Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Lao Heritage Foundation Marks 11 Years

The Lao Heritage Foundation is holding their 11th annual cultural Gala on September 26 at Herndon Community Center. with Sahtu Press authors Nor Sanavongsay and Krysada Panusith Phounsiri. The evening starts at 7pm and tickets are $35 for most people at the door.Participants will have a chance to enjoy delicious traditional Lao cuisine, and traditional music and dance performed by the students of the Lao Heritage Foundation. A community dance will follow with music provided by the Woodbridge Band. There will be items for auction and raffles to raise funds to sustain and expand the cultural programs of the Lao Heritage Foundation,

Krysada Panusith Phounsiri is a Lao-American Artist and Engineer. His debut collection of poetry “Dance Among Elephants,” was published by Sahtu Press in 2015. His work has been featured in the Journal of Southeast Asian American Education and Advancement and the Smithsonian’s “A Day In The Life Of Asian America” digital exhibit. He is currently the chair of the National Lao American Writers Summit that will convene in San Diego in 2016 for the very first time. He was born in Laos in 1988 and came to America with his family in 1989. He graduated from UC Berkeley in 2010 with a Physics and Astrophysics Double Major with a Minor in Poetry.

He’s also a dancer, photographer and world traveler, developing the Snap Pilots Photography Project he founded with his friends.

Nor Sanavongsay is an award-winning Lao American writer in the San Francisco Bay area and the founder of Sahtu Press. He has been a member of the SatJaDham Lao Literary Project, the National Lao American Writers Summit, the Lao Artists Festival of Elgin, among many others.

Sahtu Press is a nonprofit publishing company with the mission to promote Lao literature to the world. Sanavongsay is the author of children's books inspired by Lao folktales, such as Xieng Mieng: A Sticky Mess, and original intellectual properties. A graduate of Northern Illinois University, he and his family came to the US in 1979, first resettling in Kingsport, Tennessee then moving to Elgin, Illinois.

This year is a significant year for the Lao community as it marks 40 years since the beginning of the modern Lao diaspora. Over 230,000 Lao are rebuilding their lives across the US in all walks of life with many who hope to maintain the rich artistic and cultural heritage of Laos.

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