to serve as a forum for expressing the views, ideas, and works of Asian American artists, featuring interviews, articles, and artwork. With the emergence of the internet, A4 moved many of its resources online, making items like the Arts Resource Directory and Arts Calendar available on the very first official A4 website. In addition, A4 continued to offer a series of technical assistance workshops and Meet the Funders events through a new program called Nuts & Bolts. At the close of the decade, A4 received increased support from Chase Manhattan Bank to continue its work.


The 2000s marked a period of great fluctuation for the New York City artistic community. All throughout New York and beyond, each individual was impacted deeply by the events of September 11, 2001. Combined with the already escalating U.S. recession, the effects of 9/11 on personal lives and communities heightened the fragile financial situations of many individual artists and arts organizations. In order to ensure that the arts would continue to prosper within the New York City community, emergency funding and service organizations from across the United States came together to form funding consortia or foster other means of aid.

As a service organization, A4 acted as a steering committee member for the New York Arts Recovery Fund, a consortium effort headed by the New York Foundation of the Arts which provided funding, information resources, advocacy, and public programming to individual artists and arts organizations most affected by September 11th. In addition, A4 hosted its own series of roundtables with member artists and art groups to discuss the impact of 9/11 on their work and lifestyle and to assess artists’ needs. Through the September 11th Fund, A4 received funding to launch the Chinatown Arts Marketing Project (CAMP) to help redefine Chinatown as an arts and cultural destination for local New Yorkers and to increase attendance and patronage at local cultural events and businesses downtown. A4 also became part of C.R.E.A.T.E., a coalition of downtown organizations dedicated to finding a cultural space for the arts in Chinatown.

Thanks in part to the in-pouring of arts support post 9/11, A4 experienced another period of growth and continued to nurture its many other programs. In 2002, A4 received major support from the Ford Foundation to spearhead a research initiative on technology use within the Asian American/Pacific Islander arts community nationwide, ending in a report, Connect the Arts: An Internet Initiative for the Asian American/Pacific Islander Arts Community, which addressed the ways in which the internet could be best leveraged to build partnerships within the community. 2003 marked the beginning of a monthly series called A4 Salon which featured artist talks, panels, and presentations to encourage community networking. By 2005, the Arts Calendar had become electronic and A4 was reaching a record 4,000 subscribers to its eVOICE e-newsletter and online calendar. A4 began producing an annual Culture Pass booklet to broadcast events and shows going on within the Asian American NYC artistic community in an attempt to reach new audiences, distributing up to 10,000 Culture Passes a year. By 2006, A4 had expanded its staff and membership had grown to more than 100 members. In 2007, A4 received a major grant from the Rockefeller Philanthropic Advisors’ New York State Music Fund to support local Asian American musicians at Soundfest, an all-day outdoor concert in Chinatown. As part of the ongoing CAMP project, A4 hosted a series of events and produced a short video, Creating Spaces for the Arts in Chinatown, to highlight key organizations and raise the profile of Chinatown arts and culture. In addition, it co-sponsored a holiday marketing campaign with Chinatown Partnership called SEE Chinatown – Shop, Eat, & Explore.

In the meantime, A4 was able to strengthen and expand its regrant programming. Between 2002 and 2008, the JPMorgan Chase SOAR Regrant Program, a continuation of the previous Chase SMARTS Regrant Program, was dedicated to awarding cash grants to small groups. In 7 rounds, SOAR awarded $246,020 in a total of 88 grants. In 2003, A4 partnered with the Rockefeller Foundation to run Technical Assistance for Organizations (TAO), a special one-time regrant initiative awarding $72,000 in grants and technical assistance to support Asian American arts organizations struggling to survive post 9/11. Starting in 2006, A4 partnered with Harlem Arts Alliance, Association of Hispanic Arts, Queens Council on the Arts, New York Foundation of the Arts, Association of Hispanic Arts, Amerinda, National Museum of the American Indian and Bronx Council on the Arts, creating an unprecedented coalition to regrant funds to artists of color with the Urban Artist Initiative (UAI). UAI jointly granted more than $150,000 with A4 alone granting $68,400 to 46 individual artists over two years. Lastly, in 2007 A4 created the Chinatown Arts Initiative (CAI), which provided technical assistance and production grants to performing arts groups contributing to Chinatown’s cultural life. Through CAI, A4 granted a total of $50,500 over two years to 25 groups. Since 1995, A4 has granted a total of $761,609 to 105 different arts organizations and 56 individual artists.

The close of the 2000s was characterized by the massive crisis in the world financial markets, signaling a sustained downward spiraling of the international markets and a huge shift in the funding and employment of both artists as well as institutions throughout the U.S. By 2007, Asians and Asian Americans accounted for nearly 12% of New York City’s population, up from just 7% of the population in 1990. Asian America brought together more cultures, histories, and artistic traditions than ever before.

In a new socioeconomic atmosphere, and with the gradual elimination of its re-granting funds, A4 had to think strategically about new ways to serve its members and the Asian American arts community. In late 2008, A4 embarked on a twelve-month research initiative to take stock of its constituents’ conditions in the wake of the recession. Among other major findings, A4 found that 60% of artists in the community were making less than $10,000 a year from their art and that 40% of artists were accruing up to $5,000 each year in debt in order to create their work. These and other findings culminated in A4’s report:* Asian American Arts in NYC: A Snapshot of Current Trends and Issues.* Building upon its deep roots in the community, A4 endeavored to work as a connector, connecting people to each other and people to resources.

In early 2009, A4 launched Town Hall, a monthly series for artists, arts organizations, arts appreciators, and funders to come together and show their work, share news, learn about opportunities, and collaborate. In its first year, Town Hall brought together more than 600 people, including hundreds of individual artists across all disciplines and representatives of organizations with opportunities for artists such as Asia Society, Brooklyn Arts Council, Carnegie Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Joe’s Pub, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and New York Foundation for the Arts, among many others.


After a stewardship of 13 years, executive director Lillian Cho left A4 and was succeeded by interim executive director Janice Won. In May 2010, A4 launched a4Hub, the online counterpart to Town Hall. Following in the long lineage of information hubs that A4 has created through the years, a4Hub was a fully interactive online platform for artists and arts organizations to promote their work and events and share resources with each other. Also in 2010, A4 created and implemented Brainstorm!, a series of lively case-study based themed discussions on the artist as producer.

In August of 2010, the Asian American Arts Alliance welcomed Andrea Louie as the new executive director. Andrea spearheaded Locating the Sacred, a twelve-day festival in 2012 that presented artists in a variety of disciplines all across the city. She also launched new civic engagement initiatives; new professional development programs for individual artists; and a new fellowships and awards program for Asian American artists and arts administrators, which included the Wai Look Award for Outstanding Service to the Arts, the Jadin Wong Award for emerging Asian American dance artists, and Van Lier Fellowships for artists in the fields of theater, music, and visual arts. After eight years, Andrea stepped down from A4 and Lisa Gold was named the new executive director in the fall of 2018.

Coalition of Small Arts NYC (CoSA NYC)

The Asian American Arts Alliance (A4) is proud to be a member of the Coalition of Small Arts NYC (CoSA NYC), an initiative created in the summer of 2020 to address the unfolding challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, and to strengthen organizational commitments to racial, social, economic, and environmental justice. CoSA NYC formed in recognition that together, small organizations are uniquely resilient and form a cornerstone of the cultural life of New York City. In its first phase, CoSA NYC raised a total of $1,600,000 that was shared equally among thirty-two organizations. Learn more HERE.


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