Asian Glow announces funding by the Live Arts Boston grant by the Boston Foundation
The Boston Foundation and the Barr Foundation have announced 61 Greater Boston artists and arts groups who will share $796,293 in grants to create, produce, or present their work in year three of the Live Arts Boston (LAB) Program. Asian Glow is included on this list and has been awarded one of the 2019 LAB grants to produce its second year of showcases for Asian American artists in Boston.
Asian Glow seeks to uplift artists from the Asian diaspora in Boston, particularly creatives in a genre or style that does not necessarily link to their ancestral identity. Asian artists are especially pressured to reference their cultural ancestry, rather than the influences of their upbringing.
Jane Park, founder and producer of Asian Glow, noticed a gap in Asian and POC representation as a local songwriter and Boston resident of 15 years. “When I play shows, I’m often the only person of color on the entire show,” said Park.
Her artistic goals shifted when in 2017, she was invited by Anna Rae to perform with two other Korean-American artists in a performance series All Together Now, which aims to raise the visibility of women, people of color and queer artists. She enjoyed that moment on stage more than ever.
“When you are the only person who looks like you in a room, you have to gauge how much of yourself you can be. When you are performing with a diverse group of people, and you don’t have to explain why you’re there, it just feels a bit better. ” Wanting to create that same fabulous experience for other artists, Park produced Asian Glow.
Last year, Asian Glow was also funded by the 2018 LAB grant, which included three independent showcases in three different venues across Boston. The series featured 21 individual artists and artist groups of different genres, including poetry, comedy, burlesque, music, and magic, and attracted an audience around 80 people per show.
For songwriter and artist Grace Ming, Asian Glow was a rare chance to perform with other artists like her. Said Ming, “Seeing other Asian American artists and feeling empowered by the fact that we’re out there, and that we all are going to decide to pursue the arts, having that support of knowing that there are others like me, who are doing the arts, that was great,” she said.
As an audience member, Ming spoke highly of the whole show and how the performances resonated with her own Asian American identity. “While we were at the show, I think pretty much every single person’s performance had incorporated their Asian American experience or a story about the Asian American experience in some way.”
While Park hopes to continue the series and attract a bigger audience this year, she says her primary goal in putting together this performance series is ensuring it meets the needs of artists in Boston, “It’s more like am I serving the community? Do people feel like this is filling a gap and is this the type of performance they want to see? If that’s true, then that’s really what matters.”
The first Asian Glow of 2019 is scheduled for August 20th at ONCE Lounge in Somerville, MA. Two additional installments will follow in the fall, with exact dates and venues to be announced. For more information, interview/press inquiries, or to join the mailing list contact Jane Park at firstname.lastname@example.org.