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WAANT: Finding Strength in Every Story

Welcome to Wellness through Asian American Narratives and Theater (WAANT), a groundbreaking collaborative initiative aimed at addressing mental health and disability awareness within Asian American communities. Our program seeks to create a safe, supportive space for individuals to share their stories, experiences, and perspectives. Our goal is to harness the power of narratives and theater to spark meaningful conversations, break down stigmas, and encourage understanding and empathy.

This event was held on Tuesday, April 25th Heading link

WAANT logo

This interactive event, produced by the UIC-funded Wellness through Asian American Narratives and Theater (WAANT) program, featured stories collected by students through WAANT and as part of the Disability and Human Development course DHD 420: Mental Health, Asian Americans, and Community Engagement.


The Wellness through Asian American Narratives and Theater (WAANT) Production was well attended by UIC and non-UIC students, staff, and community members at the UIC Richard Daley Library!

The WAANT Production is a multimedia creative arts and resource sharing event that is connected to: (1) a one-year UIC-funded creative arts program called Wellness through Asian American Narratives and Theater (WAANT); (2) a course called DHD 420: Mental Health, Asian Americans, and Community Engagement; and (3) bringing together on and off campus partners as a means to share mental health resources.

Both the WAANT initiative and DHD 420 involved collaboration among students and on- and off-campus partners that included community artists, activists, and community leaders. The effort provided a platform to address mental health and disability, especially in Asian American communities whose members have often been silenced due to cultural barriers and stigmas.

WAANT gives students and faculty, community members, and artists a unique opportunity to share Asian and Asian American stories through multimedia creative arts, displays, and dialogues.
The event was free, and guests were welcome to stop by and leave anytime.

The full-day agenda and schedule consisted of presentations, dialogues, exhibits, integrated arts, performances and resource sharing.

10:00 am: Attendee registration & check-in

10:30 am – 7:00 pm: On-campus and off-campus partners and resource tables
All attendees met and networked with on-and off-campus partners and leaders.

11:00 am to 7:00 pm: Multimedia art displays, short films, virtual links, and capstone project
All attendees met with story collectors, storytellers, community artists and activists, staff directors/faculty, and advocates

11:00 am to 7:00 pm: Interactive stations/displays
Timing of performances/open mic presentations and interactive stations varied throughout the day

1:00 pm – 3:00 pm: WAANT Story presentations, performances, and displays.

3:30 pm – 7:00 pm: DHD 420: Story Presentations, 1-470

WAANT Production for Public Ended by 7:15 pm

On-Site Accommodations Included:
• Live Captioning by Tina Dillon –1 PM – 7 PM
• Map of the WAANT production activities
• WAANT Team members/volunteers were on-site to provide additional supports

This event is supported by the Arts and Culture Project at Access Living, an independent living center for people with disabilities and Shirley Ryan
Abilities Lab.
The contents of this event were developed under a grant from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR grant number 90RTCP0005).  NIDILRR is a Center within the Administration for Community Living (ACL), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).  The contents of this event do not necessarily represent the policy of NIDILRR, ACL, or HHS, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.
This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council