Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Mali Kouanchao attending Lao American Writers Summit

We are pleased to announce that Lao American visual artist Mali Kouanchao will be a part of the Lao American Writers Summit.

Mali Kounchao is a visual artist and interactive designer. Her multi-disciplinary works explore the relationship between art, transformation, and communal healing. She serves on the national steering committee for Legacies of War, a national project established to raise awareness of the Secret War in Laos, as well as to advocate for further U.S. support toward the removal of cluster bombs and increased aid for bomb survivors. Other current projects include: Displacement Series and contributor in a children’s book about herself called "Mali Under the Night Sky," by Youme Landowne - She is the recent recipient of a 2010 Bush Artist Fellowship and a 2010 Asian Pacific American Leadership Award from the Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans.

We look forward to her participation!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Lao Heriage Foundation 6th Anniversary on Sept. 18th!

The Lao Heritage Foundation is celebrating its sixth anniversary by bringing together kids in dance and music. The annual fundraising program features performances by foundation children from the west and east coasts. Though thousands of miles apart, these children have been working together to preserve and promote Lao culture. On September 18, they will share the stage for the first time. The proceeds of this event will bring the Lao Heritage Foundation closer to securing a physical location to house the foundation cultural and educational events and programs. Please join them for an enchanting evening of authentic Lao cuisine, live cultural performances, and auction offerings. Lao international pop sensation, Ketsana Vilaylack, will be the host of the celebration.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Lao American Writers Summit Resource Fair Call for Materials

On August 13-15th, we will be convening the first national Lao American Writers Summit in Minneapolis, a program over 10 years in the making gathering award-winning writers and artists, including Oscar & Emmy nominees and many others.

The Lao American Writers Summit currently has over 100 registered guests expected throughout different parts of the event from across the country to participate.

One aspect of the summit is our resource fair, where community members will have an opportunity to meet national, regional and local arts, philanthropic and refugee service organizations, publishers and researchers who can answer questions and advise writers and artists on significant opportunities.

We are writing because even though you might not be able to send a representative to the Summit, we thought you might be interested in sending some flyers, postcards or other materials for our participants.

If you would like us to have some of your brochures and flyers available, please send them to us by Monday, August 9th, to:
Lao American Writers Summit
503 Irving Ave. No
Minneapolis, MN 55405

Those received early will be included directly in the conference folders.

After August 9th, they will be placed on the resource fair tables as space permits. Thank you!

MN State Arts Board's Artist Initiative Grants!

The next application deadline for the Minnesota State Arts Board's Artist Initiative grant program is Friday, August 27, 2010.

Artist Initiative grants support and assist artists at various stages in their careers. The program encourages artistic development, nurtures artistic creativity, and recognizes the contributions individual artists make to the creative environment of the state of Minnesota.

Several things about the program are different this year:
— Artists, working in any discipline, are eligible to apply
— The grant range expanded; artists may request from $2,000 to $10,000
— Projects will need to include a community component
— Applicants will need to apply online, using the Arts Board's Web based forms

Many things about the program are the same as they have been in previous years:
— Artists, at any stages in their careers, may apply
— Grants must be used to fund a specific project that will enhance the applicant's artistic or career development
— Artists will have a one-year period to expend the grant funds.

Visit the Arts Board's Web site to apply:

A series of grant information sessions will be held in communities throughout the state, the schedule will be posted during the last week of July.

Saymoukda Vongsay receives Alfred C. Carey Award

On August 1st, Saymoukda Vongsay became the first writer to receive the Alfred C. Carey Prize in Spoken Word Poetry.

The award was established to honor Alfred Charles Carey, the grandfather of writer and community activist Brandon Lacy Campos. "Grandpa Carey was a tremendous human being," Lacy Campos remarked. "He was a working class mixed race man of Irish and Ojibwe descent. His mother, Suzanna, was born on La Courte Oreilles Reservation in Wisconsin, and my grandfather worked his whole life as a roofer. He was a scion of one of the original families of Duluth, MN, and he was the gentlest soul I have ever met. I love and honor my grandfather. He was, in many respects, the ideal male figure in my life, and I miss him dearly."

When the award was originally announced, Brandon Lacy Campos noted "Alfred C. Carey was a hard working man from Northern Minnesota. He worked in construction, specifically roofing, while raising a family of 8, including three children not biologically his own. He represented a series of beautiful and sometimes hard contradictions in race, class, and history. He also, without a vocabulary around race and sexuality, accepted all of his children and grandchildren for who they were without judgment."

The first Alfred C. Carey Prize in Spoken Word Poetry was awarded to Saymoukda Duangphouxay Vongsay for her poem When Everything Was Everything. Vongsay will receive $150 with the award.

A Minnesota-based Lao American writer, essayist, playwright and spoken word poet, Vongsay has performed across the United States and in Italy and Japan. She is currently studying for her master’s degree in public policy.

Vongsay is also co-founder of The Unit Collective, and a member of Imperial DJ Science Crew. She is the author of “No Regrets”, a collection of poetry and haikus published by Baby Rabbit Publishing. Her work has been published by Altra Magazine, the Journal of Southeast Asian American Education and Advancement and Bakka Literary Journal.

Vongsay is chair of the first Lao American Writers Summit in Minnesota this August in Minneapolis. She has worked actively to support the work of Lao women writers and artists across the country to celebrate heritage, diversity and community development.