A day-long festival celebrating Asian American literature, Asian American writers, and community. Free to the public. May 7, 2011.
About this Project
At one point during the 2010 edition of “8: A Symposium,” novelist Karen Tei Yamashita invited fellow speaker Peter Bacho to the stage. The event marked only the second time she’d read publicly from her novel I-Hotel, a book that would go on to become a National Book Award Finalist, so it was a great treat for all of us in the audience to begin with. Then the invitation: Karen asked Peter to read a portion of her novel in the voice of one of the old manongs, in Ilocano dialect, to bring to life the powerful story of a Filipino bachelor facing eviction from San Francisco’s International Hotel. And he did, slowly and reverently.
It was a breathtaking, pulse-raising moment, the kind of collaborative exchange only possible with live performance. It wasn’t rehearsed or even planned, but it was in keeping with the event’s tacit design: put a group of wonderful artists together and wonderful things will happen.
We’re committed to bringing this kind of experience to the public every year, and this spring we’re working with a variety of community organizations to bring our festival free to Los Angeles area audiences. “8+1: A Symposium” will be held at the Japanese American National Museum on May 7th, and our featured readers will include Joy Kogawa, R. Zamora Linmark, Rishi Reddi, Kip Fulbeck, Reese Okyong Kwon, Hiromi Itō and translator Jeffrey Angles, Ray Hsu, Viet Nguyen, and Brian Ascalon Roley. Please help us make sure this event happens.
Because we don't expect Kickstarter to fully fund the event, we've set the goal at $4,000 to cover the majority of the costs of travel and accommodations for our writers. Any amount superseding the goal will go to the other costs necessary for keeping this event free and open to the public. By donating the cost of just one day's worth of coffee, you could be in the company of sponsoring organizations like USC’s Asian American Studies Progarm, UCLA’s Asian American Studies Center, UC-Irvine's International Center for Writing and Translation, Giant Robot, Hyphen Magazine, Poets & Writers, and Coffee House Press. (You don't even really have to give up coffee; you could just go with a smaller size, or one less fancy!) Please consider donating what you can; a celebration for the community is built upon a collective generosity from the community. Hope to see you in LA!
-Great Writers: The featured writers are award-winning and hail from a range of backgrounds, from across the U.S. and Canada, illustrating the wonderful complexity of the Asian American literary landscape. One is a long-established legend, another a promising new talent. One splits time between Japan and Escondido, another between Manila and Honolulu. One chronicles early Sikhs in California, another multiracial America.
-Community: “8 + 1” is a collaborative effort by a range of organizations and university programs, many of them local. It aims to bring together diverse arts, cultural, and academic communities.
-Celebrate the Arts: “8 + 1” offers an all-important moment of artistic self-representation to a historically under-represented group of communities. A pledge is a vote of confidence for Asian American arts.
-Cool Rewards: We’ve got some great stuff, and we’re excited to share it. Our rewards too are celebrations of Asian American arts!
-Tax Exemption: AALR was just granted 501(c)(3) status, so your generous pledges will be tax-deductible!
For more info
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