Programs & Exhibitions

Artist Phaan Howng with her Bag of Rocks for a Bag of Rice installationExhibition | Phaan Howng: A Bag of Rocks for A Bag of Rice

SEPTEMBER 17 - DECEMBER 12 (Closed Nov. 25-29)
gallery Hours for TU Students/Faculty/stafF

Exquisitely disposed rocks and trees and vegetation. The promise of an inspired space of meditation and detachment. Such has been of the Westernized image of the Chinese and Japanese garden. Yet, such enchanted “natural” spaces camouflage the histories of empire, wealth, privilege, exploitation, ecological extraction, and displacement behind their creation. Phaan Howng’s site-specific installation engages East Asian gardens as a case study of the dynamics embedded within these private spaces. 

Artist Phaan HowngGallery Talk & Opening Reception | Meet the Artist: Phaan Howng

THURSDAY, September 17, 6:30 p.m.

Celebrate the opening of Bag of Rocks for a Bag of Rice with an opening reception and talk by artist, Phaan Howng. Virtually experience the immersive gallery space while chatting with the artist about her process and the issues that compel her work.

If you require captioning during the event, please submit your request to by Sept. 14.

Forest BathingWorkshop | Forest Bathing: Nature's Therapy

$20 regular price, $15 AA&CC members

Reconnect with nature and your mind, body, and spirit from your own yard, nearby park, or even your house! Naturalist and Forest Therapy Guide, Ana Ka’ahanui, guides you through the experience of shinrin-yoku (“forest bathing”), a recent Japanese practice invented in the 1980s and based on Shinto and Buddhist reverence for nature. Adapted for our new world of social-distancing, this session will help you decompress and prepare you to adapt to and even thrive in an ambiguous and ever-changing world.

Korean kiteWishes in the Wind - Korean Kite Kit

Kits starting at $20 donation

Are you a parent or caregiver looking for a creative and challenging STEAM* activity to engage kids at home? Are you a teacher in search of a project to teach remotely that integrates art, social studies, and engineering? Order our Wishes in the Wind Korean Kite Kits. Each kit contains kite paper, bamboo kite spars, kite string and spool, illustrated instructions, STEAM info, and more. Contribute to building bridges across cultures with your purchase.
*Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math

Our Stories Virtual FestivalStorytelling Festival | Our Stories Virtual Festival

Thursdays, OCTOber 1 - November 5, 7 P.M.
VIRTUAL: Click on dates below to register

Celebrate our common humanity and the unique beauty of diverse experiences during this 6 week international community festival. 27 individuals from Baltimore to Bengaluru share their personal and cultural stories about life in quarantine, racism, relationships, social justice, empowerment, persistence, mortality, immigration, identity, courage, loneliness, and sustainable living through narrative, music, art, animation/video/short film, and more.

If you require captioning during the event, please submit your request to  at least 48 hours before the event.

OCTOBER 1, 7 P.M. (ET)

  • Jen Rolnick (Baltimore, MD) “I’m the Coronavirus”
  • Ikennah Umeh (Baltimore, MD) “The Towers”
  • Yuqi Wang (New York, NY) “Relationship”
  • Shanthi & Aishwariya Chandrasekar (Montgomery County, MD) “Kolam”
  • Martin Lamar (Lusaka, Zambia) “Lamar’s Graffiti”
  • Jena Burchick (Baltimore, MD) “Dear Country”
  • Marina Jansen (Frederick, MD) “The Dark Side of the Performing Arts”

OCTOBER 8, 7 P.M. (ET)

Introductory Remarks by Special Guest, Dr. Eric Miller. Director, World Storytelling Institute and Co-facilitator, Indian Storytelling Network.

  • M Pandiarajan (Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India) “Hard to Escape”
  • Priti Sudarsan (Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India) “Funny Folk Story”
  • Fathima Zarin (Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India) “The Elephant Chaser’s Daughter”

OCTOBER 15, 7 P.M. (ET)

  • Sushmita Mazumdar (Arlington, VA) “Sing to Me, Mr. Shuffle”
  • Charley Jo Raine (Towson, MD) “Fortress”
  • Sookyung Park (Laurel, MD) “Sookkyung’s Art”
  • Henry Chen (Towson, MD) “From Shanghai to Towson: One Immigrant’s Story”

OCTOBER 22, 7 P.M. (ET)

  • Renu Naryan (Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India) “Nonnie’s Big Adventure”
  • Pretigaya Haran (Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India) “Naarangi Bai, The Brave Teenager”
  • Sonia Bareja Punhani (Delhi, India) “The Story of Selfless Love-Mirabai”
  • Priyanka Chatterjee (Kolkata, India) “A Story and a Song”

OCTOBER 29, 7 P.M. (ET)

  • Caroline Maya (England) “Home”
  • Adrianna Morgan (Baltimore, MD) “Confusion, Comfort, and Clarity: Identity as Explored by a Caribbean-American Artist”
  • Meera (Bethesda, MD) “My Father’s Prayer Ritual”
  • Geethanjali Javed (India) “Three Religions”


  • Lopamudra Mohanty (Mumbai, India) “God’s Own Carpenter”
  • Goutam Bansantani (India) “Mysterious Room”
  • Lavanya Prasad (Bengaluru, Karnataka, India) “The Maharaja’s Whim”
  • Shreya Biswas (India) “Devotion of Salabeg”

Asia North: A Celebration of Art, Culture & CommunityAsia North 2020 Art & Music Exchange: A Celebration of Art, Culture & Community

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 16, 7 p.m.

