About FAN

The Filipino American Network (FAN) What does it mean to be an American of Filipino descent?  Or a Filipino in America? The Filipino American Network (FAN) recognizes that we have individually have differing needs, challenges and experiences.  But we know that we have many gifts and resources to offer to both our Filipino and American communities. We also recognize that we are in a period when we have the power to make changes -- and the awareness to understand the need to act. We seek to call, challenge and serve fellow Filipino American adults by providing programs, resources and connections that will enrich their lives, support their growth and deepen their self-awareness of our Filipino heritage. We are driven by our community's need for unity and a leadership that encourages collaboration, growth and success. FAN was first established in 1995 as the Chicago-based Society of Filipino American Young Professionals (SFAYP), by Portia Sarmiento, Roxanne Volkmann, Michele Cacdac and Sheila Gonzalez. Within one year, it had nearly 200 members. In 2001, SFAYP evolved into the Filipino American Network. Since its inception, FAN has literally presented more than a hundred events and programs. From networking events and salsa lessons to homebuyer seminars and Filipino history lectures, FAN has sought to bring together Filipino Americans. In 2002, we started the Holiday Gift Basket Drive for Seniors, which creates and distributes hundreds of gift baskets for seniors in need during the holiday season.  It continues to be a Chicago holiday tradition. In 2003, we founded the Chicago Filipino American Film Festival (CFAFF), to celebrate the works of Filipino American filmmakers, as well as cutting-edge cinema from the Philippines. CFAFF is now the oldest and longest-running festival of its kind. In 2006, FAN created the Beyond the Barrelman Exhibition of Filipino Art, in collaboration with the Tahanan Cultural Foundation and the Pintig Theatre Group. That first exhibition featured the works of 50 artists of Filipino descent. The second bi-annual exhibition in 2008 exhibited the works of another 50 artists to a record audience. In 2008, we also launched the 1st Adobofest and presented the 5th annual Chicago Filipino American Film Festival to a record-breaking crowd. We also hosted a successful Introductory Tagalog class for adults, raised scholarship funds for Philippine youth in need and hosted our 6th annual holiday gift basket drive for seniors. However, everything we have done and all we hope to do depends on volunteers and sponsors. FAN is a not-for-profit organization based in Chicago. We have no paid staff, and we collect no membership dues. Our success is due solely on the hard work of dedicated volunteers and the support of Filipino Americans who share our vision and values. If you haven't already, please sign up for our mailing list to stay up to date on upcoming FAN events -- and opportunities to get involved. Our legal status: We are a 501(c)3  not-for-profit - EIN 36-4048000 in "Good Standing" with the State of Illinois. Our Mission Statement Mission:
  • To encourage the personal growth of the Filipino and Filipino American members of the organization, particularly those in the Chicagoland area through ongoing educational workshops and programs;
  • To serve as a network for Filipinos and Filipino Americans;
  • To establish a united and influential constituency group through active support of community activities and organizations committed to the betterment of Filipinos and Filipino Americans , Asian Americans and the greater community;
  • To cooperate and interact with other professional, cultural and community organizations and develop common goals for the benefit of the members of the organization, the Filipino and Filipino American and Asian American communities and the greater community through social, charitable, educational, civic and humanitarian services;
  • To serve as a resource of opportunities and provide role models for future generations of Filipino Americans;
  • To educate the Filipino, Filipino American and greater communities with respect to issues that affect their interests and participate in activities that lead to equal opportunities and fair treatment of all Filipinos, Filipino Americans and Asian Americans.