The annual student-run gala ACE was hosted at New York University’s Eisner & Lubin auditorium on Friday, April 17 marking its 32nd year. Generasian interviewed ACE producer and NYU junior Melinda Wang (center) about the exciting Asian American event.
Q: What is ACE? What are the organizations that put it together?
A: ACE stands for Asian Cultural Expressions and is an annual charity fashion show run under the overlying umbrella club, Asian Cultural Union (ACU at New York University). Because the event is very large and takes a substantial time in planning, we have our own board for the annual event.
Q: How did you get involved? And for how long?
A: I have been involved in both ACE and ACU since my freshman year (September 2012). One afternoon, I saw a flyer about general board applications for ACE while waiting for an elevator at my then dorm, U-Hall [University Hall run by NYU]. Without hesitation, I applied for a position with my friend, and we both got in; me as a Cultural associate, she as a Marketing associate. This past year has been my third year in the organization.
Q: What was your approach for this year’s show, and what does the theme focus on?
A: At first, I only thought of how our theme, charity, sponsors, designers, etc. could be intertwined together and still be reflective of Asian culture and diversity. My team of directors really helped me figure out that we didn’t need to limit ourselves to just one art form. ACE 32:MUSE was truly a celebration of all different art forms –whether it be fashion, music, dance, etc.– while still being reflective of the Asian American diversity we represent today.
Our charity, the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA), stands for exactly the same things ACE wanted to emphasize this past year, and we hope ACE will one day become its own MUSE for generations to follow (hence the name ACE 32: MUSE).
Q: How long does it take to prepare the show, and how do you assemble your team? How can NYU students get involved?
A: The show truly does take an entire year to prepare. The previous Executive Director(s) usually chooses the directors (committee, associates, and executive) the previous school year, and during the beginning of the new school year (September of every year), the new board of directors come together and host interviews for each of the committees.
Each committee usually has about 3-4 associates, so in total there are about 25 board members in total. After interviews, each committee breaks off and figures out what needs to be completed over the span of the year (according to their own committee’s jobs).
NYU students can keep a watch out for our flyers and applications during the beginning of the school year in September and apply. An interview will follow if the application is selected.
Thank you to ACE’s Melinda Wang! Be on the lookout for a full report of the night’s 11 fashion collections and diverse performances on our blog soon!