Thursday, September 25, 2014

Center for Lao Studies launches new crowdfunding venture to promote Lao cooking!

The Center for Lao Studies (CLS) kicks-off its online fundraising campaign for a new food project, a pop-up restaurant called Lao Lanxang. The pop-up will open once a week in San Francisco's Tenderloin district, starting in November, and serve authentic homemade Lao cuisine. The restaurant project serves three purposes: 1) to educate the public about Lao food and culture, 2) to reclaim food that was previously believed to be something other than Lao, and 3) to create a revenue source for CLS to sustain its operations and programming.

To fund this new project, CLS is launching a crowdfunding campaign through Indiegogo. CLS is hoping to raise $15,000 through online donations to cover the initial costs of starting and running a restaurant. Donors who support the fundraising campaign will receive different gifts depending on the donation amount they provide, and the donation is tax deductible. Gifts include a CLS T-shirt, free dishes at Lao Lanxang, a personalized menu, and a cooking lesson. The deadline for donations is November 3, 2014.

"Crowdfunding is a great way to reach more people and to get people really excited about the restaurant opening," said Mary Keovisai, Program Coordinator. "Even if you can't make it to the restaurant when it opens, you can still support Lao Lanxang and the Center for Lao Studies through the Indiegogo campaign. With the help of folks out there who want to promote Lao culture and Lao Studies we'll be able to show more people what Lao food is really about."

If the pop-up restaurant is successful, CLS will look to open a permanent restaurant that will provide cooking lessons and training to youth and use the proceeds from the restaurant to fund its other academic and community education programs

For more information or to donate, please visit

The Center for Lao Studies was formed in 2006 in response to a void in Lao Studies at the time. CLS mission is to advance knowledge and engagement in the field of Lao Studies through research, education and information sharing. Today, CLS is an invaluable academic and resource center for scholars around the world interested in Laos and the Lao diaspora.

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