From Fundraising

Celebrating Asian American Talent for a Cause at ATG’s 9th Annual Fashion for a Passion

Photo | Kathy Tran

Nov. 29, 2017 (DALLAS) – Fashion for a Passion presented by Audi Dallas (title sponsor) gave guests from all over the Dallas community a fresh take on Asian American fashion, music and art at its 9th annual event on Nov. 11 at new venue sixty five hundred. Through sponsorships, ticket sales, live and silent auctions, a raffle and additional donations, more than 350 glamorous guests gathered together to raise more than $30,000 net, all of which benefit the mission of Against The Grain Productions, a Dallas-based non-profit, with its supported orphanages and underprivileged children in Asia, scholarship fund and community outreach programs for 2017.

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Thai “PopUp Supper” at New Jettison to Benefit ATG – Sept. 19

Thai "PopUp Supper" at Jettison to Benefit ATG - September 19
Chef Mateo Roberson on Tonle Sap Lake in Cambodia, one of the largest lakes in the world.

To celebrate the opening of their latest bar and event space Jettison (1878 Sylvan Ave, located at the new and exciting Sylvan | Thirty mixed-use development), Houndstooth Coffee will host a series of intimate PopUp Suppers featuring renowned chefs across the Dallas Metroplex serving up dishes from their favorite cuisines from around the world. Their inaugural event will take place from 6:45 to 8:30 p.m. on Monday, September 19, with Thai favorites from Chef Mateo Roberson (Instagram: @mateoroberson) and will benefit Against The Grain!  We are so grateful to Chef Roberson for selecting our organization as the beneficiary for PopUp Suppers’ kickoff dinner. Space is limited, so reserve your spot today. Read more

Nearly $420 Raised from Tasty Tails Dine for Cause May 18

Tasty Tails Richardson

Against The Grain Productions is overwhelmed by the amount of support from the local community at their latest Dine for a Cause. On May 18, Tasty Tails in Richardson donated about $420 that will go toward our Asian orphanages and underprivileged children, scholarship fund and community outreach programs. The donation was a result of a generous 25 percent of receipts from ATG supporters who dined at Tasty Tails that day.

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Sukan Jewelry Hosts Two-Day Sale; Will Donate 10% to ATG

Sukan 201533685
Sukan Jewelry, one of our 2015 Fashion for a Passion presenting designers, will offer a two-day promotion with 10 percent of proceeds donated back to ATG. Sukan believes in the power of giving by being a global citizen and providing opportunities to women in India to learn a skill and be employed. The living wages allow for financial independence and provide women a stronger voice. USE CODE: ATG10 during checkout at Promotion starts Thursday, Dec. 10, and ends Friday, Dec. 11, at 11:59 p.m. (online only).

February Sales of Operation Babylift to Support Adoptee DC Wolfe

The Against The Grain family’s first members were not only its founders but also the adoptees featured in the award-winning documentary film Operation Babylift: The Lost Children of Vietnam, directed and produced by our president and co-founder Tammy Nguyen Lee. The poignant film, a 5 year passion project that was completed and released in 2009, follows the personal journeys of the orphans who were were airlifted from war-torn Vietnam to the United States. It was this film that inspired the founding of Against The Grain and our support of poverty-stricken orphanages in Asia.

DC Wolfe
Executive Producers and ATG Co-Founders Tammy Nguyen Lee and George Lee (center) with several of the interviewed adoptees of Operation Babylift. DC Wolfe is pictured far left.

DC Wolfe, an actor and writer, is one of the adoptees who is featured in the film. Although very private by nature, he openly shared his intimate and painful story to help others better understand the unique situation that adoptees face.  He has supported Operation Babylift by attending numerous screenings and even speaking at Asian American Leadership and Educational Conference (AAALEC) panel at Southern Methodist University to discuss the film and his personal story.

The ATG family was saddened to learn that DC is currently battling cancer. In an effort to return the love and support that he has shown for many years in sharing his powerful journey and raising awareness about adoption, Tammy and the ATG Board would like to donate 100% of all proceeds from sales of Operation Babylift DVDs during the entire month of February to help offset DC’s medical costs.

If you would like to show your support, please click here to purchase your own copy of Operation Babylift. As you reflect on the message of love throughout the month of February, we encourage you to share the love and spread the message of hope that is embodied in the film by also considering copies of Operation Babylift for family and friends. We thank you so much for your continued support of our mission and hope that through our programming and community outreach efforts, you are not only enlightened and educated about Asian American culture, arts and issues but also inspired to do your part, in any measure, to make life better for others. #beCAUSE.

Read more Against The Grain posts featuring DC Wolfe and Operation Babylift:

#FFAP2014: Introducing Our Musical and Now Dance Performers!

