Tuesday, July 27, 2010

MN State Arts Board's Artist Initiative Grants!

The next application deadline for the Minnesota State Arts Board's Artist Initiative grant program is Friday, August 27, 2010.

Artist Initiative grants support and assist artists at various stages in their careers. The program encourages artistic development, nurtures artistic creativity, and recognizes the contributions individual artists make to the creative environment of the state of Minnesota.

Several things about the program are different this year:
— Artists, working in any discipline, are eligible to apply
— The grant range expanded; artists may request from $2,000 to $10,000
— Projects will need to include a community component
— Applicants will need to apply online, using the Arts Board's Web based forms

Many things about the program are the same as they have been in previous years:
— Artists, at any stages in their careers, may apply
— Grants must be used to fund a specific project that will enhance the applicant's artistic or career development
— Artists will have a one-year period to expend the grant funds.

Visit the Arts Board's Web site to apply:

A series of grant information sessions will be held in communities throughout the state, the schedule will be posted during the last week of July.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

1 Month til Lao American Writers Summit!

It's hard to believe but we're closing in on the Lao American Writers Summit!

It's been a strange, strange little road to get to this point, but I'm taking the time out to say how proud I am of everyone involved for trying to make this an amazing gathering and a celebration of the Lao American writers and the artist's spirit.

An important part of our process is to remind community members that no one will be turned away for lack of funds. If you really want to come, while registration would be helpful to help us pay for food and the summit materials, pay what you can, and we'll figure out a way to make it all work.

This is an event for our community, and if you like writing and art, and ever thought of telling your story or helping someone else tell theirs, this is a space for you.

Also, thanks to the generous support of the Minneapolis Foundation, we're pleased we can offer free registration for the first 50 Lao American teenagers in Minnesota who are interested in acting, film, spoken word, art and writing who want to participate. We're also extending the offer to Lao American college students from across the country to show support for our youth.

To register a youth email: info@laowriters.org with the name of the youths you'd like to register.Please do so by August 1st so we can make the best preparations for it.

This summit will feature Oscar-nominated film-maker Thavisouk Phrasavath, and many other award-winning Lao American artists and writers from across the country, including Lao actors who've appeared on Lost and Pirates of the Carribbean, HBO's popular show Russell Simmons' Def Poetry Jam, and more.  They've all presented widely, including the Smithsonian, the Mall of America, and colleges and high schools around the world and across the US. This is a historic gathering, and we hope you'll join us!

Monday, July 19, 2010

2 weeks until the Convention on Cluster Munitions!

The Convention on Cluster Munitions may sound like an unusual thing to celebrate, but for Laotians around the world and others affected by these deadly weapons, it's a meaningful and important step towards creating a safer world!

The Convention on Cluster Munitions prohibits all use, stockpiling, production and transfer of Cluster Munitions. Separate articles in the Convention concern assistance to victims, clearance of contaminated areas and destruction of stockpiles.Cluster Munitions are the leading cause of unexploded ordnance in Laos, where 33% of all UXO fatalities are children. Many of their parents today weren't even alive during the war for Laos that ended in 1975.

The Convention was adopted in Dublin by 107 states on May 30th, 2008 and signed later that year on December 3rd to go into force on August 1st, 2010 as a binding international law. The United States and the Obama administration is not a signatory to the convention.  The First Meeting of States Parties is scheduled to be convened in Vientiane, Laos, 8 - 12 November 2010.

You can learn more about UXO in Laos by visiting www.legaciesofwar.org

Juxtaposition: CROSSOVER

Be sure to catch the CROSSOVER Annual Student Exhibition 2010 during FLOW Northside Art Crawl on Saturday, July 24, 3-8pm@ Juxtaposition Arts, 2007 Emerson Avenue North in Minneapolis.

There will be art to see and buy by Juxtaposition youth artists and this summer's STEP-UP Apprentices, Community Power environmental art by North High students, mural and pocket park unveiling with FLOW Northside Arts Crawl and Urban Homeworks, community wish tree, real-time painting demonstration, live t-shirt printing, birthday cake to kick off the Juxtaposition's 15th Anniversary year!

The FLOW Northside Arts Crawlis now in its fifth year on West Broadway, showcasing  hundreds of unique Northside Artists. Come to look, listen, make, taste, move and buy Northside! Go to www.FLOWnorthside.org for event details, performance schedules, locations, artists, parking and shuttle information.

Asian Media Access @ FLOW Northside Arts Crawl

The fifth annual FLOW Northside Arts Crawl occurs once a year showcasing various art for the public to see. There will be art booths and exhibitions, musicians, and many exciting activities to participate in. Asian Media Access will have an exhibition booth at this event from 3pm to 8pm on July 24th.

FLOW takes place along W. Broadway. Asian Media Access will be in the New 5 Points Building (KMOJ Building) on W. Broadway and Penn. Ave. N.

