Dear Friends, Colleagues and Stakeholders: I am resigning from Hmong Arts Connection (HArC) effective October 1st. After four years with the organization I would like to be able to pick tomatoes in the daylight and spend time
with my family.
Two years ago, I planted a garden to remind me when I am doing too much. Last year, my health suffered from stress and this year I am picking tomatoes by flashlight. Also, my parents are in their late seventies and are in very poor health so I hope to spend more time with them in their last years. The HArC Board of Directors has told me they are currently in a search and expects to find a replacement within a couple of weeks.
As interim-executive director, I was hired to stabilize HArC and position it with a solid business infrastructure. I put in place internal systems and controls allowing for better record keeping and reporting so HArC can start to track its progress and create best practices and benchmarks. Additionally, I have also implemented a stable and portable IT infrastructure, financial accounting procedures, and project management system. HArC is now positioned to be a performance-driven nonprofit. For long term impact, HArC also has a new mission and strategic plan with clear and measurable goals.
HArC’s mission: to promote and inspire artistic expressions of Hmong culture
• Hmong artists and writers are a vibrant professional community
• Community members, young and old, have access to Hmong art and writing
• We are organizationally and financially stable
• Successful Hmong artists and writers make an impact
In the last four years, HArC aimed to foster Hmong arts leaders and a marketplace for Hmong artists and writers and their works.
Historically, there were a few organizations from which Hmong artists and writers found employment, and one of those was HArC. This limited access to Hmong arts and literature and paid work in the Hmong creative community.
It also inhibited Hmong arts leaders from coming out of the community. HArC decentralized access to Hmong artists and writers and their works by reducing duplication of activities and programs that often competed with what artists and writers would normally do themselves.
To support decentralization, HArC also improved professional skills development services for artists and writers. For example, HArC targeted teaching artists and writers to learn collaborative skills and to create measurable work plans increasing their effectiveness and impact when working with teachers, community organizations, groups and individuals.
By decentralizing, we also saw an increased exposure to Hmong artists and writers and their initiatives. Since 2006, HArC has reached more than 5800 people (this number does not include data from schools using Paj Ntaub Voice in their curriculum and social media) and 114 emerging artists and writers.
Historically, HArC’s literary activities attracted an average of several hundred people per year. HArC has also worked with more than 12 partners some of whom are Minneapolis and Saint Paul Schools, Saint Paul Public Libraries, and the Hmong Culture and Language Program of Concordia University.
It is time for a new leader to take HArC to the next phase. I hope you will continue to work with HArC to fulfill its mission and support Hmong literary activities and art. Please continue attending HArC events and getting to know the works of Hmong artists and writers as I will continue to do the same because I believe a rich, diverse and thriving Hmong creative community is important in a vibrant Twin Cities and Minnesota.
After September 30, the best way to get a hold of me is through my personal email address, [email protected].
Thanks for the opportunity to work with you.
Hmong Arts Connection
1245 Carroll Avenue
St. Paul, Minnesota 55104