Category Archives: Art and Culture

6/22/17 Asian Americans in the Literary World



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Tonight, we take a break from our screens and go analogue. We’re talking books, book stores, writing, and zines: Asian Americans and the literary world. We hear from Golda Sargento and Lily Prijoles, co-owners of Filipino bookstore Arkipelago; two of our favorite Bay Area novelists, Hannah Michell and Esme Weijin Wang; and
Jess Wu-O, artist and the creator of Mixed Rice Zines.

More information on our guests and their work here:

  • Arkipelago Books, one of the only Filipino bookstores in the U.S., and based in San Francisco’s SOMA Pilipinas district.
  • Hannah Michell and her novel, The Defections.
  • Esme Weijin Wang and her debut novel, The Border of Paradise, as well as her creative resources for ambitious people living with limitations, The Unexpected Shape.
  • Jess Wu-O’s Mixed Rice Zines, an exploration of gender, queer identity, and mixed race Asian and Pacific American experiences through comics and zines.

Thanks to guest producers Sierra Lee, Geraldine Ah-Sue, Eunice Kwon and Mari Kakagawa.

6/8/17 Artist Activist Changemakers

 

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Tonight, on APEX Express, we talked with Asian American Artist Activist Change Makers. We spoke to San Francisco Mime Troupe veteran Keiko Shimosato Carreiro, data artist Brian Foo, singer Hollis Wong-Wear and filmmaker Jalena Keane-Lee. On behalf of my co-host Ayame Keane Lee and myself Miko Lee, we thank all of our Artist Activist Changemakers who joined us tonight. Keep creating, keep fighting, keep sharing your visions with the world.

More information on our guests work here:

Theatre Artist Keiko Shimosato Carreiro and the summer tour of the San Francisco Mime Troupe

Data Artist Brian Foo’s awesome website.  and his work with Data Driven DJ.

Singer and Poet Hollis Wong Wear spoken word and Flavr Blue.

Documentary Film maker Jalena Keane-Lee and her latest film The Construct.

 

Community Calendar

June 11, 10am The Construct at the Christopher Smith Rafael Theatre

Through June 12  United States of Asian America Festival

June 17, 2017, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. – Soy and Tofu FestivalEvent Center at Saint Mary’s Cathedral, San Francisco’s Japantown

 

 

 

5/4/17 Immigration and Activism

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Tonight on Apex Express Mother/Daughter hosts Miko Lee and Ayame Keane-Lee spoke to Yvette Felarca from By Any Means Necessary about taking direct action out into the streets and stopping the Trump ICE raids.  More information about an upcoming immigration forum is listed in the calendar below.

We spoke to Michelle Lee,  curator of Shifting Movements, Art inspired by Yuri Kochiyama, which opens with a big celebration tonight at SOMARTS Cultural Center and runs through May 25. Shifting Movements is part of the 20th Annual United States of Asian America Festival. Some of the art pieces are shown above, but go check it out in person to see how amazing the work is.

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Mari Nakagawa interviewed punk band Aye Nako who hits the Bay Area tonight and tomorrow night.

Poet Yujane Chan came into the studio and performed her erasure poem derived from her formal immigration papers. Ayame, also a youth poet, chatted with Yujane about her inspiration and process. Yujane performed this as part of Youth Speaks Teen Poetry Slam in April.

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Miko spoke with award winning filmmaker Felicia Lowe’s about her latest work Chinese Couplets which is her personal tale about the Chinese Exclusion Act. They also discussed the big Rally for Inclusion that is happening this Saturday in Portsmouth Square Chinatown to acknowledge the 135th anniversary of the Chinese Exclusion Act. Find out more about the Rally and how to take action page here.

Community Calendar

May 4 -June 11, United States of Asian America, various locations

May 4 Aye Nako at the Luckyduck Bicycle Cafe located at 302 12th Street in Oakland.

May 5 Aye Nako at the STUD located at 399 9th St in San Francisco.

May 4-25, 2017  Shifting Movements: Art inspired by the life of Yuri Kochiyama

Venue: SOMArts Cultural Center, Main Gallery, 934 Brannan Street, San Francisco. Exhibition Dates:  Tuesday through Friday from 12-7pm, and Saturdays from 12-5pm.  Closing Reception: Thursday, May 25, 2016. 6-9pm.