The AMA booth will have a media exhibition, origami,calligraphy, and other fun activities. Moreover, this is a good chance for you to learn more about Asian Media Access and Northside arts organizations and make connections or reconnect with the local community. There will also be food, drink, concerts and performances at FLOW!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A wish, a dream, a journey.

I dream of at least one Lao American writer in every state by 2020.

That's one reason why I do what I do amid a cosmos of stories.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Speculations Reading Series Summer Schedule!

The SPECULATIONS READINGS SERIES, hosted by the multicultural speculative fiction organization SF MINNESOTA, continues monthly, mostly on Friday nights, mostly at DREAMAVEN BOOKS in Minneapolis. The readings are free, and include a reception with complimentary soda pop and cookies.

On Thursday, July 29, from 6:30-8:00 p.m., WILLIAM F. WU and ROB CHILSON read their fiction at the LOFT LITERARY CENTER, 1011 Washington Ave S, Minneapolis. Mr. Wu will also be Guest of Honor, and Mr. Chilson Special Guest, at DIVERSICON 18, a multicultural speculative fiction convention, also hosted by SF Minnesota and occurring July 30-August 1 at the Best Western-Bandana Square, St. Paul. (Weekend-long admission to Diversicon 18 is $40 Adult.)

William F. Wu has published over a dozen novels, includig the six-volume YA series "Isaac Asimov's Robots in Time" (Avon). He is best known for the science fiction-Western novel Hong on the Range (Walker, 1989), adapted into a comic book trilogy for Image Comics (1997). He has written over 50 short stories for such markets as Analog SF (with Rob Chilson), Asimov's SF, Amazing Stories, Omni, Twilight Zone Magazine, and Pulphouse, and the anthology series Borderlands, Wild Cards, and Tales from Jabba's Palace, and his story collection, Wong's Lost and Found Emporium and Other Odditties (Pulphouse Monthly, 1992; the title story was made into a Twilight Zone episode). A Ph.D. in American culture, he has published the nonfiction book, The Yellow Peril: Chinese Americans in American Fiction, 1850-1940 (1982), and essays on the "yellow peril" in speculative fiction and "Science Fiction in China: Producing the Model 'A.'" He has taught college writing classes and led creative writing workshops for writers of all ages. His collection of Jack Hong stories from Pulphouse is now available as an ebook. He lives in Southern California. Visit his website: www.williamfwu.com

Rob Chilson is the author of seven novels, including As th Curtain Falls (1974), The Star-Shrouded Kings (1975), The Shores of Kansas (1976), Men Like Rats (1989), Rounded With Sleep (1990), and Black as Blood (1998), and over 60 stories in such markets as Analog (including nine with William F. Wu), Asimov's, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Galaxy, Universe 7, Year's Best SF (Gardner Dozois, ed.), and Year's Best SF (David G. Hartwell, ed.). He lives in Kansas City, Kansas. Visit him at www.robchilson.com

On Friday, August 13 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. TERRY FAUST reads his fiction at DREAMHAVEN BOOKS, 2301 38th St E, Minneapolis. Mr. Faust writes that he "started writing screenplays for my short personal films back in the '80s but I realized that prose was much easier on the pocket book and just as much fun. I'm a freelance photographer, photo instructor, inventor, and in 2010 I can honestly say--novelist." His novel Z is for Xenophobe is forthcoming from Sam's Dot Publishing. His short fiction has appeared in two issues of Tales of the Unanticipated, with a story forthcoming in the anthology Northern Lights (Michael Merriam, ed.). He lives in Minneapolis!

We hope you can join us!

Monday, July 05, 2010

Cha: Call for submissions

Cha: An Asian Literary Journal is now accepting submissions for "The China Issue", an edition of the journal devoted exclusively to work from and about contemporary China. The issue, which will be published in June 2011, will feature poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, scholarly works and visual art exploring the modern Middle Kingdom.

They are looking for submissions from a wide range of Chinese and international voices on the social, political and cultural forces shaping the country. Please note that they can only accept submissions in English. Distinguished Chinese scholar and poet Yibing Huang joins Cha as guest editor for the issue. Huang has graciously agreed to lend his extensive knowledge of Chinese literature and keen critical eye to help select the pieces and shape the issue.

If you would like to have work considered for "The China Issue", please submit by email to submissions@asiancha.com by 15th April, 2011. Please include "The China Issue" in the subject line of the email or your work will automatically be considered for one of the regular issues. Submissions to the issue should conform to the guidelines available at: http://www.asiancha.com/guidelines.

Friday, July 02, 2010

3rd International Conference on Lao Studies:July!

The Third International Conference on Lao Studies registration closes Monday, July 5th. The conference is scheduled to begin on Wednesday, July 14th at 9AM and end on Sunday, July 16th at 12 noon.  The conference venue is the Charoen Thani Princess Hotel in Thailand. The conference schedules, including the film festival, and abstracts are available online. For those who wish to submit their presentation for publications, please follow the instructions online at http://www.laostudies.org/conferences.

