Join us on Saturday, February 3, 2024 as we partner with the Malonga Arts Residents Association (MARA) for the Oakland Asian Cultural Center’s second annual Lunar New Year x Black History Month Community Celebration.
We welcome our community back for another celebration of Asian and African-American solidarity through art, music, and dance.
We are thrilled to present this year’s incredible lineup of Black and Asian martial artists, musicians, and dance groups including Blood Moon Orchestra with Van Anh Vo and special guest Kev Choice, Diamano Coura drummers, Carla Service Dance-A-Vision Entertainment, Kenneth Pitts’ Martial Arts student, and CAL USA Lion Dancers.
In addition to a full day of performances, we are bringing back a local vendor marketplace, a children’s zone with Eastwind Books, and an exhibition on Black and Asian solidarity.
This event is part of OACC’s ongoing Open E.A.R.S. for Change initiative started in 2020 to build stronger relationships among local APIA and Black communities.
This event is funded by The City of Oakland Cultural Affairs Grant and the CA State Grant for Stop the Hate (CDSS), and sponsored by Ava Community Energy, Alameda County Behavioral Health/Health Equity Division, and Council President and District 2 Council Member, Nikki Fortunato Bas.
Miko Lee is an activist, storyteller and educator. She believes in the power of story to amplify voices. Miko is Director of Programs for Asian Americans for Civil Rights and Equality and is lead producer of APEX Express on KPFA Radio focused around AAPI activists and artists. She is also on the National Advisory Committee of Teaching Artists Guild. Miko’s career has been rooted in the nonprofit world, first as a theater actor, director and writer and then as an artistic director and an arts education leader.
Van-Anh Vanessa Vo is one of the finest performers of Vietnamese traditional instruments in the world and a rapidly emerging composer. A Vietnamese-American artist, Vo’s mission has been to build a bridge between both cultures. Her Blood Moon Orchestra’s mission is to promote cultural understanding and respect while raising awareness about political and social issues through the use of musical instruments of diverse cultures, pushing boundaries, and expanding and exploring the sonic capabilities of their respective instruments.
Kev Choice is a pianist, composer, emcee, producer, educator, and activist, hailing from Oakland, CA. He began studying piano and rapping at the age of eleven. After graduating from Skyline High School in Oakland, he went on to earn music degrees from Xavier University of Louisiana and Southern Illinois University.
Cal VSA Lion Dance, founded in 2012 through the Vietnamese Student Association’s Culture Show, is UC Berkeley’s one and only student-run lion dance team. Earnestly serving the local bay area for the past 11 years, they’ve developed a tight-knit team of students and alumni connected by culture, passion, and camaraderie.
Performers from the Carla Service Dance-A-Vision Entertainment Group, both youth and adult will perform on this day in honor of bringing us all together. Carla has been in business for over 35 years as a performer, choreographer, and dance teacher, mentoring youth through adulthood.
OH-IN (桜音) means “sounds of cherry”. Producing not only the powerful sounds of taiko but also the sensitive and elegant parts of taiko sounds in their playing style. OH-IN Taiko performers are sharing three songs on this day: Phoenix, Komen no Mizudori (water bird song), and Richmond Wind.
Diamano Coura is a not-for-profit community African arts organization with a cultural focus. Located at the Malonga Casquelourd Center for the Arts, the company is dedicated to the preservation, education, and appreciation of traditional West African music, dance, theater, and culture.
GER‘s Mongolian traditional dances not only express distinct ethnic identities and promote family unity and mutual understanding among different Mongolian ethnic groups, but they also show the daily routine of nomadic lifestyle, imitating the movement and manner of deities, mystical creatures, legendary heroes and the grace & beauty of Mongolian women through smooth and elegant movements of their arms.
Kenneth Pitts is a master instructor and the owner of Pitts Martial Arts. He has been teaching martial arts for more than 35 years. Master Pitts holds a 7th-degree black belt in Taekwondo, a 2nd Dan in judo, is a Mestre in Capoeira, and teaches Escrima, Tai Chi, and kickboxing.
The Toishan Benevolent Association has served the greater Bay Area community for the last 22 years with different cultural programs. They promote Chinese ethnic culture in different forms of performances: lion’s dance, dragon dance, traditional art dance, tai chi demonstration, kung fu demonstration, and youth kung fu.
Eastside Arts Alliance will be partially reinstalling their exhibition “Bandung to the Bay”, which consists of historical, archival documents connected to the International Bandung Conference and Bay Area Asian & Black activist solidarity movements like the Black Panther Party of Self-Defense.
“Love and Protect” is a condemnation of violence and a commitment to uplift, nourish, fortify and pay homage to our communities so that when we rise, we rise up together. On April 10th-11th, 2021, local Asian and Black Bay Area visual artists and community members came together to produce a series of mobile public art murals in Oakland Chinatown for communities impacted by Asian hate crimes.
Artists Cece Carpio of Trust Your Struggle Collective and Tommy Wong of Civic Design Studio and Good Good Eatz brought together local artists who are deeply rooted in the fight for racial and environment justice.
Emory Douglas, Tarika Lewis, Cece Carpio, Robert Liu-Trujillo, Elaine Chu, Priya Handa, Miguel “Bounce” Perez, Eric Norberg, Karen Seneferu, Malik Seneferu, Thitiwat Phromratanapongse, Cecilia Dong, Catherine McMahon, Ming Mur-Eay, Elokin Orton Cheung, Harrison Street Senior Art Collective, Deanna Brownfield, Malik Byers, Greer Nakagawa Lee, Maya Looney, Lauryn Marshall, & Asians 4 Black Lives.