The text above reads: "This certificate is presented to the Lao Minnesotan artists in recognition of their international, national, and local contributions to communities. As the third largest Lao populated state, Minnesota recognizes the significance of the dedication and performance of these artists. Therefore, with the appreciation and respect of the people of Minnesota,this certificate is presented to Lao Minnesotan Artists. Celebrated: August, 2012"
While it is NOT a formal proclamation this year, it IS a certificate of recognition, and our community has many reasons to celebrate this month in Minnesota, with deep thanks to all of you have have been a part of this journey over the years. Maybe in 2013 it will even be a nationally celebrated holiday of Lao American Artists Heritage Month.
We began in Minnesota because it is home to over 50 Lao American artists in different stages of their careers, including the only two Lao Americans in the country out of 200,000 to hold fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the only two Lao Archibald Bush Artist Fellows, a Carey Prize in Spoken Word winner, and has been the host to national Lao American exhibits and gatherings including the National Lao American Writers Summit, Legacies of War: Refugee Nation Twin Cities, Lao'd and Clear, a SatJaDham Conference and many others. Lao Minnesotan artists have been recognized by the State Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans for their arts leadership and lifetime achievements, and many other exceptional accolades. So we're very happy to see the Governor recognize those contributions to international, national, and local arts and culture.
Hopefully, this recognition will continue to inspire and energize others to add their voices to the great American tapestry, and to treasure the great stories and visions within themselves and all living beings.