Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Lao Minnesotan Dr. Ketmani Kouanchao keynote speaker at Laotian American Community of Fresno Banquet

Dr. Ketmani Kouanchao will be the Keynote Speaker for the Laotian American Community of Fresno Banquet on March 9, 2013 at the Clovis Senior Center. She'll be speaking on the journey of Lao Americans in education, civic engagement and the role of parents and elders in building the future with our youth.

The Laotian-American Community of Fresno was founded in 2000 by concerned Laotian community members as a source of mentorship, guidance, and support for community members and their families as new lives were being established in the United States. They are the only Lao-run nonprofit in the Fresno area, and their mission is to promote and preserve Lao cultural heritage and traditions through traditional Lao dance classes and Lao literacy classes, and also to empower and encourage Lao youth to pursue college educations. In 2013, a grant from ACTA's Living Cultures Grants Program will support an ongoing program of traditional Lao dance instruction designed to preserve and promote cultural transmission to Lao-American youth. The classes taught by culture-bearers will concentrate on five dances which range from the popular ritualistic dance of welcome to dances depicting the enlightenment of Buddha.

Dr. Kouanchao currently serves as the director of EOPS/CARE programs at Mt. San Jacinto Community College. She received her doctorate degree from California State University- Fullerton in Educational Leadership Administration focusing on Community College. She received her Master’s Degree in Education and her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology, Public Health and East Asian Studies from the University of Minnesota.

Dr. Kouanchao was born in Laos and raised in Minneapolis, MN. She has over 15 years of experience as a university and community college administrator including the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. She works nationally on issues of cross-cultural leadership, women’s leadership and transformative leadership development – especially in communities of color and addressing federal and state-funded programs and connections with the non-profit sector.

She enjoys helping all students to discover their own unique leadership style so they can share their success with others and help everyone reach their full leadership potential. She is a regular columnist for the Twin Cities Daily Planet and Little Laos on the Prairie.

Lao American Storytellers Festival Schedule

On February 21st-22nd, the Lao Assistance Center will be presenting the first Lao American Storytellers Festival at the Harrison Neighborhood Center at 503 Irving Avenue N. in Minneapolis, MN.

The festival will include formal presentations of traditional folk tales, oral histories, worship sessions and cultural exhibits from 1pm to 3pm each day.

Thursday, February 21

10 AM
Sunny Chanthanouvong: 30 Years, A Community of Stories

11 AM
Chanida Phaengdara: Little Laos on the Prairie Review

12 PM
 David Zander: Discovering our Stories

1 PM
Saymoukda Vongsay: No Regrets 5th Anniversary Reading

2 PM
Sue Veerasaeng: Lao Minnesotan Journeys. Documentary and Discovery

Friday, February 22
10 AM
 Bryan Thao Worra: Beyond the Other Side of the Eye

11 AM
Phouthakannha Nantharath: Elder Voices, Youth Visions

1 PM
Chay Douangphouxay's Remission: Finding Light in the Midst of Social Darkness.

2 PM
Komany Saopathong: Speaking Memories of Secret Histories

This activity was made possible in part by a grant provided by the Minnesota State Arts Board and the Metropolitan Region Arts Council, through an appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature from the Minnesota arts and cultural heritage fund with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2008.

The Lao American Storytellers Festival is a key outcome of a year-long intensive apprenticeship program of the Lao Assistance Center to encourage the next generation of Lao American storytellers. This is the first year such a program has been implemented.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Lao Storytelling Festival to begin

Check out our Lao Storytelling Festival starting this week from Thursday through Saturday from 10-2pm at LACM. Learn about Lao stories, folklore and more. See you there!