On Thursday, February 25th SCAPE held InspirASIAN 5.0! InspirASIAN is an annual event hosted by SCAPE to feature a panel of Asian American artists in the community. InspirASIAN is one of my favorite events of the year, and I love seeing how much SCAPE has grown as an organization throughout my four years at USC. I remember planning and running InspirASIAN 2.0 and 3.0. Shout out to my fellow SCAPE alums who came to support: Kat, Tracy, Nelson, and especially my co-president Andy. The night started off with Haneulsori hosting a pre-InspirASIAN mixer at the APASS office with free boba and banh mi. It was a delicious event, 10/10 would recommend them doing it again next year!
The event started with student performances by all stars Hannah Nguyen and Leo Xia. The two of them sounded amazing and I especially loved their cover of PillowTalk by Zayn. Leo's original music resonated with the audience, as he sang about APA identity in his song to his future son about growing up Asian American. Leo performed "Shaky Arms" at APASA's Got Talent the following night as well so I was fortunate enough to hear it twice this week.
This year's panel featured Paul Tran, Jason Chu, Francis Cullado, Sal Tran, and Chris Lam! Paul Tran is a Vietnamese American historian and spoken word poet. He performed a few pieces that spoke of his experiences with intergenerational trauma and sexual violence. His perspective was enlightening for the audience. Jason Chu is a hip-hop artist that performed his song, "Marvels". I remember seeing him before at Tuesday Night Cafe two years ago so I was excited to see him perform again and be on the panel!
Francis Cullado is the director of Operations at Visual Communications and the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival. He showed us a great short film, "My Name is Asiroh", about a young girl being bullied about her unique name and her father tells her the story and importance of her name. Sal Tran is a queer Vietnamese American artist who does mental health social advocacy work within queer communities of color and promotes the power of art and storytelling through film. They showed us a documentary on their experiences with depression and therapy. Chris Lam is a content producer at BuzzFeed Video and is passionate about content regarding race, gender, and LGBT issues. He showed us a video he made about Native Americans and the cultural appropriation of Halloween Costumes. Chris was also a guest at APASA's Community Dinner event in January!
Then the panel spoke for an hour answering questions about API issues, such as how they explore intersectionalities and how people can support community artists like themselves. One rememberable point was that we cannot continue to do anything out of spite, but must do it out of love or it is not sustainable. I thought the panel discussion was very thoughtful and refreshing.
Congrats to SCAPE for hosting another successful InspirASIAN! InspirASIAN is a part of our Asian American Heritage Festival, which continues until mid-April, so check out our other member org events coming up these next few weeks!
Internal Community Chair