Asian American Artists Reclaim Place at 17th Annual APAture Festival

Kearny Street Workshop (KSW) has been a hub for emerging Asian Pacific American (APA) artists for 45 years, and is the oldest APA arts organization in the country. Their flagship event, “APAture,” is a multidisciplinary arts festival now in its 17th season, featuring the work of emerging APA artists in the San Francisco Bay Area. The festival showcases talent in film, literature, music, performance, comics, zines and illustration, and visual art. From October 13 through November 4, over 60 artists will present their work to over 1,000 festival-goers across multiple venues. This year’s theme “RE/place” will create art that explores issues dominating the news today, including displacement, migration, and reclaiming place. Among the featured artists on the lineup are Janice Sapigao(Literary Arts/KQED’s Women to Watch), SETI X(Music/United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell), and APAture newbie Jody Stillwater, film category featured artist.

“Knowing yourself makes your voice more powerful,” shares Stillwater. “I'm excited to help contribute to a deeper and more concentrated modern Asian-American voice. Part of that is looking at where we came from, where we went and why, and of course the vision of where we're going. APAture carries that forward, in one place, and I'm very excited to both have a voice in it and be exposed to other unique & strong voices in the community.”

In a period of U.S. history being called the “watershed moment” for Asian-Americans in the entertainment industry (see Crazy Rich Asians), it’s organizations like Kearny Street Workshop that nurture, inspire, and create safe spaces for APA creatives to thrive.

With famous APAture alums like comedians Hasan Minhaj (The Daily Show), Ali Wong (Baby Cobra), Gene Luen Yang (writer/artist, DC’s Super Man), and Hellen Jo(writer, Cartoon Network’s Steven Universe), Kearny Street Workshop has earned the reputation of being a launching pad for APA artists from the Bay Area.

“APAture 2007 was the very first real ‘show’ I ever performed stand-up at, that seated an audience of over 10 people, who actually paid to be there.” Shares Ali Wong, when she was honored as a recipient of KSW’s inaugural, Focus Award. “I'm so grateful to Kearny Street Workshop for providing me with the opportunity to get up on stage. The experience was electric and motivated me to do stand-up again and again and again.”

Kearny Street Workshop has launched anindiegogo campaignthis year to help fund the festival which provides honorariums and stipends to artists. Additional featured artists this year include Jyun Jyun and MissTANGQ (Performing Arts), Malaya Tuyay (Visual Arts), and Jess Wu-O (Book Arts). For times, locations, and ticket information for the APAture Festival 2018 - RE/place, please visit


About Kearny Street Workshop

Kearny Street Workshop (KSW) is an organization dedicated to producing, presenting, and promoting art that empowers diverse Asian Pacific American communities. Since 1972, KSW has offered multidisciplinary arts presentations and workshops to Bay Area community 

About APAture

APAture is a multidisciplinary arts festival for emerging Asian-Pacific American (APA) artists to develop their art, affirm their voices, and share their work with the APA community. For the past 17 years, Kearny Street Workshop's festival has shaped the culture of the San Francisco Bay Area by addressing the realities and narratives of APA lives.


WHO:Presented by Kearny Street Workshop

WHAT: APAture 2018 RE/placeis a multi-day festival featuring 60+ up-and-coming Asian Pacific American artists in Comics, Zines and Illustration, Film, Literary Arts, Music, Performing Arts, and Visual Arts.

 WHEN & WHERE: APAture 2018: RE/place Festival Schedule:

(Multiple Locations in SF) Arc Gallery & Studios 1246 Folsom St. | Asian Art Museum 200 Larkin St. | San Francisco Public Library 100 Larkin St. | Z Space 450 Florida St. | Hotel Utah 500 4th St.

APAture 2018's Opening Reception at Arc Studios & Gallery (1246 Folsom Street SF, CA) on Friday, 10/19 from 6-10 PM. Come join us as we reveal our Visual Arts exhibition, enjoy some great food by a surprise local vendor, vibe to some great tunes, and honor this year's APAture Focus Award recipients, Barbara Jean Reyes and Taraneh Hemami.