Image Magazine
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Image Magazine

Reimagining IMAGE Magazine

One of America’s oldest AAPI publications gets a broader scope — and a new look.

IMAGE Magazine is one of the oldest and longest-running English-language publications serving Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities in the United States, with a rich history spanning more than four decades.

Founded in 1977, IMAGE began as the quarterly newsletter of the Organization of Chinese Americans (OCA) and launched the same year the group opened its national headquarters in Washington, D.C. Its pages were originally dedicated to chapter updates and allowed for thousands of members to keep up with the latest announcements from OCA staff and leadership in the nation’s capital.

As the AAPI community’s power and diversity grew, so did IMAGE’s mission and scope. In the 1990s, it transitioned from a newsletter to a national magazine for “Chinese Americans in the United States.” By 2005, it had expanded to serve all “Asian Pacific Americans,” long before OCA’s own rebrand to OCA-Asian Pacific American Advocates in 2013. And as it switched to publishing biannually, IMAGE soon became a platform for rising AAPI artists, writers, and activists across the country. The magazine also chronicled significant moments in early civil rights and AAPI political history — including the murder of Vincent Chin, the establishment of AAPI Heritage Month, and the appointments of AAPI Cabinet Secretaries by various administrations.

The evolution of IMAGE Magazine — Covers from the 1980s through 2020.

Today, IMAGE showcases photography, art, creative stories, and commentary that shatter stereotypes and celebrate the vibrant AAPI experience. But over its many evolutions, IMAGE has always kept to its physical form, and its potential remains untapped.

It’s time to change that.

Today, we’re announcing the relaunch of IMAGE, with a complete redesign across our print edition and the rollout of our digital home here on Medium. The Spring/Summer 2021 issue is already on its way to OCA members and the latest edition features several new sections:

  • Briefing: OCA member and chapter highlights, updates on federal policy impacting AAPI communities, and commentary from OCA members.
  • Features: Must-read longform stories, essays, and in-depth profiles.
  • Arts: Illustrations, photography, and poetry from creatives across the country.

This moment would not have been possible without the efforts of our donors, staff, contributors, artists, and photographers. IMAGE will always remain a place for AAPI voices, we’re excited for what’s ahead.

— Rosario and Andrew

To receive future print editions of IMAGE, visit ocanational.org/membership.

If you would like your work to be considered for publication or learn about advertising opportunities, please contact andrew.peng@ocanational.org.

Behind the Cover

Our Spring/Summer 2021 cover was independently designed by Tony Lee Curtis. View his portfolio at tonyleec.com.

Original Artwork by Tony Lee Curtis for IMAGE Magazine Spring/Summer 2021. Image courtesy of the artist.

“The koi fish represents adversity, good luck, and perseverance. A story we all share is the struggles our parents and ancestors have gone through to give us what we have today. The lessons we’ve learned from them directly impacts our current and future lives. I hope when people see this work, they see a familiar symbol from their heritage with a modern taste to show its relevance to both our struggles and fortunes.”

Tony Lee Curtis is a graphic designer and illustrator based in Michigan. Being a Korean American, he understands the importance of uniting cultures while advocating for equality. Through positivity and creativity, he creates art to encapsulate moments we hold dear into a language we can all understand. Tony has spent the last four years collaborating with various organizations to accomplish this while donating to multiple mental health awareness programs and advocacy groups. You can find him on Instagram at @Tonyleec_.

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OCA-Asian Pacific American Advocates

OCA-Asian Pacific American Advocates is a national membership-driven organization dedicated to advancing the well-being of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders