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"From Chinatown, With Love" project merges art with businesses for the Lunar New Year

Project merges art with businesses for the Lunar New Year
Project merges art with businesses for the Lunar New Year 02:38

NEW YORK - The New York City Council met Thursday to consider supporting a resolution introduced in the House of Representatives designating the Lunar New Year as a federal holiday. 

The holiday is the most important celebration for the Asian community and takes place in either late January or early February. 

In 2015, the city designated Lunar New Year as a holiday for public schools. This year, the Lunar New Year will be celebrated on Jan. 22. 

Just in time for the Lunar New Year is an art and charity project called "From Chinatown, With Love." Young artists help long-established merchants get attention and keep growing their businesses. 

Art is everywhere you look in Chinatown. Colors, shapes and sounds, infused with joyful traditions and extraordinary craft. Young artists from everywhere find inspiration there.

"We're taking our generation's interpretation and spin on that tradition as an opportunity to also connect with businesses that have been in our community for a long time that we want to show our gratitude and appreciation for through the arts," said Ali Rosa-Salas of the Abrons Art Center. 

Rosa-Salas met with CBS2's Dave Carlin at the Chinatown headquarters for the W.O.W. Project, where the two art and community groups joined forces to created an eye-catching calendar, hand-crafted charms, and small, beautifully illustrated storybooks about a pair of resourceful rabbits.

It's the work of five artists, including Singha Hon.

"So we have a good fortune charm, the bunny, ceramic bead, the silk pouch, which is also made from fabric for one of the businesses. And then here we have a little story zone that... I illustrated," Hon said. 

Excitement grows for the Year of the Rabbit, and for the Year of the Rabbit to signify an abundance of health happiness and prosperity. . 

"The rabbit is exciting, because it feels to me like a lot of good fortune and a lot of hope," Hon said. 

Beginning January 14th, a week ahead of the start of the Lunar New Year, free calendars with purchase are handed out at numerous Chinatown shops. 

An at Kopitiam, Wen Wah Co., TLB Trading Co., EWA Trading Co. and Spongies in Chinatown, there will be something extra special. Customers who come to these businesses and spend $45 or more will be gifted fabric pouches with good luck knots, charms, and illustrations. 

"The mission is to channel visibility to those businesses in a creative way through art," Rosa-Salas said. 

The collaboration is in its fourth year. 

Chunica Kesh, owner of Eliz Photo, told Carlin the art - and a procession on Saturday - brings extra attention to her business. 

"That's how they find out about us also," Kesh said. "In a way, they come here to support us as well." 

A great example of art and community, allowing younger and older generations to brainstorm and succeed together.  

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