All posts tagged: Lao American Writers Summit

Lao American Writers Summit and making a case for the arts

Seven years ago Catzie Vilayphonh, Bryan Thao Worra and I co-founded the Lao American Writers Summit. Lead by Bryan we were able to raise funds and support from foundations, state agencies, individuals, and businesses. LAWS could not have happened without that initial support. In order to understand the significance of LAWS, you have to first understand the circumstances of Laotian communities. We came here as refugees. Survivors of the Secret War in Laos – a proxy conflict of the Vietnam War. Anti-communist Laotians fought on the side of the CIA. Thousands of Laotians were sent to re-education/labor camps, the lucky ones only saw their friends executed. My father, uncles, and grandfather escaped labor camps. After the fall of Long Chieng, an exodus of Laotians fled Laos, sought safety at refugee camps in neighboring countries. Since the late 70s, there are approximately 240,000 Laotian Americans nationally with roughly 12,000 calling Minnesota home. Unlike many of our APIA artist communities, Laotian artists more or less work in isolation as they are likely the only Laotian artist in …

2017 Lao American Writers Summit Dates Announced

Mark your calendars for Seattle. Washington state has close to 11,568 Laotians and over 2,000 Hmong; making it one of the largest Laotian communities in the states. The National Lao American Writers Summit will be convened at Highline Community College, June 23-24th 2017 (Friday & Saturday). The Fourth National Lao American Writer’s Summit will provide the space to create, mentor and support the next emerging generation of Lao American writers as well as connect them to creative leaders. During the Summit, nationally-renowned Laotian American writers will conduct workshops with participants and give rare live readings and performances together. More details will follow soon, including a website update over at www.laowriters.org. This year is being made possible by a collaboration between POM Foundation, the Lao Community Service Center (http://www.lcsc-wa.org), Highline Community College, and Seattle Lao community members. The Pom Foundation is well-known for their programming skills such as the popular Kinnaly Music and Dance Classes, Lao Cultural Exchange Program, Lao Summer Camp, and FORTE: Summer Camp Talent Show. The Lao Community Service Center (LCSC) is a non-profit …