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For You Performance Collective Launches THE GREAT AAPI ELDER PRINT OFF

Erika Chong Shuch and Ryan Tacata are matching isolated AAPI elders in the Bay Area with AAPI artists across the country.

For You Performance Collective Launches THE GREAT AAPI ELDER PRINT OFF

Erika Chong Shuch and Ryan Tacata will launch The Great AAPI Elder Print Off with For You performance collective and in partnership with Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly (LBFE).

In recognition of AAPI Heritage month and in response to growing anti-Asian hate across the country, The Print Off will connect AAPI artists from across the country with 120+ socially isolated monolingual and bilingual AAPI elders in the Bay Area. The pairs will have three conversations before the artist creates an 8½" x 11" homemade activist poster to amplify the voice of the elder. The project will culminate in a virtual celebration with an exhibition (June 26-27) both online and in the windows of homes and organizations' lobbies across the nation.

Stop AAPI Hate reported nearly 3,800 incidents of violent attacks against AAPI folk in the past year. When reports of these attacks-especially against AAPI elders-started to circulate at an alarming rate, artists Chong Shuch and Tacata immediately thought of their own Asian immigrant parents and grandparents.

"I thought about my grandparents who survived WWII, immigrated from the Philippines to the Central Valley after the war, and who poured their sweat and blood into labor organizing and mutual aid through the Legionarios del Trabajo." says Tacata. "They're no longer with us, but I could feel their spirit rising through the recent AAPI activist campaigns such as Stop AAPI Hate and felt possessed to act."

"For the past year, the idea of Creative Mutual Aid has been lighting our path," adds Chong Shuch. "What tools have we developed as artists can be activated to ease hardship and isolation? I hope that the Great Elder Print Off brings together AAPI folx across generation for shared healing and reflection, but also for recipe exchanges, jokes and simple small talk. The poster is a way to invite a larger public into an intimate exchange and to celebrate, memorialize and cherish the voices of our elders."

Working with LBFE-a volunteer-based non-profit providing friendship and companionship for older adults-The Print Off hopes to provide AAPI elders respite from social isolation and a platform to raise their voices.

"LBFE is so excited to team up with For You to offer this incredible program to our AAPI older adults," says Cathy Michalec, Executive Director of LBFE. "It's a unique opportunity to give hope during these dark times and bring a smile to the artist and older adult."

The Great AAPI Elder Print Off developed out of Artists & Elders-a project created by For You in response to the worldwide shelter-in-place ordinance due to COVID-19 with the hopes of connecting artists and elders virtually for creative exchange.

For You is still commissioning AAPI artists for the project. Those looking to participate or donate can visit http://www.foryou.productions/the-great-aapi-elder-print-off.

Other project partners include California Shakespeare Theater, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Crowded Fire Theatre, BANDALOOP, Theatre Mu, Chinese Historical Society of America, and Dancers' Group.

For more information, visit http://www.foryou.productions/.


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