Williamsburg Arts Festival:

Myrna D. Santos & Bienvenido Banez (Extended Arts Center, Richmond Hill, NY)




Filipino-American Arts Fiesta: An Artistic Milieu by, with, and for Filipino Artists


Rationale and Background


                In the Renaissance of Philippine Art and Culture, a prominent and lively platform for the Filipino artist and the Filipino-American artist has yet to be established.  Oftentimes, many artists from the homeland come to America, seeking validation of their artworks and/or artistic visions, which have not found an appreciative audience in the homeland.


                While the Philippine Government agencies here in America are focused on serving resident Filipinos' need for diplomatic, consular, and other bureaucratic concerns, many if not, most Filipino artists from the Philippines have been attracted or drawn to use the ample available spaces found in Philippine Consulates' lobbies, libraries, or auditoriums, which have been transformed into, albeit, de facto art exhibition spaces.  If the artist's goal is to introduce oneself to the expatriate Filipino community and showcase artworks to would-be buyers and/or sellers of artworks, this goal would have been well served.


                However, while succeeding in helping artists with temporary exposure, and even remunerative rewards for artworks with popular appeal, this short-term effort does not serve the long-term goal of establishing respect and high regard for what our Artists are truthfully accomplishing:  showing the world Who we are as Filipinos, by visually expressing in original forms and colors the excitingly myriad permutations of the Filipino Soul.  


                Hence, the home-grown Filipino artists and Filipino-American artists alike need to have access to a friendly environment (or space) dedicated primarily to showcasing products of their artistic visions, where their works are allowed maximum exposure and interaction with other artists' works from all over the world.  


                In any milieu or mingling of art critics or connoisseurs, art historians or writers, academicians or intellectuals, and other appreciative articulators who can connect to show commonalities of Filipino-made artworks with larger spheres of artistic genres and styles --- infinite horizons of possibilities open up profound insights on how Filipino and Filipino-American artists are contributing their exuberant visions of humanity to the interconnected global realities of our times.




1.  To provide internationally recognized Exhibition Space(s) for Filipino and Filipino-American artists to exhibit all forms of artistic works in all modes and mediums, and develop facilities or enhance available physical spaces        toward a permanent Philippine Arts Gallery & Exhibition space.


2.  To create Crossroads of Arts, an intersecting Environment or Space where community members visually experience artistic works, meet in person and interact with Filipino and Filipino-American artists and know them as persons.  More importantly, to recognize, appreciate, and accept our Artists as vital and integral culture-bearers of the evolving authentic  Filipino identity and spirit.


3.  To explore, experiment, and pursue innovative approaches, plans, and strategies to create Viable Market Opportunities to help sustain Filipino & Filipino-American artists' livelihood for survival and continuing artistic productivity.


4.  To increase and enhance the understanding and appreciation of Art as a Channel of Life's truths and wisdom, stimulated by intellectual and aesthetic criticism of writers, journalists, academicians, historians or other visionaries who view works of artists from different & varied genres, mediums, styles and schools, or historical eras. 


5.  To establish the impact of expression and creativity to mental health and general well-being of the Fil-Am artists and the general immigrant community.


6.  To maintain and sustain Filipino artists' visibility, exposure and active                 participation in the Renaissance of Philippine History, Art, and Culture here in America and in the Philippines.




  1. Organize, hold, and celebrate the Filipino-Arts Fiesta annually in the five (5) boroughs of Metropolitan New York City (Brooklyn, Bronx, Staten Island, Queens, Manhattan), or in the tri-state areas of New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut.


  1. Connect the networks of various Filipino arts organizations, galleries, artists' groups to find ways   of collaborating or cooperating in mutually beneficial projects, programs, or services, following principles of transparency and accountability.


  1. Provide access to Venues for tertulia, or intelligent discussions & forums on Filipino artists & writers and their works, as well as journalists, community leaders and organizers, fundraisers, marketers & advertisers, Internet bloggers, Facebook friends, etc., and their projects.


  1. Secure the production of the Las Islas Filipinas Journal as the publication where documentation or transcripts of tertulias or intelligent discussions, art reviews, play reviews and commentaries, etc., are contributed on a regular quarterly basis, for on-line distribution or in hard copies.



  1. Establish policies, procedures, and guidelines to ensure artistic integrity, remuneration, or credit in the marketing, distribution, sale, exhibition, and other uses of art works entrusted by Filipino and Filipino-American Artists to community members.


  1. To reach out to Filipino-American communities across the country and   engage their participation through arts festivals, arts exhibitions, discussions, forums, publications, etc., the great works of Filipinos and Filipino-American artists.


Lutgarda Resurreccion

Program Director,Extended Arts Center, 2016

Event Management:

  • Proposal to Yoko Nii/ WAH (MOU)
  • Design the Event
  • Establish Date/Time
  • Design Flyer 
  • Create the Letters to Collaborators & Partners
  • Collaborate with other organizations, artists, schools
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Press Release
  • Design Program
  • Volunteers/Committees
  • Maximizing Attendance Turnover
  • Donations & Sponsorships
  • Banners
  • Journal/PlayBill

Event Components:(One Week Celebrations)

  • Meet & Greet Forum & Tertulia ..Shaping/ Weaving/ Influencing the future of Fil-Am Communities in the Tri-State Area; Focus on Fil-Am Leadership
  • Art Exhibits:  Bienvenido Bones Banez: World Renowned Filipino Surrealist Artist
  • Food Show
  • Comedy Night: Utak Isla, Iwanan na 
  • Zarzuela "The Coming of the Cross and the Sword" ( Philippine History & Culture)
  • Awards Night (Sampaguita, Parangal, etc) Presenting the 10 Most Influntial Fil-Am in NY


Participating Artists

  • Bienvenido Banez
  • Joel Soliven
  • Lida Rufo


Collaborators/ Partnerships


Banig sa Bood




The WAH Center offers an artist membership program called the “WAH Salon Art Club”. Every January, the members can participate in the Annual WAH Salon Show, which gives exposure to artists of a wide range and spectrum – from emerging, to mid-career, and established artists in all media. It fulfills one of the WAH Center’s missions based upon the WAH Founder’s “Bridge Concept”. At the Salon, fine art can meet functional art (craft) and performing art (music, dance, theater, and poetry). Technology can also give means to artist expression. Here, young and old and all nations and cultures can bridge their expressions through the international language of art. In concept, the Salon is all the colors of the artist’s palette. We invite everyone to come and visit us and see the merit of the international “Bridge Concept” in the arts.


In late October 1996, Yuko Nii founded the non-profit The WAH Center (Williamsburg Art & Historical Center) based upon her Bridge Concept. That concept envisions a multifaceted, multicultural art center whose mission is to coalesce the diverse artistic community, and create a bridge between local, national and international artists, emerging and established artists, and artists of all disciplines. Thus through the internatinal language of art we come to understand each other to create a more peaceful and integrated world. The WAH Center is a force for peace and understanding and its concept is incorporated in its acronym: “WAH” in Japanese means “peace” or “harmony” or “unity”.


WAH Center (Williamsburg Art & Historical Center)

135 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY 11213



  • J train to Marcy Ave
  • L Train to Bedford Avenue

Marcos Panlilio

Director/The Nursing Office Extended Arts 

Bienvenido Bones Banez

Director of Visual Arts/The Nursing Office Extended Arts

Ludy Resurreccion

Program Director

Myrna D. Santos

Executive Director, Founder