All posts filed under: Theater

On fearlessness and art with #LAWS2017’s Saymoukda and Krysada

Next week, Seattle gears up to host the 4th Lao American Writers Summit. I sat down to have a candid conversation with my friends and summit keynote speakers, Saint Paul-based playwright Saymoukda Douangphouxay Vongsay and San Diego-based bboy poet Krysada Binly Panusith Phounsiri. When it comes to honing their craft and building community through art, there are very few Lao Americans I know who hold the level of badassery as much as these two. We talk about the state of Lao America, building a community of artists and what’s next on their project plate. Chanida: What are you both looking forward to the most in Seattle? Krysada: Meeting new people and having conversations. Live chats with people will be my highlight. Saymoukda: Learning about other artists whom I haven’t met and learning about their work. I want to find possibilities to grow together and collaborate if it makes sense. And to amplify each other’s work. We don’t amplify each other’s work enough. C: Give us a teaser about your keynote speeches. S: There’s not a …

A Community for Us, by Us: Reflections on Lao Writers Summit 2016

What a weekend. This year’s Lao American Writers Summit (LAWS) was momentous in so many ways. Taking place in San Diego, California from May 27-28, 2016, it was the first time the Summit was held outside of Minnesota, the first Summit to take place in consecutive years, and the largest gathering by far. People came in from all over the U.S. to learn and connect. Although the event was held over a weekend, the Summit officially kicked off festivities on May 12 with the opening of the official LAWS gallery titled “Intersectionalities,” curated by Catzie Vilayphonh and Sayon Syprasoeuth, featuring artwork from various Lao American artists from across the nation. The gallery and the Summit took place in the beautiful Centro Cultural de La Raza, which was the perfect venue for sharing art, making connections, and telling stories. If I were to break down some key observations from this year’s Summit, they would be: There is an ongoing need and desire for a space where Lao Americans can connect and express themselves. I attended the …