Posts from the ‘Family Stories’ Category

Eth-Noh-News, Spring 2010

Dear Friends,

It’s Springtime 2010! The Earth is waking up and creativity is abundant everywhere we look! New fragrances, vibrant colors, and green, green, green! Those and Eth-Noh-News, Spring 2010.

38 Mom in Wheel Chair_cropped-facesSpeaking of abundant creativity, Nancy was recently commissioned by Stories to write the story of her mother and the first three generations that preceded her. “Bittersweet” took seven months of research, readings, rewriting, and more rewriting until it met the Just Stories’ concert and commissioned requirement of 35-40 minutes. This was so hard, especially since it started as a 75-minute piece. The process was like painfully cutting off one finger at a time! Talk about ‘bittersweet’!

23 Camel Ride_cropped-facePremiered in Chicago this spring, “Bittersweet” was a success. The presentation revealed some real and necessary history of Chinese Americans since 1850, and their tribulations and contributions. Audience members were inspired to talk with their moms, get to know them as the amazing women they are despite mother-child strains and the past.

Robert is renewing his own stories of his grandparents and parents and, as a matter of fact, we have pledged to write 12 new stories this spring through summer.

With our gigs down 70%, due to the economy, we will have time!

We are also keeping the arts alive through:

  • GAPA 2 April Salon Crowd 3 Salons: We’re producing our fifth year of monthly salons in our space, nine salons each year. We offer artists a small payment along with a free venue and the opportunity to perform in front of an intimate, live audience. With five performing artists or groups each salon, we all get to witness the continuing creativity that abounds in our Bay Area. The artists and audience also dialogue at the end of each program. The essence of ‘what is community’ thrives each month!
  • Green Project: The planning pilot of our “Green Grows the Story” project is done! Five wonderful teachers and one librarian helped us realize the project with their extensive experience and keen passion for the environment and for their students. Funded by the S.F. Arts Commission, we performed for their schools and dialogued with their kids. Yes, kids want to help! They only need the structure and opportunity. Our next goal: grants to go into the schools and deliver the full project that includes climate change projects for home and community, and telling their stories. Yeah for young activists for the environment! See our newsletter for a fun contest!
  • Marketing: We’re improving our marketing to capture some of what little money there is for hiring artists. We’re Blogging! We’re on Twitter! We’re on Facebook! We’re sending out postcards and email blasts! We’re reaching out in many directions to connect with event producers and audiences.
  • Nu Wa Gems - 114

  • Branding: We’ve been videoing audience members after our performances to document our audience’s understanding of storytelling, the impact our performances make, and what experience they take away. It’s been great! If you have ideas for a tagline, enter our contests!
  • China Journey: We’ll be leading our fourth trip to China to share our cultures, and especially our stories. It’s an experience that will fill your heart! Join us September 10-26, 2010!

You can read more about our projects and view photos in our Spring 2010 Eth-Noh-News and take part in our contests for prizes! Read the latest news now.

Please help us get through the economic difficulties with a generous contribution. Thanks to an NEA Recovery Act grant, a percentage of our costs have been covered, but this support ends June 30. With your help, we’ll fulfill our important projects and continue our good work. Let us hear from you!

Peace and Blessings always,

Nancy & Robert

Filed as: At the Moment, Family Stories, Green Grows the Story, Newsletter, Performances, Programs, Salon! You're On!, Support  

Nancy Wang Debuts New Story, “Bittersweet” in Chicago

Nancy and Robert performed in Nancy’s old hometown Chicago! We were at the 8th JustStories Storytelling event which commissions one storyteller annually to create a story around justice or racial equality – a personal story that reveals history not usually heard or learned. This year that commission went to Nancy! My story is called ‘Bittersweet’.Storyteller Sue O’Halloran and Father Derek Simons of the Society of the Divine Word co-produce and sponsor this amazing project with a brilliant webpage called Race Bridges.

Gladys Pix

“My story is about my mom. It’s a story that looks at me trying to figure out who this lady was. Was she the mean mama I grew up with? And why was she so mean? Or was it just the limited perception of a young girl, a daughter attached to the ignorant and shallow illusion of a Donna Reed or a Father Knows Best show? Guess which one!? By going through the period after my mom’s heart attack in which she completely changed to this sweet soft and funny person, I was left with ‘really, who is this person?’”

Chinese Am. History

“I go through trying to figure it out by looking at our history in this country: our 1st generation came in 1850 and started the fishing industry despite the hatred and unprovoked anti-Chinese violence rampant up and down the west coast, and continues through the 2nd and 3rd generation challenging this prejudice to finally the 4th generation, my mother. And, like a healing story, a happy ending. I discover how amazing my mom was and the noble sacrifice her life was so that I could be who I am today”

“I’m a 5th generation American. My children are the 6th, and there are already 7 generations in our family. But if I am walking down the street with a friend from Australia, which one of us will be seen as the foreigner?”

And so, it is hoped by JustStories and Eth-Noh-Tec that these kinds of stories, made available to schools with a curriculum guide, will correct the errors and replace the paucity so prevalent in teaching the full history of this country.

Chinatown Show

Our performances this week took place in several locations between Chicago’s Chinatown and Evanston on the Northshore. We performed at St.Teresa’s School across from the Chinese American Museum. Afterwards we got a quick private tour of the new museum (still in repair after a devastating fire). Special thanks to Margaret Larson and the staff who helped make the Chinatown collaboration concert a wonderful turn out. They had a great turn out of 100 people- best crowd they’ve ever had for a show.

These performances were especially significant to Nancy who has deep roots here in the Chicago Chinese American community. The show became a gathering point as relatives drove in from far away to attend the premiere of this piece. Thank you Brother Ed and Sis-in-Law Rachel Wang, Cousins Roger (& Elaine) Foin, Debbie (& Gary) Alderman, Jordan and June Wong, and nieces: Michelle Cheung (and kids Hannah and Jakey) and Marcia Wang and all the other friends of the Wang Tribe in the area.

Chinese Museum & Video

One of the events in the tour was video taping shorter versions of Asian American family history at the “SPACE” (Society for Preservation of Arts and Culture in Evanston). Hours of prep condensed into 10 minute excerpts which later will be rendered for the website of Racebridges to be used by educators in schools to advocate for racial, ethnic and religious tolerance. Kudos to Sue O’Halloran and Father Derek Simon! The storytelling community should be so proud of their work!

On a final note from Nancy: “I wish to thank all the storytellers, artists, writers, film makers and friends who’ve been a part of the this creative process: Olga Loya, Mimi Motoyoshi, Erica Lann-Clark, Nancy Gaglio, Lynn Mueller, Canyon Sam, Felicia Lowe, Ginni Stern, Anne Shimojima, Nancy Donoval, Beth Horner, Sue O’Halloran, Ann Scroggie, and Robert. And for their stories thanks to: my mom Gladys, Gramma Yokelund, and Aunt Mary”.

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Filed as: At the Moment, Family Stories, Performances