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Asian American comedian wins major award

Kristina Wong is one of the recipients of this year’s Doris Duke Artists Awards. According to Theatrely, the award comes with a $550,000 grant, the largest award for individual performing artists in the country.

Wong is a comedian and social justice activist known for her work as a solo theater performer. She is currently performing her solo show Kristina Wong, Sweatshop Overlord at the Kirk Douglas Theater in Culver City, California, The Los Angeles Times reports. In 2022, Wong was named a Pulitzer Prize for the show.

Sweatshop Overload is based on Wong’s experience creating a group called the Auntie Sewing Squad, which was formed at the height of the pandemic. The group sewed masks during the mask shortage for front-line workers, at-risk individuals and other vulnerable communities.

Although it was emotional to relive that period of her life, Wong believes it is important to tell stories about the pandemic.

“Every single human being on this planet was impacted by it,” Wong told The Los Angeles Times. “And it’s just so strange that there isn’t any work on it. I think there is this expectation that all the reflections are going to be really depressing and overwrought and sad.”

On Monday night, Wong officially received the Doris Duke Artists Award.

“With this award comes the ability to hope and to dream and to imagine. I am grateful to all my peers who were part of that nominating process and I can’t wait to get back to the work,” Wong told Theatrely.

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