Happy Family Night Market is a community-owned and managed organization.
Our mission is to celebrate the Asian diaspora and deepen cross-cultural exchange through food, art, and education.
Happy Family began in NYC as a one-night-only experimental “night market” and has since grown into an annual festival and grassroots community organization. Past programs have included thoughtfully curated food, film, and music festivals, site-specific and participatory artworks, craft and culinary workshops, panel discussions, drag shows, performance art, and improv comedy. Since 2018, our festival has drawn over 3500 attendees, and supported over 500 artists, educators, chefs and social entrepreneurs.
When the pandemic forced us to postpone our festival, we shifted our programming online and launched a monthly mixtape series called Happy Family Radio, and a digital cookbook called Oral Traditions. We also launched several visual storytelling series, including a series of comics and illustrations meditating on pandemic life, as well as an archival photo series called #happyfamilyphotos, in which community members share a personal family photo (biological or chosen) along with a statement about what it means to them. We’ve also conducted interviews with alums and different community stakeholders, all of which are a means for facilitating intergenerational and cross-cultural exchange both within and beyond the diaspora.
In 2022, we launched our first formal internship program at The New School, and began piloting year-round programming in addition to our annual festival. We are currently transitioning from a single-member LLC to a multi-stakeholder cooperative, collectively owned and managed by the community.
We are currently a W.A.G.E. Certified organization in good standing. W.A.G.E. Certification is a national program initiated and operated by W.A.G.E. (Working Artists and the Greater Economy) that publicly recognizes nonprofit arts organizations demonstrating a history of, and commitment to, voluntarily paying artist fees that meet their minimum payment standards.
While we value seasonal, organically-grown, and local sourcing, we acknowledge that, in practice, sustainability is often tied to privilege, transparency, and access.
We prioritize partnerships with food distributors and brands who can supply our participating chefs & restaurants with ingredients that support our values.
We aim to improve our community’s relationship to food through education and storytelling.
We substitute single-use plastic with compostable servingware, and divert approximately 800 lbs of organic waste from landfills annually through our partnership with Roho Compost.
For us, sustainability extends beyond the context of environmental conservation and into the inner workings of our business and organizational model. (See: Co-op.)
Interested in collaborating with Happy Family Night Market on a project? Learning how to design your own “night market?” Cross-promoting to our community? Inviting us to speak or teach a workshop at your organization or company? There are many ways to partner with us!