Working with Filipino-American residents, local businesses, and organizations in the Little Manila area of Woodside, Queens, 2020 Create Change Artists-in-Residence Xenia Diente and Jaclyn Reyes are creating a series of community conversations culminating in a public art festival to celebrate and activate members of the Filipino diaspora. Of 86,000 Filipinos in NYC, over half live in Queens, with the largest concentration of Filipino-owned businesses on a stretch of Roosevelt Avenue known as Little Manila. To highlight the richness of this diaspora, they will conduct research, interviews, and community mapping to inform their partnerships and develop their approach to public art interventions. The project aims to explore the immigrant experience, putting Little Manila in dialogue with nearby immigrant communities from South Asia, Southeast Asia, and Latin America.
In the spring of 2020, Jaclyn and Xenia’s project evolved to include a new initiative, Meal to Heal. A partnership with the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) and the Filipino American National Historical Society (FAHNS), Meal to Heal is a mutual aid project that pairs Filipino restaurants in Queens with hospitals, to provide free meals to frontline health care workers. Learn more about the project!