Call for Art: #AZNxBLM, let's go.

Anti-Asian violence is surging. We’re looking for creatives who understand that art is action.

ROCK PAPER RADIO is a dispatch for misfits & unlikely optimists by your favorite hapa haole, beet-pickling, public radio nerd. It’s a weekly email newsletter that shares three curiosities every Thursday - something to hold on to (that’s the ‘rock’), something to read (that’s the ‘paper‘), and something to listen to (you guessed it, that’s the ‘radio’). Themes include but are not limited to: rebel violinists, immortal jellyfish, revolution.
“Chopsticks in a bundle are unbreakable.” Mural credit: artists Moses Sun and Tan Nguyen. Photo credit: Kristin Leong, February 28, 2021, Seattle’s International District. Watch a short film about how this collaborative project came to life here.
This is a special edition of ROCK PAPER RADIO. Missing our usual format? Check out the archives and subscribe here.

We’re looking for creatives who understand that art is action.

Introducing: #AZNxBLM

As anti-Asian violence surges around the world, we need solidarity and creative awareness-building now more than ever. Together with The Slants Foundation and TED’s Mystery Experiment, ROCK PAPER RADIO is here with a rally call.

We are seeking to fund a collection of original art and writing that responds to the surge in anti-Asian hate crimes with determination and humanity. The theme of #AZNxBLM is solidarity between the Asian community and the Black Lives Matter movement.

The (new! extended!) deadline to submit a pitch is Sunday, March 28, 2021, 11:59pm. Selected artists and writers will earn $400.

See answers to FAQs below and reach out with your questions.



Why is this project called #AZNxBLM?

The title of this project is a hashtag because it is also a call for coalition building and connection across platforms and cultural differences. Please use #AZNxBLM whenever you share about the project.

What’s the mission of #AZNxBLM?

#AZNxBLM is calling for solidarity and collaboration between members and allies of the Asian community and the Black Lives Matter movement. We are pro-community and anti-racist. We believe in the power of art and the insights of outsiders. We’re cautiously but fiercely optimistic.


What kind of art are you looking for?

  • visual art such as painting/screen printing/illustration/photo essays/etc

  • music

  • music videos

  • short films

  • audio features

  • personal essays (800 - 1500 words)

  • reported features (800 - 1500 words)

  • interviews (800 - 1500 words)

If what you want to create is not on this list, but it clearly links to the #AZNxBLM mission and you’re really excited about it, pitch it anyway and see what happens.

How much does will selected artists be paid?


What’s the deadline to submit a pitch?

The deadline has been extended to Sunday, March 28, 2021, 11:59pm. A limited number of acceptances will be offered on a rolling basis, so pitching early is recommended.

If my pitch is accepted, what’s the deadline to deliver the final work?

Friday, April 30, 2021, 11:59pm.

How do I pitch #AZNxBLM?

Click here to submit the pitch form or click the button below. The application is quick and painless.


Can I submit work that’s already been shared or published elsewhere?

No, we are seeking original works that have not yet been experienced by the public. We are seeking non-exclusive rights to your work, so you will be able to share/publish the piece elsewhere after we share it, but we do ask that you not publish it anywhere else for a limited time period.

Can I submit a pitch even if I am not Asian or Black?


Can I submit as part of a team or collaboration?

Yes. We encourage collaborations! Teams will be compensated $400, same as individuals.

Can I submit a pitch even if I am not a subscriber to ROCK PAPER RADIO?

You can. But here’s a hint: subscribing’s not a bad idea. Also, subscribing is free and it’s fun here. Join us! You can unsubscribe anytime with one click and we’ll never share your info. You can check out the latest issue here.

Where can I find some creative inspiration?

We love this mural and this short film about how it came to life by artists Moses Sun and Tan Nguyen.

This is a great 23-minute audio feature from NPR’s Code Switch podcast by Shereen Marisol Meraji and Kat Chow: A Letter From Young Asian-Americans To Their Families About Black Lives Matter.

This is a thoughtful essay exploring history and empathy between Black and Asian communities by Brando Simeo Starkey for The Undefeated: Why we must talk about the Asian-American story, too.

This is a fascinating deep dive into the history of Chinese and Black solidarity by Chang Che for The Washington Post: The forgotten alliance between Black activists and China.

Who started #AZNxBLM?

That would be Kristin Leong, the misfit and unlikely optimist behind ROCK PAPER RADIO. She’s a biracial producer and multimedia storyteller.


It’s a weekly newsletter for misfits and unlikely optimists that shares three curiosities every Thursday - something to hold on to (that’s the ‘rock’), something to read (that’s the ‘paper’), and something to listen to (that’s the, you guessed it, ‘radio’). Themes include but are not be limited to: rebel violinists, emerald hunting, imperfect heroes.

What’s The Slants Foundation?

The Slants Foundation is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to changing culture using arts and activism. They are working to amplify underrepresented voices, especially those within the Asian American community and those addressing controversial and timely issues through a social justice lens.

What’s TED’s Mystery Experiment?

This Twitter thread is good introduction.

I am not an artist, but I would like to support #AZNxBLM. What can I do?

Sharing this call far and wide is a huge support as we get this project off the ground. Please use #AZNxBLM in your captions, and if you’re sharing on Instagram or Twitter, please tag @RockPaperRadio and @theslantsfound so we can give your shout outs some social media love.

If you have other ideas for how to support this project, don’t hesitate to reach out. Here’s how.


You can find ROCK PAPER RADIO on Instagram and Twitter @RockPaperRadio. You can help spread the word about our community of misfits and unlikely optimists by sharing this call on the social medias with a comment that says LET’S GO #AZNxBLM. Or something like that.