Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Thanks, Philadelphia!

A big thanks to everyone who came to join us on May 21st at the Asian Arts Initiative and to Catzie Vilayphonh and her friends and family who gave me a whirlwind tour of the amazing opportunities and directions the Asian Pacific American community is taking in Pennsylvania.

I had the opportunity to see many of the impressive Khmer and Lao Wats, as well as observe the Philadelphia Lao New Year celebration and the Asian Pacific American Heritage Month celebration at the park. 

The new Family Style Open Mic format that the Asian Arts Initiative uses is a wonderful showcase of talent from both established and emerging voices. They also give out great door prizes and really help youth grow in their understanding of our collective heritage. Almost a hundred people showed up on a Friday night to see artists dancing, singing and sharing poems and experimental artwork. 

There's challenges here, make no mistake, but I'm left with a sense that there's amazing room to grow and flourish. With time and a commitment to excellence, I have no doubt they will!

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