In October 1996, Yuko Nii founded the non-profit, Williamsburg Art & Historical Center, based upon her “Bridge Concept.” That concept envisions a multifaceted, multicultural art center whose mission is to coalesce the diverse artistic community, and create a bridge between local, national and international artists, emerging and established artists, and artists of all disciplines. She also wanted to preserve the WAH Center’s building, a French Second Empire masterpiece, and make it a functional part of the cultural community of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Thus through the international language of art we come to understand each other to create a more peaceful and integrated world. The WAH Center is truly a force for peace and understanding and it’s concept is incorporated in its acronym: “WAH” in Japanese means “peace, harmony or unity.”
The WAH Center distinguishes itself among local art organizations as a creative laboratory for innovation in the visual arts. Accordingly, WAH Center makes great works by living artists of diverse groups (local, national and international) accessible to diverse audiences by using a variety of innovative approaches to the fine art & performing art using science and technology and uses the interpretation of art to express opinions about environmental and social concerns. We also want to present shows that reveal our historical context, for humans of today are a product of their past.
The WAH Center will exemplify not only innovative leadership in the international art community, but other creative fields as well, pursuing original research to develop stellar collections, engaging exhibitions, creative publications and unique programs that includes an artists membership program, international shows, integrating fine art exhibits with performing arts as well as lectures and symposia.
The WAH Center places education and scholarship about art at the forefront of its activities, providing visitors with engaging and inspiring experiences that enhance visual literacy and promote cultural diversity by inviting fine artists, craftsmen with video & slide presentations, demonstrations of new techniques, and critical discussions on the state of the arts.
The WAH Center contributes to an interconnected, international community by being accessible to all and employing art to explore and celebrate the diversity of world cultures.
The WAH Center achieves excellence through diligent stewardship of resources and collections in its care, maintaining the utmost integrity and accountability in all areas of its operations.
1. To weave the WAH Center’s programs into the fabric of the local and international communities in order to enhance cultural and learning.
We embrace the special role as an art center at a great moment and place in time. The WAH Center is a catalyst to creative engagement between the art and wider communities and partners with colleagues to serve audiences worldwide. Our highest goal and greatest commitment is to integrate every aspect of the art center’s work into the international community. Accordingly, every member of the WAH Center’s staff serves as a liaison to that broader community and will contribute to the development of partnerships and collaborations that enrich the art experience while advancing the goals of the art center.