All posts filed under: Theater

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 …

Artivism and Expression: An interview with Saymoukda Duangphouxay Vongsay

It’s been a busy year for artist and activist Saymoukda Duangphouxay Vongsay, who will be celebrating her birthday this December.  Since January, it’s been almost non-stop schedule for her as she and other members of the Lao Minnesotan community take note of numerous key anniversaries for the community such as the 40th anniversary of the Lao Diaspora, the 20th anniversary of the SatJaDham Lao Literary Project, and the fifth anniversary of the first National Lao American Writers Summit and the United Nations Convention on Cluster Munitions. She’s traveled across the country from California to Philadelphia this year assisting various non-profit organizations and colleges to discuss the continuing legacy of the Vietnam War and the efforts of Lao Americans to rebuild and redefine themselves as a global culture. Over the years, her writing has appeared in Poetry City USA Vol. 4, The Saint Paul Almanac,  Lessons For Our Time, Journal of Southeast Asian American Education and Advancement, Asian American Press, the Hmong Women Write Now! Anthology, and The Asian American Literary Review among many others. She was …