The Asian American Arts Centre was founded in 1974 to promote the preservation and creative vitality of Asian-American cultural growth through the arts and its historical and aesthetic linkage to other communities. Its gallery is a showcase for art from the cultural traditions of China, Japan, Korea, India, Indonesia and the Philippines.
The center often serves as the first professional exhibition or performance space for artists who are part of the current influx of Asian immigrants to New York City. A wide-ranging sampling of their work, from traditional dance to visual arts, is included in the program schedule. A resident company performs traditional dance, as well as contemporary choreography drawing on Asian forms and sensibilities. Gallery exhibitions focus on folk art and contemporary works.
The Asian American Arts Centre offers arts classes for children ages 4 to 14 on Saturday afternoons. Students learn various art concepts and techniques such as pastel and pencil drawing, watercolor, printmaking, collage and clay sculpting. A course in portfolio preparation is offered for kids considering applying to a specialized high school arts program. On the Lunar New Year, the center sponsors a festival of Chinese folk arts.
Designed to provide both Asian and non-Asian students with positive and dynamic images of Asian cultures, the center offers tours and workshops for school groups. Presentations range in length from 30 minutes to 90 minutes, and are tailored to the age and interest of each group. Programs offered for special education groups.
A guided tour of the gallery with an arts educator concludes with a questions and answers period. Presentations are tailored to each group's needs. In general, students will learn how to look at art, be introduced to the Asian American community and its history and to the work of the Arts Centre. Tour time duration: 40 minutes. Number of participants: 15-50. Cost: $2 per person.