Resist Recycle Regenerate

Annual

Resist Recycle Regenerate is a youth program that seeks to intersect art and activism through building women-centric leadership within the Chinatown community. RRR’s youth mentorship program model promotes young women as leaders and role models to inspire growth and leadership development in their peers through artmaking. Former fellows can become program leaders, mentoring and guiding the next cohort of younger fellows.

The program is organized into three main phases: in the first phase, former fellows teach the incoming cohort how to make paper out of recycled confetti collected during the annual Lunar New Year Parade. Every year, RRR invites volunteers to help collect discarded confetti fireworks, engaging the community to join in the process of recycling confetti into new creative materials. The first phase also consists of inviting guest artists to teach various artmaking skills (such as paper-cut and calligraphy) so that fellows can reclaim cultural practices and artmaking in a women-led space.

In the second phase of the program, the program leaders teach the current fellows how to facilitate and lead papermaking workshops for the community. In the past, we have conducted fellow-led workshops for seniors (Henry St. Settlement’s Abrons Art Center), LGBT+ organizations (Q-Wave), and other community institutions (Museum of Chinese in the Americas).

The third phase of the program synthesizes the skills, experiences, and interests that have been fostered throughout the year. Program leaders guide the current cohort through the process of creating final projects that incorporate the handmade confetti paper and apply the artmaking skills learned during the first phase of the program. These projects engage with themes of personal and collective migration stories, Chinatown history, daughterhood, and diasporic belonging. Fellows have the opportunity to share and discuss their projects with the community by displaying their work in the store during the final showcase. The showcase provides a space for the fellows and program leaders to collectively reflect on their growth and development as artists, young leaders, and community members who are invested in the past, present, and future of Chinatown.

Interested in applying?

RRR is currently accepting applications for 5th year fellows. This year's program will be held weekly during the 2021-2022 Academic Year. Below are the guidelines and due date:

  • Age 16 - 21 (flexible, 21+ are welcome to apply)
  • Identify as Asian/American
  • Identify as female, womxn, or non-binary  
  • Personal connection to NYC Chinatown
  • Commit to WEEKLY sessions (hybrid)
  • Interested in learning arts and developing leadership skills to promote community activism and empowerment!

Deadline: September 1st, 2021 11:59PM ET; All documents must be submitted in PDF form.

Watch the RRR 2021 final showcase!

RRR 2021 Fellows

Cheryl Chen is a second-generation Chinese-American, studying Music, Chinese, and Japanese at Hunter College. She loves food, music, the arts, and devouring all kinds of fiction and is excited to get involved in Asian-American activism with the rest of the RRR fellows.

Christina Duan is a Chinese-American sophomore at Barnard College trying to discover who they are. Recently, they’ve been immersed in traditional lion dance (even though it is very hard!), photography, the written word, and helping out where she can. They believe that art is an act of resilience in it of itself – I was here, I am here, and I will be here – and she is hoping to carry that quality into her activism and her relationship with Asian culture.

Irene Gao is a nineteen year old Asian-American, who enjoys playing volleyball and the ukulele during her leisure time. Irene joined RRR as a fellow with hopes of discovering more about her heritage, while finding her creative side through papermaking and other various art-making skills. She is excited to use art activism to resist gentrification and contribute to the Chinatown community.  

Kaitlyn Lee is a first-generation Chinese and Burmese American, and a rising junior at Hunter College High School. She is passionate about AAPI activism and creating local change in her communities. She hopes to bring art and expression into Asian American youth spaces through the RRR program.

Rose Lin is a first generation Chinese American college freshmen. She enjoys giving back to the community and learning more about her identity. In joining RRR, she is excited to have the opportunity to educate herself about the intersectionality of art and activism to approach activism from a non traditional perspective.  

Xi Lin is a Chinese-American senior attending high school in the Bronx. Her interests include playing or watching sports, reading a book, playing video games, and drawing random inspirational things. Xi is passionate about helping people break away from factors that are oppressing them to be who they really are and to appreciate themselves even if they are different from others. As a RRR fellow, she is very excited to work with her peers in shaping Chinatown into a safe haven for people and to amplify Asians and other minorities' voices. In addition, she is eager to learn more about Chinatown's heritage and her culture. Xi wishes to accomplish: communities where everyone is accepted for who they are; to end stereotypes for all races; to build a place where people can call home by working together and utilizing our leadership skills and identity as a woman and Asians.

