Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Lao writers participating in the summit

Some of the great writers scheduled to appear at the Lao American Writers Summit this August. More will be added soon!

Phayvanh Luekhamhan was born in Champasak, Laos in 1975. She is a Juried Artist with the Vermont Arts Council. She has written poetry for performances and exhibits in New England for over ten years. Her work appears nationally and she has studied at The Vermont Studio Center (2004) and the Kundiman Foundation's Emerging Asian American Poets' Retreat (2005 & 2006). You can visit her online at http://www.myspace.com/phayvanh

Thavisouk Phrasavath: 2009 Oscar-nominated Thavisouk Phrasavath is a creative consultant for developing Lao TV and other media.  Thavi has directed music videos for independent artists, published poetry and won awards for his paintings and illustrations. His background in community work includes assisting Gang Prevention for Youth and Family Crisis Intervention and working with the police as a liaison and interpreter for the Lao community. Thavi has consulted for the New York City Board of Education. Nerakhoon: The Betrayalwas his first film as both subject and filmmaker. www.nerakhoon.com

Ova Saopeng is a Lao American actor and writer who has been a pirate in the Pirates of the Carribean films and both the Monkey King AND the Dragon King in the Minnesota production of Laurence Yep's Dragonwings. He also performs in Refugee Nation and his one-man play, LSL: Lao As A Second Language and many others. A key member of Theater TeAda, he has lived in Hawaii and currently Los Angeleswww.refugeenation.com

Mali Phonpadith: A Lao American writer/poet, she is the co-founder of Reflections Within, LLC.  She has been writing poetry, short essays, and short stories for over 20 years and is internationally published.  She has over 400 pieces of written work and was nominated as “Best Poet of the Year” by the International Society of Poets in 2007. She is actively involved with community service including  the Young Professional Leadership Group, the International Society of Poets, the National Association for Women Business Owners, the Lao Heritage Foundation, Arts of Falls Church and an active volunteer with Teatro de la Luna. www.reflectionswithin.com

Catzie Vilayphonh is a Philadelphia-based Lao American writer and performer. A member of the spoken word duo Yellow Rage, Catzie appeared on Russell Simmons’ Def Poetry Jam in 2001 and performs at various venues across the country. She has performed with Sarah Jones, Beau Sia and I Was Born with Two Tongues. Vilayphonh was Fashion Director for two.one.five magazine in Philadelphia, and  the Transmit Editor for Theme Magazine, based out of New Yorkwww.yellowrage.com

Saymoukda Vongsay is the author of the Lao American chapbook No Regrets and a first generation Laotian American spoken word artist, writer, and activist. She performs at universities, clubs, theaters, museums, and festivals around the country and internationally. A Minnesota resident, Vongsay performs with artists such as Laura Piece Kelly, Danny Solis, David Mura, and Ed Bok Lee. Her projects include a chapbook, novella and advice column for Focus Magazine. http://refugenius.blogspot.com

Minnesotan Laotian artists honored!

Congratulations to Mali Kouanchao for receiving the prestigious Archibald Bush Fellowship for Visual Art, and to Bounxou Chanthraphone for the Bush Foundation's Enduring Vision award: $100,000 in recognition of her life's work as a Lao weaver to preserve our heritage. They both received their awards on Monday, June 15th at the Minneapolis Public Library.

The Star Tribune ran an article on Bounxou Chanthraphone:

Minnesota Public Radio also had an article about her:

Some additional pictures up at flickr:

Since 1976, the Bush Artist Fellowship has supported more than 400 different artists to enable them to further their work and their contributions to their communities. Each year, up to 15 artists receive unrestricted grants of $48,000 to deepen and advance their work, to foster their artistic careers and to contribute to community dialogue through their work.

The goal of the Enduring Vision Awards is to support artists at a time in their careers when they're often neglected by funders. The money is intended to carry them through what could be the most productive part of their lives, when they're in their 50's, 60's and beyond.

Lao American Writers Summit coming to Minnesota!

Lao American writers and artists from around the nation will gather for the first Lao American Writers Summit August 13-15, 2010 at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis. The event includes panel discussions, workshops and author readings. 
The Lao American Writers Summit examines ways Lao American writers create work to transform their lives and their world. Many writers will meet face to face for the very first time. It is organized as a grass-roots effort with the assistance of many local and national arts and community groups.
Lao culture traces its artistic roots to the 14th century. Modern Laos, a nation the size of Great Britain, is home to over 140 ethnicities. Approximately 200,000 Lao  refugees resettled in America during the 2oth century. Minnesota has the 3rd largest Lao refugee population in the US.
Confirmed summit participants include award-winning film-makers, writers and performers such as Catzie Vilayphonh of the spoken word duo Yellow Rage, Saymoukda Vongsay, playwright and author of the chapbook “No Regrets,” and the acclaimed poet Phayvanh Leukhamhan.
This year’s Summit received funding and support from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, the Lao Assistance Center, the Loft Literary Center and many others. For more information email:info@laowriters.org or visit the conference website at www.laowriters.org.