This livestream event will feature art talks and performances by multidisciplinary artist Marlo De Lara (a.k.a. marlo egglant), hip-hop duo S.N.R.G. (Some Never Really Get), and visual artists Andersen Woof and Vidya Vijayasekharan. Asia North is a collaborative community celebration that recognizes, showcases, and honors the art, culture and the Asian heritage of Greater Baltimore, especially the Korean history of Baltimore’s Charles North community. Asia North 2020 features an online art exhibition, Tradition - Memory - Transformation, which showcases the works of 25 regional Asian and Asian American artists, and a brief history of Koreatown. Co-presented with Central Baltimore Partnership.

If you require captioning during the event, please submit your request to by Oct. 13.

Browse to the Asia North homepage

Gardening for the Future panel discussion

Panel Discussion | Gardening for the Future

Tuesday, OCTOBER 20, 7 P.M.

Join artist, Phaan Howng; scholar, Natasha Myers; botanical garden planner, Nicole DeFeo; and Herring Run Nursery assistant manager, Mary Lewis; as they deconstruct how ideal aestheticized gardens reflect power relations between humans and nature. Rethink how gardening practices can be mobilized to create more environmentally sustainable futures.

If you require captioning during the event, please submit your request to .edu by Oct. 16.

Pollinator gardenWorkshop | Pollinator Gardening: Designing Sustainable Habitats

Saturday, November 14, 11 a.m.
1st hour presentation: Free
2nd Hour interactive Workshop:
$15 regular price, $10 AA&CC members

Join Blue Water Baltimore and Phaan Howng to learn how you can help restore habitats for struggling pollinators by strategically planting native plants. Discover the how and why of pollinator gardening and its connection to watershed health. Learn how to design your own pollinator garden and digitally share your design with other workshop participants.

Past Events 

The Women of Shahnahmeh: The Women of Afarin RahmanifarExhibition | The Women of Shahnahmeh: The Women of Afarin Rahmanifar


Savor Afarin Rahmanifar’s arresting, large-scale mixed media paintings which showcase the compassionate, brave, loyal, and sensuous female characters of the Shahnameh, the Persian Book of Kings. Fusing her skills as a miniature painter with bold colors, spontaneous strokes, and natural poses, the artist captures the dreamscape and surreal world of the Shahnameh, evoking a fantasy of literature for a new and contemporary audience.

Gallery Talk & Opening Reception | Meet the Artist: Afarin Rahmanifar

FEBRUARY 13, 2020, 6:30 P.M.

Celebrate the opening of The Women of Shahnameh, The Women of Afarin Rahmanifar with an opening reception and listen to a talk by the artist. Born in Tehran, Afarin Rahmanifar’s artworks have been featured in galleries and University Museums across the US including at Yale University, in New York City (Columbia University), Berkeley, San Francisco (University of California), Carbondale (University of Illinois), and at Boston University.


Continuing Programs

Family Art Day

Family Arts Days

The AA&CC collaborates every semester with TU’s Community Art Center to engage families in experiencing and making art through drop-in art activities, performances, interactive gallery experiences, and story time.


Master Cambodian musican, Chum Ngek, helps a TU music student play the kong thom.

TU Pin Peat Ensemble (Cambodian Classical Music)

The AA&CC and TU Department of Music teamed up to offer the TU Pin Peat (Khmer classical music) Ensemble led by master Cambodian musician, Chum Ngek. Through this course, which was established in spring 2017, TU students expand their artistic and cultural horizons while contributing to the preservation and longevity of a tradition that was nearly decimated during the Khmer Rouge era in Cambodia.

Special thanks to the Maryland State Arts Council, Citizens of Baltimore County, and AA&CC members for making this initiative possible.

Asia in Maryland (AIM) Cultural Connection

This ongoing project highlights exhibitions, performances, workshops, artist residencies, and online resources featuring local Asian arts and culture in Maryland communities . It also incorporates The Asia in Maryland (AIM) Cultural History Project, an interdisciplinary studies course combining ethnography and oral history to explore, understand and document Asian arts and culture in Maryland. Student research informs Center programming. In fall 2015, we initiated the “Connection” with an exhibition, performances, workshops and family days introducing local audiences to the living Khmer art and culture in the Mid-Atlantic region.

Asia in Maryland (AIM) Cultural History Project

Asia in Maryland (AIM) Cultural History Project

The Asia in Maryland (AIM) Cultural History Project (IDFA 480/580 Interdisciplinary Fine Arts Special Topics Seminar) is an interdisciplinary studies course in Towson University’s College of Fine Arts & Communication. This course combines ethnography and oral history to explore, understand and document Asian arts and culture in Maryland. Students identify their own research topic and conduct independent research with guidance from the instructors throughout the semester.  Topics can include art, music, dance, theater, foodways, costumes, healing arts, martial arts and more. Students create a portfolio of their research as a culminating project at the end of the semester. Student projects will be used in programs at the Asian Arts & Culture Center.

Read about the topics OUR students researched...