All posts filed under: education

Education and Expression: An Interview with Kanya Lai

Kanya Lai is an English teacher at Nashville School of the Arts. She spends her summers traveling to exciting locales, where she usually volunteers in underprivileged schools and/or orphanages.  Her work has appeared previously in Little Laos on the Prairie, and Bakka Magazine. She joined us in Minneapolis in 2015 for the National Lao American Writers Summit where she spoke and performed her writing. We had a chance to catch up with her recently to discuss her journey and her thoughts on creating lifelong success for students. What’s a story about your family’s journey to the US that you remember the most? I was 5 yrs old when we immigrated to the states so I don’t remember too many memories from Laos. I know that the most poignant memory for me was the struggles and hardships my parents faced when we first arrived to Nashville, TN. I know that sounds like the standard immigrant story, but it is honestly what I remember most. When we first arrived here, we didn’t have a car and my dad …

Notes From An Imagined Future: CTRL+ALT In New York

“How do you imagine your future?” That was the question over 10,000 people were asked over the weekend of November 11-12 in New York as part of the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center’s pop up museum entitled “Ctrl+Alt: A Culture Lab on Imagined Futures.” Visitors met with over 40 local and visiting artists, including Lao American artists Saymoukda Douangphouxay Vongsay and Bryan Thao Worra as they transformed the old Pearl River Mart in New York’s Soho district into a dynamic space for expression and the exchange of ideas. The artists transformed two floors of the old store into an interactive gallery of diverse views on possible futures. As the curators noted “even those who have long been pushed to the margins are the center of someone’s universe.” Saymoukda Douangphouxay Vongsay presented excerpts from her forthcoming play, Kung Fu Zombies vs. Shaman Warrior. Her play will explore trauma, healing, and mental health through the lens of speculative theater. She gave a surreal reading clad in all white, augmented by an evocative animation created by New York-based artist Matty Huynh. Following …