About the Chinese American Arts Council (CAAC)

Mission & History

The Chinese American Arts Council (CAAC) was established in 1975 to support the cultural arts of New York City's Chinese-heritage communities and to generally raise awareness of Chinese performing and visual arts. Our mission includes engaging communities of all backgrounds through the arts, with a particular expertise in opera and performance.

Since inception CAAC has presented hundreds of performing artists and companies in numerous public events and venues — including Chinese operas, theatrical works, and musical concerts covering a range of styles and traditions. Our Gallery 456 exhibition space presents solo and group shows of works primarily by artists of Chinese or other Asian heritage, presenting works by over 250 artists to date. In recent years we have directly facilitated around four live performance runs and ten visual art shows annually. In addition, we co-sponsor or collaborate with other organizations to promote arts-related events and educational opportunities that are consistent with our mission.

CAAC is managed by Founder and Director Alan Chow with support staff Stieven S.P. Chen and Szu-Wei Ho.


Programming & Outreach

While often best-known for our expertise in bringing high-caliber traditional and modern Chinese opera, theater and music artists from Asia to perform in NYC, the full scope of CAAC’s activities fall into three broad categories:


  • Performing Arts: we curate and present traditional and modern Chinese opera, theater, dance, and concerts by artists of high caliber and renown.
  • Visual Arts: our exhibition space, Gallery 456, mounts eight to twelve solo and group shows per year and hosts related programming.
  • Outreach and Co-Presenting: CAAC often co-sponsors performances or collaborates with other presenting organizations in incorporating Chinese-arts performance into programs and offer assistance to non-Chinese organizations seeking to establish connections with respected performers. We regularly serve as a liaison to the local Chinese-language/focused media outlets to promote artists and events. Additionally, we support or facilitate educational and informative outreach initiatives to the broader NYC community.



The programs of Chinese American Arts Council have been supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs along with many other friends.