Auntie Sewing Squad: Radical Care in the Time of COVID-19

Date(s) - 09/03
1:00pm - 2:00pm

Legion of Honor Museum

100 34th Avenue
San Francisco, California

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Auntie Sewing Squad has sewn and donated more than 350,000 cloth face masks for vulnerable communities. Get a sneak peak at Valerie Soe’s upcoming Auntie Sewing Squad documentary and hear Mai-Linh Hong, Chrissy Lau, and Grace Yoo talk about their book The Auntie Sewing Squad Guide to Mask Making, Radical Care, and Racial Justice. See live sewing demos in our permanent collection galleries. 


  • 1 to 2 pm Auntie Sewing Squad presentation, Gunn Theater
  • 11 am to 1 pm Sewing demos, galleries TBD

This public program is free and open to the public. Every Saturday, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco offers free general admission to all residents of the six Bay Area counties, this excludes special exhibitions.



Mai-Linh K. Hong is an assistant professor of literature at the University of California, Merced. Her research on refugee storytelling, race, and human rights has appeared in AmerasiaVergeMELUS, and other journals and edited volumes. Her research has been supported by fellowships from the Woodrow Wilson Foundation and the American Association of University Women. From 2017 to 2021, she served as co-chair of the Circle for Asian American Literary Studies. She is also a former attorney, a lifelong crafter, and a Sewing Auntie.

Chrissy Yee Lau is an assistant professor of history at California State University, Monterey Bay. She teaches and researches 20th century US history, Asian American history, women’s history, and public history. Her forthcoming book, New Women of Empire: Gendered Politics and Racial Uplift in Interwar Japanese America, tells the stories of young women who negotiated overlapping imperialisms and redefined womanhood. 

Valerie Soe’s experimental videos, installations, and documentary films have been exhibited worldwide. Her most recent, award-winning film, Love Boat: Taiwan, premiered in 2019. Soe is the author of the blog, which looks at Asian/American art, film, culture, and activism. Her essays and articles have been published in books and journals including Countervisions: Asian American Film CriticismAfterimageAsian Film, and Amerasia Journal, among others. She is a professor of Asian American studies at San Francisco State University.

Grace J. Yoo is a professor and former chair of Asian American studies at San Francisco State University. She is a medical sociologist with a background in public health who has spent 30 years researching and teaching about health, illness, and social support in the Asian American community. She has received numerous awards including the American Sociological Association Asia/Asian American section Best Book Award for Caring across Generations: The Linked Lives of Korean American Families (co-authored with Barbara Kim) and was also a recipient of the Association of Asian American Studies Excellence in Mentorship Award. In addition to these roles, she is an auntie and grand-auntie to many.

About the book

The Auntie Sewing Squad Guide to Mask Making, Radical Care, and Racial Justice

In March 2020, when the US government failed to provide personal protective gear during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Auntie Sewing Squad emerged. Founded by performance artist Kristina Wong, the mutual-aid group sewed face masks with a bold social justice mission: to protect the most vulnerable and most neglected. Paperback, 288 pages.

About the exhibition

Guo Pei: Couture Fantasy celebrates the extraordinary designs of Guo Pei—hailed as China’s first couturier—and includes more than 80 works from the past two decades highlighting her most important collections shown on Beijing and Paris runways. Through exquisite craftsmanship, lavish embroidery, and unconventional dressmaking techniques, Guo Pei creates a fantasy that fuses the influences of China’s imperial past, decorative arts, European architecture, and the botanical world. Through her extraordinary fashions, the exhibition reveals the trajectory of Guo Pei’s career as remarkable yet emblematic of China’s emergence as a leader in the fashion world in the early twenty-first century.

COVID-19 guidance 

Masking is strongly recommended, but no longer required for members of the public or employees while in the museum.

Contact Information

Public Programs

(415) 750-7694