Dear Community,

My memory of the first Happy Family Night Market in 2018 is a vibrant gathering of creative energy collected in one space. I was impressed with how multi-dimensional it was: I encountered food from chefs and pop-ups I’d never heard of, new indie publications who continue to inform and influence me to this day, and—most impressively—a set of thought-provoking talks, workshops, and film screenings. There was so much more to discover in NYC’s Asian American creative community than I realized!

The very intentional way Happy Family creates and sustains an expansively considered community of creative Asian Americans with an entrepreneurial streak resonates with me. Happy Family connects me with a professional community of creative minds and souls who also understand the subtle violence of working within a system defined by other people’s racial and cultural biases.
Me on set in the Bronx, 2020.


On one hand, my personal friend group is filled with a diversity of Asian American creatives. On the other hand, in a city that is 12% Asian, I am the only Asian union set decorator working in New York City’s film and TV production industry! In my own creative industry, I’m often the only person of color in a room asking questions that are frequently met with “Hm, I never thought about that.” 🤔

When the pandemic began, I was super inspired by the initiative Happy Family created to cultivate a sense of community virtually with their #happyfamilyphotos project. I loved learning little snippets of other people’s personal histories, studying their family photos, and was motivated to post and share some of my own. Sharing my own archival photos and story was unexpectedly very powerful. I had no idea that by writing an Instagram caption underneath an old family photo, I would find myself in tears and connecting my current struggles with my great-grandfather’s.
My Bat Gong (maternal great-grandfather) in Boston, 1959.


As someone who started a Chinese tea social enterprise 10 years ago, I know how hard it is to start something and weather its leadership during tough times. I’m fully aware how lonely it can be, so I really connected with Angeline’s honest sharing in her November 21st newsletter “Step Up!” about how she has spent this year re-imagining and restoring her vision for Happy Family. 

Angeline’s intention to transform Happy Family into a co-op is a brilliant idea that really energizes me. In a year in which we have all been forced to think hard about the destructive power structures in our society—and our role in them—an organization committed to the co-op model inspires me to think more radically about how to imagine better alternatives for ourselves. And so I decided to step up and show my support! I’m encouraging you now to do the same.

Join me in helping rebuild this community project into a more equitable, sustainable, and resilient cooperative enterprise. Let’s work together to bring Happy Family back to life in 2021 and beyond.

Warmly and In Solidarity,

Community Member, 
Happy Family Night Market
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