Andy Ha is owner of the Nha Trang One Vietnamese Restaurant in Chinatown, a family business that dates back to 1992.

On a rainy afternoon, he received one of 100 traditional Lunar New Year calendars from the W.O.W. Project, part of an effort to help small businesses in the neighborhood called “From Chinatown With Love.”

What You Need To Know

  • "From Chinatown With Love" is a collaboration between the Henry Street Settlement's Abrons Arts Center and the W.O.W. Project, an arts and advocacy organization

  • The program includes the distribution of traditional Lunar New Year calendars to small businesses in Chinatown to help boost sales

  • This is the fifth year of the collaboration. The celebration welcoming the year of the dragon begins on Feb. 10

“It’s at the intersection of art and community and mutual aid, and really harnesses the power that art can have in supporting and uplifting small businesses,” Mei Lum, founder and director of the project, said.

This is the fifth year of the program, a collaboration between W.O.W. Project and Abrons Arts Center, part of the Henry Street Settlement.

W.O.W. Project is based at the Wing On Wo porcelain store, which has been in Chinatown since the 1890s. Lum is a fifth generation owner of the shop on Mott Street.

Shoppers are asked to spend $35 or more at any of a dozen participating stores to receive a calendar.

This year, all the shops are located within two blocks of the Manhattan Detention Complex, which is being deconstructed to make way for a new jail.

“We want people to come to this block, see the site, and really take in the impact that this is having, the deconstruction, what the mega jail will look like, and the shadow it can cast on Chinatown,” Lum said.

Lum says “From Chinatown with Love” will raise $42,000 in sales for businesses this year. More than $80,000 has been raised since the program began. An exhibition at Abrons looks back on the initiative’s successes.

“I think especially when we are a cultural organization that is really dedicated to celebrating the culture of New York City, doing a Lunar New Year activation is a no-brainer,” Ali Rosa-Salas, vice president of Visual and Performing Arts at Henry Street Settlement, said.

Business owners taking part are happy to get the boost, especially with the disruptions that come along with the building deconstruction and eventual construction of a new facility. Andy Ha says he’s glad to be connected to the program.

“They come here, they build after COVID-19, they do something I couldn’t imagine with them, help us to stay here, we have been here for 30 years,” said Ha, who confessed they came close to closing for good during the pandemic, but decided it was important to continue the family business.

Ha says with the help of this effort, they will hopefully be around for at least another 30 years.