FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - September 27, 2021


Joseph Duong - - 213-830-5690


LOS ANGELES - The National Center for the Preservation of Democracy at the Japanese American National Museum (NCPD@JANM) and Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Los Angeles (AAAJ-LA) have announced a call for two artists who will develop new art projects that will explore the theme of anti-Asian hate and racism.

The program is funded by the national Artists At Work (AAW) initiative developed by THE OFFICE performing arts + film, with funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and with support from the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture

The fellowship pays artists to keep making art; gives support to cultural organizations and arts workers in their communities to host and work with those artists; and connects both artists and cultural organizations to local social impact initiatives in areas such as antiracism, justice reform, sustainability and equitable development, health, economy, homelessness and housing, child welfare, and immigration. 
“After the pandemic dealt a devastating blow to artists and cultural organizations across the country, the Artists At Work program will offer a rewarding opportunity to two deserving, emerging artists. Artists At Work is a workforce resilience program designed to support the rebuilding of healthy communities through artistic civic engagement,” said Ann Burroughs, President and CEO of JANM. “We are proud to be a part of this initiative and to be partnering with AAAJ-LA. This program achieves two objectives at once. The LA community will benefit from a homegrown art piece that addresses the pressing issue of Asian hate. And the artists who are selected will be paid a living wage during the year they develop their projects.”
Applications for the fellowship are due October 18, 2021. A review of applications and final selections will be made jointly by JANM and AAAJ-LA and announced in November with the fellowship set to begin in December.
Requirements for the NCPD@JANM and AAAJ-LA artists are:

  • Emerging artist (more than five years of professional experience but less than 15 years)
  • Any artistic practice—visual arts, performing arts, literary arts, cultural practitioner
  • Los Angeles County based (lived in Los Angeles County for five years)
  • Experience with community engagement and/or social practice
  • Capable of including complex ideas of race and democracy into their work to develop a compelling art piece, or series, for public distribution that can increase visibility and inclusion of Asian and Pacific Islanders in the United States

For more information, and to apply, go to
Selected artists will receive a one-year salary, as well as full healthcare benefits. Following their participation in the program, they are eligible for unemployment benefits, and may continue healthcare coverage under COBRA if they choose. Artists working in any artistic discipline qualify for the fellowship. 

The Artists at Work initiative in Los Angeles is being hosted at several diverse cultural institutions across Los Angeles County, from San Pedro to Pasadena to Lancaster.  The program’s inspiration is the Depression-era Works Progress Administration that employed millions of jobless workers, according to THE OFFICE performing arts + film and the LA County Department of Arts and Culture.

The Los Angeles project marks the beginning of a national expansion of AAW made possible by $3 million in funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, following a highly successful pilot in Western Massachusetts.


National Center for the Preservation of Democracy at the Japanese American National Museum (NCPD@JANM)  Located in the historic Little Tokyo district of downtown Los Angeles, the NCPD@JANM will further reinforce JANM's mission to examine the rights, freedoms and enduring fragility of American democracy through educational programming that includes exhibitions, media arts presentations, public programs, conferences, and civic dialogue/public forums.

Asian American Advancing Justice/Los Angeles (AAAJ-LA) is the nation’s largest legal and civil rights organization for Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (AANHPI). Founded in 1983, AAAJ-LA serves more than 15,000 individuals and organizations every year. Through direct services, impact litigation, policy advocacy, leadership development, and capacity building, Advancing Justice – LA focuses on the most vulnerable members of Asian American and NHPI communities while also building a strong voice for civil rights and social justice.