In honor of Mental Illness Awareness Week (Oct 3-9) and World Mental Health Day (Oct 10), Oakland Asian Cultural Center (OACC) is exhibiting award-winning mental health comic Press Play to spark meaningful conversations and combat stigmas around mental health.
Co-presented by ARTogether and Asian Health Services, in collaboration with community partners NAMI San Francisco Mental Illness (NAMI) San Francisco, Justice Murals, and Lincoln Summer Nights, the month-long event will feature a family-friendly collaborative painting activity and panel discussions with mental health professionals and local Bay Area writers who engage in mental health topics in their work. Local organizations offering mental health services are also tabling during key event dates to share resources and information.
Written by Edward Gunawan and illustrated by Elbert Lim, the comic is created especially to address the stigma of mental health in the Asian/Asian American as well as immigrant/refugee communities. Through a first-person narrative and evocative hand-drawn black-and-white illustrations, the comic follows an individual’s mental health journey in overcoming anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation.
A recipient of “Speaking Out” Mind HK Media Award for challenging negative narratives around mental health and a mini-grant from ARTogether, the comic was also nominated for a Shorty Social Good Award and two Webby Awards. Translated into 6 languages including Chinese and Spanish, and later published as a chapbook by Sweet Lit, the comic has now been viewed by over 10,000 readers across 100 countries.
Exhibition is open from Oct 1st to 31st during OACC’s regular office hours, Wednesday – Saturday from 12pm to 5pm, or by appointment. Visit projectpressplay.com/exhibition for more information and RSVP below for these special events:
Oct 1, Sat @ 4:00 pm at Oakland Asian Cultural Center
Opening Reception (in-person / hybrid)
with a special reading by Bay Area writers Dawn Angelicca Barcelona and Hannah Wastyk
Oct 8, Sat @ 2:00 pm at Oakland Asian Cultural Center
Mental Health Professionals Discussion Panel (in-person / hybrid)
Featuring representatives from Asian Health Services and NAMI San Francisco
Oct 13, Thu @ 5:00 pm at Lincoln Square Park
Collaborative Painting with Justice Murals at Lincoln Summer Nights (in-person)
A fun family-friendly collaborative painting activity — supplies and materials provided, no experience necessary
Oct 29, Sat @ 2:00 pm at Oakland Asian Cultural Center
Writers Discussion Panel (in-person / hybrid)
Featuring Bay Area poets Michelle Lin and Christine No