Fashion For a Passion LogoDALLAS, TX – Dallas non-profit Against The Grain Productions proudly announces the performing artists for its much-anticipated Fashion for a Passion charity event. The celebration of Asian American talent, ranging from Filipino to Korean and Singaporean to Thai Americans, will kick off with musical performances by three Kollaboration Dallas artists and, for the first time, a dance performance by a 2014 Against The Grain Artistic Scholarship winner.

The 2014 Fashion for a Passion Featured Performers include:

  • Heart & Hero
  • Jonavi
  • Andrew Yun
    • Lizzy Tan

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Sixth Annual “Fashion for a Passion” Announces 2014 Designer Line-Up


Seven Designers to Feature Exclusive Creations

Saturday, November 1 

2014 FFAP Promo

DALLAS, TX – Against The Grain Productions has selected seven emerging and established Asian American designers to join their elite roster of Presenting Designers at their upcoming Fashion for a Passion charity event, one of Dallas’ hottest must-have fashion tickets and charity events of the fall season.  Now in its sixth year, the evening showcases the talent of Asian American artists and springboard for careers, while serving as a place to bring together the entire community to celebrate up and coming talent and raise money for a worthy cause. Designers have launched careers with the event, including Khanh Nguyen of Nha Khanh, who started as a UNT graduate and within a few short years has since gone on to be featured in Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus. Hanh Dang of Lucy Dang, went on to win the title of Texas’ Next Top Designer and is now carried in Belk. The event benefits ATG’s supported orphanages, scholarships for student artists and leaders and community outreach programs to inspire, educate and entertain the community. Read more

Fashion for a Passion No. 5 Marks New Milestone

DALLAS, TX – Non-profit ATG Against The Grain Productions hosted its annual charity event Fashion for a Passion No. 5 on Saturday, Oct. 12th at The Dallas Contemporary Museum in the Dallas Design District. The show was attended by 365 guests who helped to raise $35k, which will go toward for ATG’s supported orphanages in Asia, scholarship fund and year-round outreach programs.

Copyright by David Loi
Copyright by David Loi

Entering the Dallas Contemporary, guests got to enjoy the ambiance set by Lumiere Lighting & Drapery and music by DJs Super T, tasty bites by Royal Catering, sips by Ben E Keith and dessert by Sugarbee Sweets Bakery. Hung from the rafters with red rope hangers were the eight designers’ t-shirt design pieces. The work of eight Exhibiting Artists – Jody Pham, Trung Vuong, Kathy Tran, Cameron Lee Phan and ATG Artistic Scholarship winners DJ Wang, Grace Kwon, Xiaoye Jiang and Catherine ‘Kit’ Zauhar’s were displayed, flanked by tables of fabulous silent auction packages. Pre-show Musical Performers from ATG’s community partner Kollaboration Dallas included Kassy Levels, Mijee Park, J.O and Y.O!, as well as a special performance by ATG Artistic Scholarship winner Kendyl Ito. The show kicked off with a surprise ensemble performance. As guests took their seats, President/Founder Tammy Nguyen Lee, Community Outreach Directors Jared Rehberg and Hue Dao Miner and 2012 Artistic Scholarship winner Thoa Nguyen honored the two 2013 Artistic Scholarship winners who were present at the event, showing videos of gratitude from the ones who were unable to be present in person.

Copyright by Ivy Do
Copyright by Ivy Do

“It was a special, emotional and wonderful milestone night, and we could not have done it without the efforts of so many who were willing to devote the necessary money, time and talent to making this event happen,” said President/Founder Tammy Nguyen Lee. “It is no small feat that an organization like ours can continue to pull off an event of this caliber and magnitude consistently year after year. I’m tremendously proud of our team and sincerely grateful to all who have helped our cause.”

First time attendee and 2013 Kollaboration Dallas winner Kassy Levels gave it her all, staged a fantastic set and enjoyed every minute of FFAP. “It was definitely a classy event! The scene was an incredible display of art, talent and fashion,” said Levels. “I am proud to say I was part of FFAP No. 5 not just because of the event, but more importantly, the organization that directly benefits the event.”

Copyright by David Loi
Copyright by David Loi

Musical entertainers and exhibiting artists shared their love and support to ATG President/Founder Tammy Nguyen Lee and the Board for all their hard work to get FFAP where it is today.

Kendyl Ito expressed her thanks to ATG for recognizing her as a scholarship winner and musical performer. “Thanks so much ATG! It truly is an honor to be an Artistic Scholarship winner, and I couldn’t be more proud to be a member of the ATG community now. You all inspire me everyday and give me the extra push to continue in my artistic endeavors! Be bold and always live life ‘against the grain.’”

