Hyphen Magazine, DIY, And Giving A Little Back

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Like I've said before in this space too many times (or maybe not even enough) - if we don't do it ourselves, sometimes no one else will, and while it's not just up to us to spread the good word about the API community - because everyone else who's not Asian American you gotta do your part too (and I'll push you on every level) - that base, that core - sometimes it is us - and one of those organizations that's helped foster a community of artists, writers, community on the ground as well as online is Hyphen.

Sure, they might have a viewpoint you may not always like. You may not always agree with what they have to say, or where their writers come from - I don't - but that's the thing right? How do you know what you like and where you stand if you're never exposed to different POV's? How do you come to a balance if there's never dialogue? If there's never debate?

If that diversity that in some ways the API community is still building and getting out into the world showing the complexities of what we have to offer and who we are isn't ever seen?

The answer is that you can't.

And we need too.

But Don't Listen To Me. Listen To Someone That Really Gets It

Dear Friends,

As a volunteer-run publication, Hyphen is a passion project and a veritable labor of love. As one of its longtime contributors, I remain committed to the magazine because I love what Hyphen is about: coverage of Asian America that you won’t find anywhere else.

I joined Hyphen in 2005 because I wanted to help tell stories about our community that have gone overlooked by the mainstream press. I’ve written articles on topics ranging from eco-friendly nail shops and Filipino krumpers (a style of dance). I’ve also edited two sections of the magazine. All in the name of presenting and covering Asian America, unabridged.

Despite our niche, Hyphen has not been immune to the economic downturn. In the past year, our income dropped by half. But thanks to our dedicated staff, we continue to produce a magazine featuring top-notch articles, design, artwork, and photography.

But we need your help.

We need to raise at least $10,000 this summer, which is the cost of printing one issue of the magazine and paying small stipends to our feature writers. We rely heavily on donations to continue our work, so we ask that you donate what you can, from $1 to $1,000. No cliché here—every little bit helps.

If the power of the Asian American story isn’t enough, here are just a few reasons from the past year to continue supporting Hyphen:

• We were nominated for a 2010 Utne Independent Press Award, which recognizes excellence in alternative and independent publishing. We were selected from more than 1,300 publications.

• We attracted hundreds of submissions to our third-annual short story contest, the only writing competition to highlight emerging Asian American authors. Co-sponsored by New York City’s Asian American Writers Workshop, the winner receives a $1,000 award; their story is published in the Fall 2010 issue of Hyphen.

• We expanded our website and now feature additional web exclusives and more original work from our stand-out photographers and illustrators. We continue to provide daily commentary and coverage on issues that matter to Asian America, from hate crimes, to immigration reform, to pop culture criticism.

I hope you’re as inspired as I am by what we have accomplished so far this year, and that you’ll continue to support our work by sending in a tax-deductable donation during the month of August.

Thank you in advance and please know that we can’t do this without you!


Momo Chang
Hyphen editor and writer
Take Some Action And Put A Little Love Into It

Maybe it's today, maybe it's next week - but if you're so inclined - head on out to the Hyphen site and see about giving back if you can because like I've already said - if we don't support ourselves, sometimes no one else will.

And maybe one of those people can be you.