May 6, 2017 noon Rally for Inclusion, Portsmouth Square, Chinatown

May 6, 2017:  Asian Pacific Heritage Festival, Asian American Alliance of Marin

May 9, 2017  Immigration Forum and Community Meeting, Bay Any Means Necessary 6-8pm, Manzanita Recreation Center, 2701 22nd Ave., Oakland, CA 94606

May 16 Asian American Bar Association presents – Lessons from Mass Incarceration

 

 

4/27/17 Bay Area May Day



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Tonight, we celebrate May Day, or International Worker’s Day!

  • We hear from Terry Valen and Lyle Prijoles with Filipino Community Center as well as Irma Shauf-Bajar with GABRIELA USA. They all make connections between immigrant rights and worker rights here in the U.S. and globally.
  • We speak with two home care workers from Asian Immigrant Women Advocates who share the unique challenges they face as immigrant domestic workers.
  • Diep Tran, head chef and owner of L.A. restaurant Good Girl Dinette tells us how “cheap eats” lists celebrate inexpensive immigrant foods at the expense of immigrant labor.
  • And we talk with Zuha Khan who curated an amazing line-up of performers at El Rio this Saturday as a fundraiser for Bay Area Solidarity Summer.

4/13/17 All About The Periods…..

 

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Tonight we talk about a subject that over half of the world has to deal with monthly, but is still considered taboo. Tonight we are talking periods with Asian American women. Hosts Miko Lee and Tara Djorbji talk to Amrita Saigal the founder of Saanthi Pad, eco-friendly pads for women in India.  We hear from New York Congresswoman Grace Meng on her Menstrual Equity Bill which will eliminate the tax on period supplies and provide pads to homeless and incarcerated women, and Boston-based activist Nadya Okamoto who at 16 years of age founded Period, a Menstrual Movement an organization providing period supplies to homeless women.  Learn more about the Saanthi Pads and Period, a Menstrual Movement here:

 

Community Calendar:

April 15 1-4:30pm the Tax March San Francisco Civic Center, San Francisco

April 15 & 16 50th annual Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival in SF J town

April 18 at 07:00 PM Showing Up for Racial Justice presents Anti-Racism Educator Tim Wise at First Congregational Church of Oakland

April 29 The Hidden History of the Japanese-American Community in South Berkeley. Led by Jill Shiraki

 

 

 

 

 

Mina Morita and Sisters Matsumoto

Carina Lastimosa, Keiko Shimosato Carreiro, Melissa Locsin in Sisters Matsumoto


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In 2015, the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag swept through social media around the paltry amount of roles for actors of color on the screen, but behind the scene is no different. Mina Morita is artistic director for Crowded Fire, a theater company in San Francisco. She’s in a creative leadership position in a field with very few directors of color and even fewer women directors.

But local playwright Philip Kan Gotanda and artistic director of the Center Repertory Company, Michael Butler, chose Mina to revive Philip’s play, Sisters Matsumoto.

Sisters Matsumoto focuses on three sisters who return to their farm in Stockton, California after two years in a World War 2 internment camp. Written before the Patriot Act, Special Registration, or this new Muslim Ban, the play takes on a renewed urgency as the characters bring to life the real life aftermath of racist scapegoating.

Before delving into a discussion about the play, guest producer Robynn Takayama asked director Mina Morita about her home base with San Francisco-based theater company, Crowded Fire.

The play is on view at Center REPertory Company in Walnut Creek from now through April 29. Visit centerrep.org for tickets. And to follow Mina Morita’s work as artistic director of Crowded Fire, visit crowdedfire.org.

4/7/17 The High Priestess Never Marries



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For this month’s South Asia spotlight, Preeti Shekar talks with author Sharanya Manivannan on her collection of short stories, The High Priestess Never Marries, and how this collection celebrates women’s desires and sexuality through a critical feminist lens. We also hear from Melissa Hung about an Eat Chinatown, an exhibit that explores food, art, and gentrification.