Kearny Street Workshop

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Silkscreen artist and former executive director Nancy Hom takes artwork out of the International Hotel a day after the hotel's tenants were evicted

Kearny Street Workshop in San Francisco, California, is the oldest multidisciplinary arts nonprofit addressing Asian Pacific American issues. The organization's mission is to produce and present art that enriches and empowers Asian Pacific American communities.

Kearny Street Workshop, or "KSW" was founded as an artists' collective in 1972 in the International Hotel on San Francisco's Kearny Street. The founders—Jim Dong, Lora Joh Foo, and Mike Chin—and early leaders were involved with the Asian American movement, a Civil Rights Movement-inspired period of organizational and community building in the 1970s. Evicted from the I-Hotel along with the building's other tenants in one of San Francisco's most long-lived and contentious city development battles, KSW has wandered through various sites in Chinatown/Manilatown, North Beach, the Mission, and SOMA. The organization now has a gallery and performance space in the SOMA District at ARC Studios and Gallery - 1246 Folsom Street, in San Francisco, CA, USA.

In 2008 Kearny Street Workshop combined with Locus Arts, another multi-disciplinary Asian American Arts organization in San Francisco to pool resources that served the local community. KSW's past and present programs include a small poetry press, visual arts, martial arts, and writing classes, readings, music, gallery exhibitions, performances, and film screenings, as well as the Asian American Jazz Festival and the annual emerging artists festival APAture.

Some of KSW's participants include Russell Leong, author and philosopher of Asian American studies.


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