ST. CLOUD, Minn. — Asian American Pacific Islander month is May and the Ethnic and Women’s Studies Department of St. Cloud State University is celebrating with a presentation on the “herstory and history of Asians in America” on Thursday, May 2, 2013, from 3:30 to 5 p.m. in the Atwood Theater & Lounge of the campus Atwood Memorial Center.
Organized by the staff and students of the Ethnic and Women’s Studies class ETHS 215(01), this is St. Cloud State University’s first ever celebration of AAPI heritage month and an opportunity to learn about Asian Americans who are the fastest growing racial group in our country. This event is directed by nationally renowned Lao American playwright, poet, spoken word and performance artist Saymoukda Vongsay, who has been working closely with the students.
“This celebration is dedicated to the importance of preserving cultural memories and personal narratives as a way to unify a community,” Vongsay said.
There will be a student panel presentation, creative cultural presentations, visual and poster presentations. The theme will be on AAPI topics, herstories and histories, people and places, and concepts learned during Hedy Tripp’s Spring 2013 course. It is part of the university’s service-learning opportunities for students to “put clasroom learning into practical use to benefit the community” by creatively sharing important academic and cultural information that very rarely gets taught in schools.
Ms. Saymoukda Vongsay is the recipient of the 2010 Alfred C. Carey Prize in Spoken Word Poetry (NY), a Jerome Foundation/Mu Performing Arts Fellowship in Theater, and a 2012 Storytelling Fellowship from the Lao Assistance Center/MN State Arts Boards’ Folk and Traditional Arts Grant. She has been recognized as a 2011 Change Maker by Intermedia Arts, an Honorable Mention named for the 2011 MN Emerging Writer Grant, and has
received scholarships from the Loft Literary Center (MN/prose seminar), the Joyce
Foundation/Alliance of Artist Communities (IL/arts administration), and the Southeast
Asia Resource Action Center (DC/public policy) to continue her work in literary arts, arts administration, and advocacy.
This event is sponsored by Multicultural Student Services and is open to the campus and community free of charge. For more information contact Hedy Tripp at 320-309-3087.