Stories of Chinatown: Behind the Counter

event overview
Stories of Chinatown: Behind the Counter

Stories of Chinatown: Behind the Counter is a visual and audio experience amplifying the grit, resilience, and necessity of the small businesses that exemplifies Chinatown's unwavering spirit.

Produced by Culture Reel and Welcome to Chinatown, two organizations built on values of cultural acceptance, awareness, and storytelling, this limited run ticketed exhibition invites guests to (re)discover Chinatown through an intimate lens from the perspective of small business owners and their workers. Learn about the integral role small businesses play in the Chinatown community and their invaluable role in shaping the neighborhood into a vibrant and cultural enclave. Understand why we must demand action to protect our small businesses and in turn, the Chinatown community at large.

After learning about Chinatown through the eyes of small business owners, Stories of Chinatown: Behind the Counter encourages guests to experience Chinatown for themselves. In addition to timed access to the exhibition, each ticket will include a 5 x 7 art print with suggested small businesses to explore, a voucher to redeem an item at a participating business, and a Sanzo sparkling water.

Profits from ticket sales will benefit Welcome to Chinatown’s Longevity Fund, the only small business grant exclusively for Chinatown, New York. Without small businesses, Chinatown faces an irreversible loss that cannot be ignored.

Welcome to Chinatown is operating through a fiscal sponsorship with Players Philanthropy Fund (Federal Tax ID: 27-6601178), a Maryland charitable trust with federal tax-exempt status as a  public charity under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Contributions to Welcome to Chinatown are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

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Friday November 13th
Hotel 50 Bowery NYC, Bowery, New York, NY, USA
50 Bowery, New York, NY 10013, USA

event details

organizations & artists

Culture Reel

Culture Reel is a storytelling and visual platform rooted in a very simple but extremely important theme: cultural awareness. Based in New York City, a haven for diversity, the Culture Reel team aims to capture and share narratives across cultures that raise overall understanding and acceptance of our individualized experiences with culture, expression, and identity. To achieve this, Culture Reel uses the artistic mediums of photo, video, and audio. With each story, Culture Reel aspires to continuously demonstrate that cultural awareness is a necessity in any modern society.

Welcome to Chinatown

Welcome to Chinatown is a grassroots initiative to support Chinatown businesses and amplify community voices that generates much needed momentum to preserve one of New York City’s most vibrant neighborhoods. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, Welcome to Chinatown has raised over $350,000 for Chinatown small businesses. Welcome to Chinatown here to help say Chinatown will always be open for business.

Sounds of Chinatown

Sounds of Chinatown is a collaborative, community-focused project that aims to record the unique sounds of New York City’s Manhattan Chinatown and encourage people to think about this historic neighborhood through its soundscape. Our goal is to draw attention to how sound and noise influence individuals and communities. This work builds on previous community-based strategies to mitigate the impact of long-term construction of a mega-jail in Chinatown on the health of neighborhood residents

SOS: Save Our Storefronts Coalition

New York is on PAUSE, but the bills have not paused. The rent has not paused. NOTHING has paused except our ability to survive. Without rent relief, untold numbers of storefronts will shutter. For good. Communities will lose vast numbers of jobs, essential services, vitality and more. We will lose the very fabric of our city. SOS: Save Our Storefronts is a coalition established to urge New York state and city representatives to pass legislation that encourages cooperation between landlords and small businesses, and ensures we share in this hardship together.

Featured Artists

Brandon Romulus is a Black photographer, videographer, and journalist based in NYC. Born and raised in Flatbush, Brooklyn, Brandon had always been exposed and influenced by neighboring cultures and ethnicities. Motivated by his own experiences with racism and cultural awareness, he aims to share the narratives of those he comes across on Culture Reel in an artistically aesthetic way that celebrates diversity and equality.

Emily Yang is an Asian-American artist and speculative designer. In her printmaking and ceramic work she explores the question: “What is Asian-American Art?” What makes art “Asian,” “American,” or both? Who cares? And who decides? Her work references contemporary attitudes and aesthetics while employing traditional methods of making and creating. She is a former Chinatown resident and recently graduated from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University. She currently resides in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Dardan Ramadani is a journalist from Staten Island. Growing up in a diverse neighborhood helped shape his cosmopolitan outlook on people and the world around him. His natural curiosity drives him to engage in dialogue that highlights valuable, but often overlooked, discussions in culture. He aims to spark the same curiosity in others.

Mike DiNatale is a writer and photographer from Brooklyn, NY who is driven by a passion to tell stories and share lessons. Pulling from a wide range of experiences and extensive travel, he strives to use his art to make a positive impact in the lives of others.

Posted by Welcome to Chinatown