“As a musician and artist myself, I’ve done my fair share of performances. Still, FFAP was a more precious experience than most; in that it was an event supporting aspiring artists follow their dreams. I’ve never felt more blessed and honored to be part of an event,” performer Mijee Park said. “Seeing people come out to not only socialize but support so many different artists, communities and causes were amazing. It shows that ATG is being proactive which is something that we desperately need in this world, in order to better ourselves and do better onto others.”

Copyright by David Loi
Copyright by David Loi

Exhibiting Artist Kathy Tran attended the event and realized how much effort and opportunities ATG has provided for audience and volunteers to mingle. “I was exhilarated to be a part of the event with other artists of all forms. I had the opportunity to connect with quality people of the Asian community in Dallas…I was home!”

The evening was emceed by actress/model LeeAnne Locken and CBS 11 Morning News Reporter Elizabeth Dinh, who engaged the audience from the start with lively banter and humor. In honor of the anniversary, even the catwalk was shaped in a “5.” Beautiful models from Page Parkes Management, Dragonfly Agency and Campbell-Wagner Runway strutted off the diverse collections of eight Presenting Designers, including Nikki Duong Koenig of Cykochik Custom Handbags paired with Vera Wang’s Viviona swimwear, Kim PhamBecky Hollands, Danh Ta, Cac Lam of Cac DeMode, Texas Next Top Designer winner Hanh Dang of Lucy Dang and Jerry Matthews of Nine Muses.

Copyright by David Loi
Copyright by David Loi

Returning designers expressed their appreciation to the show for helping getting them positive label exposure, as it has for FFAP success story Khanh Nguyen of Nha Khanh.

“Against The Grain’s FFAP was a successful event not only to help me launch my career as a designer, but also to spread support for education in Asian American communities and to provide funding for orphanages in Asia,” designer Danh Ta said. “This is why I chose to return and participate as a veteran designer. ATG has been a true inspiration pushing me to accomplish more as a designer while in turn helping to raise awareness for those who are less fortunate.”

Copyright by Ivy Do
Copyright by Ivy Do

Jerry Matthews of Nine Muses closed the show and said, “FFAP is always a highlight of the year for me. It’s so great to work with such passionate people while doing something we love and giving back to a great cause. The event itself was so fabulous, it seems like ATG somehow make every year a unique experience that is way different than their previous shows. I can’t wait for next year.”

Copyright by Chi Tran
Copyright by Chi Tran

First time presenting designers expressed humble gratitude for being selected to showcase their work for Fashion for a Passion and awe at the show’s production value.

Becky Hollands has been eager to participate in her first Fashion for a Passion and has made the goal to return again in the future. “This year marked my first year and I am so grateful and honored for the opportunity to chase my dream and in doing so, utilizing my time and talent to celebrate the Asian American community alongside artists and musicians to promote opportunities for scholarships, funds and raise money for orphanages in Asia. ATG has given me the opportunity, the voice and the extra push in taking the plunge to pursue my dream as a fashion designer and launching my own label.”

“ATG put together a great pack of designers,” said Vera Wang. “All the designs were strong and refreshing…Viviona Swimwear is proud to be part of it.”

Each presenting designer donated at least 2 pieces to be auctioned for charity live. Additional auction pieces were given by FFAP veteran Nha Khanh, Dora Yim, Ann Hoang by Ann Hoang, Le Dragon d’Or and Watters. The night’s top bids were for a black racer back wool peplum top with embellishments and black wool flared pant by Nha Khanh, a 18K White Gold with Diamonds “Handcuff Necklace” from The Bound Collection by Le Dragon d’Or and a “Vega” ivory textured organza wedding gown by Watters.

Copyright by Chi Tran
Copyright by Chi Tran

To see photos from the evening’s event, please visit the ATG Flickr site, with photos courtesy of David Loi, Chi Tran and Ivy Do.

The non-profit will launch a $10k social media holiday fundraising campaign starting November 1st, to help reach its annual goal and a record of $50k raised in one year, 100% of which will go towards the next year’s giving budget for orphanage aid, scholarship funds and outreach programs.

ATG Against The Grain Productions, a Dallas-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, promotes Asian American cultural awareness through compelling media projects and raises funds for international orphanages. In addition to giving out an annual scholarship to exemplary Asian American students pursuing a degree in the arts, they also produced the feature documentary, Operation Babylift: The Lost Children of Vietnam, which has screened at over a dozen film festivals nationwide and received the Audience Choice Award for Best Feature Film at the Vietnamese International Film Festival and the Documentary Audience Choice Award from the Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival. For more information, visit or