Lao American Writers Profile: KP Phagnasay!

One of the writers who will be speaking and presenting at the Lao American Writers Summit is KP Phagnasay from Fresno, California.

Khetphet Phagnasay was born in Laos. His family escaped in 1979 from the communist government to find a better future in America. KP earned his B.A in Theatre Arts from California State University, Fresno, then pursued his MFA in Acting from the University of Hawaii, Manoa, where he studied Asian Theatre forms. KP is an Actor, Director, Playwright, and Acting coach for over 15 years. As an acting coach, he has taught at various studios in California and Hawaii.

He has worked and trained in many of the theater organizations, and talent agencies, and has helped cast talents, and translators for many projects like Lost (Thai- Laotian actors) , Finding Hope Now (Asian cast), California Babies First (South-East Asian mothers) , San Jose Juvenile Center (Vietnamese voice over/translator) various other commercials , and voice overs for non specific roles.

As an actor, KP has been featured in commercials, film/television such as Lost,Hawaii, Northshore, independent films and local theatre.

KP worked on the feature film Finding Hope Now as both the Acting Coach and as an actor. KP is well known with various non-profit organizations often sitting as consultant, or committee member to groups such as FIRM, Stone Soup, and Asian Fest, Better Healthy Community Initiative, California Arts Endowment, and South-East Asian Writers/Artists, LA’s East-West Players Asian Theater Company, working with, training and developing acting workshops, and performance pieces that most relate to the Asian community and Culture.

He has toured with PASSAGES (stories of Refugee experiences) production- (honored by the State of California) in Japan and various cities, and sang lead in a Chinese Opera Group in China and Hawaii. He also tours with his one man show focusing on growing up in Laos through the eyes of a 5 year old child.

Staying loyal to his heritage and to all Southeast Asian refugee generations and other Asian communities, KP keeps his focus on bringing out the talents of those communities for many issues and offerings. KP constantly works to bridge the gap to bring all talents into the mix.

We look forward to seeing his work and presentations at the summit! For more information, you can visit: www.laowriters.org

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Lao American Writers Profile: Mali Phonpadith

Mali Phonpadith is one of the Lao American writers joining us for the Lao American Writers Summit in August in Minneapolis.

Emerging writers and even more established writers could learn a great deal from the way Mali makes efforts to balance the creation of her art with innovation, community and a professional life. She has been particularly successful with efforts to organize events to raise support and awareness of the importance of the arts in the Washington D.C. area where she resides.

As a Lao American writer/poet, she is the co-founder of Reflections Within, LLC and she has been writing poetry, short essays, and short stories for over 20 years internationally. She has over 400 pieces of written work and was nominated as “Best Poet of the Year” by the International Society of Poets in 2007.

You'll have more opportunity to get to know her and her journey during the Summit, along with the stories of writers and artists like Thavisouk Phrasavath, Catzie Vilayphonh and Ova Saopeng.

Mali has been a tireless activist within the community, and often volunteers many hours and resources to the causes she loves, including the Young Professional Leadership Group, the International Society of Poets, the National Association for Women Business Owners, the Lao Heritage Foundation, Arts of Falls Church and is an active volunteer with Teatro de la Luna.

You can get a sense of some of Mali's work at www.reflectionswithin.com

Dragon Festival coming to MN July 10 & 11

I'm helping out during the annual Dragon Festival coming again to Minnesota this year.

This annual two-day family-oriented festival kicks off on July 10. The event’s all-volunteer planning committee is proud to promote the 2,400-yr-old tradition and sport of dragon boat racing. There also will be many activities such as cultural performances, martial arts demonstrations, foods and children activities that promote cross-cultural understanding.

Lao American writers and community members will be on hand to share our culture and heritage in addition to the many other nations reflected in this great event. During that time, I and Saymoukda Vongsay will be on hand to discuss the Lao American Writers Summit and the upcoming Refugee Nation and Legacies of War programs coming to the Twin Cities in a few weeks.

Dragon boat racing originated in China. Legend has it that Qu Yuan, a wise and loyal minister to the Zhou Emperor and loved by the common people, fought against corruption that plagued the court. He advised the emperor to avoid conflict with the Qin Kingdom while other court officials pressured the emperor to have Qu removed from service. When the emperor took the ill advice of the other ministers, he became so despondent he threw himself into the Milou River. Fishermen rushed out in long boats, beating drums to scare the fish away, and throwing dumplings into the water to feed the fish so they would not eat Qu 's body. Dragon boat races began as a way to commemorate Qu Yuan’s death, and is celebrated on the fifth day of the fifth month of the lunar calendar.

As a poet, how can I not love that?

Representatives from local Asian community organizations will be demonstrating origami, kimono dressing, henna art, calligraphy and more.

Watch the dragon come alive for the weekend and enjoy the sights, sounds and flavours of Asia!