RRR 2021 Leaders

PROGRAM COORDINATORS

Angela Chan was a fellow of RRR’s second cohort, returned as co-leader for the program’s third year, and is now a co-coordinator of the program. She is excited to continue fostering a community and promoting the project’s mission beyond paper making as RRR explores the use of digital film projection as a method of storytelling in its fourth year. She aims to advocate against social issues and build meaningful connections within Chinatown and the larger community through the intersection of art and activism.

Bonnie Chen was a fellow in the program’s second year, a co-leader for the program’s third-year cohort, and a co-coordinator for the upcoming fourth year, where she will be designing and implementing RRR’s first-ever digital curriculum centering projection art and narrative storytelling. She is excited to grow RRR’s youth voices in the movement of social change through the creative arts. Bonnie is currently exploring how digital arts and narratives can play a role in shaping activism efforts and creating lasting change in locally-scaled communities and ultimately expanding nationally. Reach out to her to have conversations about community development, social justice activism, and mobilizing in advocacy and solidarity work.

PROGRAM LEADERS

Cynthia Qian joined RRR as a third year fellow and is currently a co-leader of the program. RRR helped foster her love for the intersection of art and activism and improved her understanding of her Asian heritage. This program allowed Cynthia to find her own unique voice, which for her was in the form of music, and taught me the wonders of self-expression. RRR was an extremely empowering experience for her as a young Asian-American woman and she is excited to come back and lead the new cohort with the skills and knowledge she gained as a previous fellow and to give them the support and inspiration they need to find their own voice.

Amanda Cui is a past fellow of the RRR program and is currently a co-leader in the program’s fourth year. She is a first generation Chinese-American who is a rising senior at Hunter College High School. Her involvement with Asian American activism first began in her Freshman year and she’s been exploring more ever since. Amanda works with Minkwon Center and also interns for Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou, both of which have allowed her to gain new experience and meet new people. The knowledge she gained from RRR has shown up in other sectors of her activism and she is super excited to continue working with Wing on Wo. Outside of Asian American activism, Amanda loves to embroider (a result of her final project), draw, play the ukulele, and eat hotpot with her family.

TEACHING ARTIST

Emily Chow Bluck is an artist, educator, and organizer based in New York City. These three identities coalesce to shape her evolving art praxis rooted in performance, collaboration, dialogue, and community building. As an eternal foodie, much of her work has manifested as performative installations centering food as a vehicle to unpack the politics around incarceration / self-determination, value / consumption, and invasion / migration. She's returned to RRR as the 2020-2021 teaching artist out of her love for working with young people, Chinatown, and traditional paper and sculptural crafts. To see Emily's work, visit emilychowbluck.com.

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Resist Recycle Regenerate 2020

RRR 2020 Fellows

Sophia Chok is a first generation American Malaysian high school senior. She speaks Cantonese, Mandarin, English and loves learning new languages and cultures. She hopes to learn more and explore her own identity, while contributing to the Chinatown community through art activism as an RRR fellow. Her interests range from wrestling on a team to studying Native American history to coding a website.

Amanda Cui is a first generation Chinese American who is currently a junior at Hunter College High School. She has been involved with Asian American activism for almost 3 years now and enjoys learning more about her identity. Joining RRR will allow her to approach her Asian American roots in an artistic way and let her see activism in a different lense.

Jessica Giang is a high school junior who has a passion for the maths and sciences; her interests range from playing Jazz and making bracelets to watching Crash Course and listening to science podcasts. She joined RRR with the hope of gaining experience in collaborative projects through helping the community in nuanced ways. By learning and utilizing new and unique skills with RRR, her goal is to become more involved and feel closer to her culture.

Wenyin Jiang is a junior at Hunter College High School interested in environmental science. She is excited to be a RRR fellow and explore various aspects of the Asian American creative culture.

Cynthia Qian is currently a junior at Hunter College High School. She is excited to familiarize herself with her Asian roots and learn to be a proud Chinese American. Something that has always helped tie her back to her culture is playing the Chinese harp. Cynthia really loves music in general and she hopes that she can further connect to her heritage through art in the RRR program.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, Tiffany Zhao was brought up as a Chinese American female. She is currently enrolled as a freshman at the College of Staten Island. Tiffany is fully committed to her school work, family, peers, and learning about her heritage. While she was raised in an American way, she hopes that by joining RRR she can learn more about her culture. Her interests include graphic design, volunteering, badminton, music, and knitting.

