Loy Khambay-Correa: Ten Parables exhibit coming

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Lao American visual artist Loy Khambay-Correa is marking 10 years as a professional visual artist. Be sure to vist her online at iamloy.com for more details and a look at her previous exhibitions.

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What Stinks: Fermented Fish & Feelings coming to Minnesota

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What stinks? In our current socio-political landscape, a lot of things.

In this creative workshop, you’ll use poetry, drawing and other artforms to spark dialog about what’s going on around us as we discuss and process ways to support and reflect together. Our in-house artists are Peuo Tuy, Manola Suvannarad and Aloun Phoulavan.

Aloun Phoulavan was born in Vientiane, Laos in 1971 and raised in Northeast Thailand.  He is the second oldest of five children born to immigrant Lao-Thai parents.  He and his family arrived in the United States in 1976 as part of the first wave of Southeast Asian immigrants. His family  was sponsored by a church, which led them to settling down in south central Wisconsin. Aloun has been teaching art for eleven years, of which ten of those years he spent teaching grades K-12 in the St. Paul Public Schools. Currently, he teaches Reading at Como Park Senior High in St. Paul, MN.

Peuo Tuy is a spoken word poet, writer, motivational speaker, and workshop leader. Her poetry collection, Khmer Girl, is inspired by the traumas of her life, including escaping the killing fields of her native Cambodia and enduring the inequities of life as an immigrant in the United States. Peuo’s spoken word performances have been featured in video projects, including “Futurographies: Cambodia-USA-France,” a multi-media exhibition traveling to Cambodia and France in 2016. She was one of the original members of Urbintel’s HerStory cast, whose performances were filmed and performed live at East Coast venues from Massachusetts to North Carolina. She has appeared at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, Bowery Poetry Club, Harlem Book Fair, and the New York Foundation for the Arts as well as various junior high schools and high schools. For people of all ages, she conducts writing and self-empowerment workshops that focus on peace, compassion, and overcoming adversity in difficult times.

On behalf of the Asian community, Peuo also has worked as a community organizer for CAAAV: Organizing Asian Communities/Mekong NYC in New York and for the School of Unity and Liberation (SOUL) in California, where she helped Southeast Asians and other immigrants gain equal rights in the public welfare system. She is one of the founding members of the new Cambodian American Literary Arts Association (CALAA).

Manola Suvannarad is a Lao American artist based in the Twin Cities.

This event is free and open to API/SEA communities. Light refreshments will be served. Seats are limited so please RSVP to info@theseadproject.org.

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On The Other Side Of The Eye celebrates 10 years

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This month, Bryan Thao Worra’s first book of Lao American speculative poetry celebrates 10 years. It’s been a long journey for his book, which broke ground in many ways for Lao Americans everywhere. Sahtu Press and Asian American Press covered the significance of his collection recently. He will be presenting at DreamHaven Books on August 30th in Minneapolis to celebrate.

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St. Paul Almanac IMPRESSIONS to feature Saymoukda Duangphouxay Vongsay

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Saymoukda Duangphouxay Vongsay is excited to have an excerpt of “When Everything Was Everything” to be selected for Saint Paul Almanac’s IMPRESSIONS Project. This fall, you will see broadsides of her poem with illustration by Koua Yang on light rail stations/platforms. Join them for the release party on September 1st at 7pm at the Union Depot in downtown Saint Paul.

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Ava Lengsavath needs help for her heart transplant

Ava Lengsavath is desperately waiting for a heart  transplant at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. She was recently featured on the news. You can visit her gofundme for further details and updates.

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Two weeks leading up to her diagnosis, Ava started to have difficulty  walking due to being very fatigued. During  this  time,  her  parents noticed  that  her  stomach   was more  swollen  than  usual  and  her mood  changed  Ava  went  from  being  a  social and happy little girl to detaching herself from family and friends.

On December 23, 2016 she was admitted into the ER at the Children’s Hospital  in St. Paul and was diagnosed with Restrictive Cardiomyopathy & Diastolic Heart Failure.  The ventricles of her heart expanded and filled with blood  which  means  her  heart  can’t  pump  blood properly. It  usually  leads  to  heart failure. Ava was then immediately transported to the Minneapolis Children’s Hospital.  The  next  day,  doctors  did  a  biopsy  on  her  heart,  MRI’s,  CT  Scans,  Echogram  and  blood  work.  Her  diagnosis  was   confirmed- Restrictive Cardiomyopathy. She  was  discharged  from  the  hospital  a  few  days  later.

While  home,  she  suffered  a   stroke  and  lost  the  use  of  her  left  arm  and  leg.  With  extensive physical  therapy,  they  will  try  and  restore movement, but the doctors think the transplant will help regain strength better.   After receiving treatment at the Minneapolis Children’s Hospital, she was given a heart specialist and was referred to the Mayo Clinic. On May 10, 2017, her heart was filling up too much so the doctors put her on an ECMO machine. She will need to  stay on it until she receives a new  heart.

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New Lao Children’s Book Coming from Sahtu Press

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Sahtu Press just announced their forthcoming children’s book from Vilayvanh “Vanh” Bender, her debut, My Mommy Eats Fried Grasshoppers, expected in December, 2017. Savannah Rattanavong interviewed her on the journey to become a published author.

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Remembering Khamben Sanavongsay

In Minnesota, family and friends from across the United States gathered to remember the passing of Lao American community builder Khamben Sanavongsay. Among his accomplishments in Laos, he had been a librarian at the DongDok Teacher College, the Director at the Ministry of Labor and Social Security, the Director of the Ministry of the Interior, and the Governor of Champassak. He and his family came to the United States in 1983 as refugees. In 1988, he received a Masters of Education from Ball State University He was a bilingual teacher at Sanford Middle School in Minneapolis until he retired in 2000 at the age of 62.

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