RRR 2020 Leadership

Program Coordinators

Born and raised in Bangkok, Ja Bulsombut was a fellow in RRR’s first year, returned as a co-leader for the program’s second-year cohort, and is now a coordinator for the upcoming year. Ja thinks of W.O.W. as her home away from home and is excited to see RRR grow further as an intergenerational and women-centric space and community for young Asian/American women. In particular, she looks forward to deepening RRR’s engagement with community activism via its art-making practices and the incorporation of paper sculpture into the curriculum.

Kristin Chang was born and raised in California. She was a fellow in the program’s first year, a co-leader for the program’s second-year cohort, and a co-coordinator for the upcoming third year, where she will help guide the new leaders and help shape the curriculum. She is excited to continue fostering a community and building an enduring lineage of young woman artists, leaders, activists, and storytellers. She is especially looking forward to incorporating activism into RRR’s art projects and exploring sculptural/3D paper arts.

Program Leaders

Angela Chan joined RRR as a second year fellow and is currently a co-leader of the program. She is fluent in Cantonese and English and loves learning new languages during her free time. Angela is excited to continued promoting the project’s mission through paper making and 3D art, and being able to explore her identity as an Asian American. She hopes to transfer the skills and knowledge she gained during her time as an RRR fellow to community activism efforts outside of Chinatown and foster a safe space for the new cohort of fellows to grow personally through act and activism.

Bonnie Chen is a past fellow of the RRR program and is currently a co-leader in the program’s third year. Bonnie is excited to lead the next cohort of young women in discovering personal heritages and deepening their cultural understanding of the larger Asian American community. In this next year, Bonnie aims to use her newfound skills in advocating and organizing to foster meaningful connections within the Chinatown community and their residents. Bonnie hopes that through her role as a co-leader, she can inspire others to fall in love with the intersection of art and activism to promote further lasting legacies within Chinatown and resist gentrification.

Teaching Artist

Emily Chow Bluck is an artist, educator, and organizer based in New York City. These three identities coalesce to shape her evolving art praxis rooted in performance, collaboration, dialogue, and community building. As an eternal foodie, much of her work has manifested as performative installations centering food as a vehicle to unpack the politics around incarceration / self-determination, value / consumption, and invasion / migration. She’s joined RRR as the 2019-2020 teaching artist out of her love for working with young people, Chinatown, and traditional paper and sculptural crafts. To see Emily’s work, visit emilychowbluck.com or catch one of her pieces at Gracie Mansion Conservancy, on display through the end of December 2019.  ‍

We Create Our Own Light Writing Workshop

In April and May of 2020 the RRR leaders, coordinators, and W.O.W. interns participated in a month-long series of writing workshops taught by Dandelion. Throughout the five sessions, we explored the themes of UNEARTHING, POWER WITHIN, CREATE LIGHT, ANCESTORS, LIBERATED FUTURES, reading and writing together to reimagine the world and ourselves outside of oppressive structures. We developed community-centered writing practices and wrote for ourselves, culminating in an intimate Zoom reading.

Resist Recycle Regenerate 2019

Watch our recap of RRR 2019! Directed by Eric Jenkins & edited by W.O.W. media intern Fanny Li.

RRR 2019 Fellows

Angela Chan is fluent in Cantonese and English and loves learning new languages during her free time. Angela is excited to be part of RRR to have the opportunity to connect with her Asian roots while promoting the project’s mission through art making. She hopes to  transfer the skills and knowledge she gains during her time as an RRR fellow to community activism efforts outside of Chinatown.

Bonnie Chen is a seventeen year old Asian-American student. She is interested in the intersection of public policy, international development, and studying East Asian culture. Bonnie’s aim to join RRR is to expand her role in the community as an activist and to learn more about how she can further use her skills to organize and help bridge the gap between different communities. Bonnie hopes that through RRR, she can both find her creative side in crafts as well as learning to grow through experiences and gaining a deeper understanding of her own heritage and values.  

Serena Yang is a high school senior from Queens and Singapore, where she was born. She is very interested in the intersection of art and social impact, and she joined RRR to try unfamiliar artmaking methods, learn about grassroots organizing, and expose herself to Asian American narratives that may not follow her own. She loves queer and WOC superheroes, slam poetry, and graphic design.

Lokyee Yan is a Chinese American high school senior. Although she is surrounded by her culture, she feels distant from it. By joining RRR, she hopes to regain that closeness to her culture again. Her interests include: drawing, singing, volleyball, and listening to music.

RRR 2019 Leaders

Born in Bangkok, Ja Apimanee Bulsombut is a past fellow and current co-leader of RRR. She is passionate about sci-fi, martial arts and film. Her hopes for the future are getting into her dream school/graduate program for anthropology (Columbia!) and seeing RRR grow into a beautiful lineage of brilliant young Chinese American women.

Kristin Chang was born and raised in California. She first joined RRR as a fellow and is now a co-leader in the program’s second year.  She is excited to continue fostering a community and building an enduring lineage of young woman artists, leaders, activists, and storytellers. She is especially looking forward to expanding the program’s reach to elders and to LGBT+/queer communities through paper-making and other arts.

Jing Chen was born in Fuzhou and moved to New York City in 2009. As a Fellow last year, she felt a deeper connection with the Chinatown community after leading papermaking workshops and coordinating the 2018 Confetti Collection Event. This year, she proudly emerges as a Leader and hopes to continue her involvement with Chinatown. She is excited to meet new fellows, who, like her, hope to use papermaking and art to explore their heritage and resist gentrification.

Melody Mok is an Asian-American with a hispanic background. As a fluent speaker of 3 languages (Spanish, English,and Chinese), Melody has learned that one of the most essential factors in achieving success is the ability to understand different cultures and interact with different backgrounds. Melody has joined the RRR Project in hopes of re-immersing herself in Chinese culture and making a difference by supporting the W.O.W Project’s mission. Her interests include painting, fencing and swimming.

Final Projects

‘Mother’ By Serena Yang

“妈” explores migration, womanhood, and storytelling through an altered book format. The book is built upon the personal stories of my 妈, as understood and translated by me. It doesn’t seek to be biographical or exact. Rather, this project is a mapping of my mother’s stories and their importance to me as a daughter of diaspora and a young adult coming of age.”

“In the Eyes of a Daughter” by Angela Chan

In the Eyes of a Daughter centers memories of Chinatown through the perspective of both myself and my mother. Intertwining aspects of family history and our mother-daughter relationship, the book of memories shares my mother’s experiences working in Chinatown and my own reflections on what Chinatown has taught me. Despite the generation gap and difference in experiences, me and my mom still feel similarly connected to Chinatown.”

Resist Recycle Regenerate 2018

Watch the RRR 2018 final showcase! Directed and Edited by Eric Jenkins.

RRR 2018 Fellows

Ja Bulsombut  is a Thai-Chinese student from Bangkok. She is currently studying cultural studies at Sarah Lawrence College and is very passionate about film & poetry. She also paints. Ja joined the RRR project because she wanted to get more involved with the Chinatown community in Manhattan, especially with a grassroots organization like W.O.W. She is also interested in learning how to make paper and print.

Born and raised in California, Kristin Chang studies literature and ethnic studies at Sarah Lawrence. She first joined RRR as a fellow and is now a co-leader in the program’s second year.  She aims to connect with her lineage, incorporate ideas of resistance/migration/cultural ancestry in her writing and art, and connect with a community of passionate art-makers and activists. Her interests include spoken word poetry, comics, and martial arts films.

Jing Chen is an immigrant from Fuzhou, China. Jing decided to join the RRR Project primarily due to the many problems Chinese Americans are facing nowadays in the United States. Jing wants to contribute to the Asian American community as well as explore more aspects of Chinese culture that she might not have been aware of prior to joining the RRR Project team.

Melody Mok is an Asian-American with a hispanic background. As a fluent speaker of 3 languages (Spanish, English,and Chinese), Melody has learned that one of the most essential factors in achieving success is the ability to understand different cultures and interact with different backgrounds. Melody has joined the RRR Project in hopes of re-immersing herself in Chinese culture and making a difference by supporting the W.O.W Project’s mission. Her interests include painting, fencing and swimming.

Lily Tang is a seventeen year old Chinese-American who has lived in Chinatown her whole life. Lily’s interests are photography, film, design and literature. She joined the RRR Project because she thought it was a great way to incorporate her love for arts & crafts while contributing to the community that she loves. Lily also looks forward to learning as much as she can about every aspect of Asian-American history and culture because it is something she wants to major in in college.

Final Projects

Words for the Afterlife by Kristin Chang and Ja Bulsombut

“In the Eyes of a Daughter” by Angela Chan

In the Eyes of a Daughter centers memories of Chinatown through the perspective of both myself and my mother. Intertwining aspects of family history and our mother-daughter relationship, the book of memories shares my mother’s experiences working in Chinatown and my own reflections on what Chinatown has taught me. Despite the generation gap and difference in experiences, me and my mom still feel similarly connected to Chinatown.”

Inherited: a collection of childhood stories by Jing Chen

Grandmother’s Recipies by Lily Tang