Imagine my surprise when I was contacted to see if I'd want to participate as an origami artist at the inaugural "Grand Rapid's Asian Festival" on June 10th, 2017. My first thought was: Wow, cool! My second thought: There are enough of us to hold a festival? LOL
The Experience Grand Rapids website lists Asians as 2% of the demographic in Grand Rapids with the most predominate ethnic groups being: "...Vietnam, Korea, China and India." Japanese are only listed near the bottom of the page as cuisine at local restaurants.
One of the most different things about moving from the West Coast to the Midwest is how infrequently I see other people of Asian descents. In Santa Clara County where I lived in California the demographics for Asians is currently 35.6% here in Montcalm County where I now live we are .5% of the population. Note that isn't 5.0% but 0.5%. In the city of Greenville, according to the Census.gov website, there are X (which I assume means 0... I just looked, it means "not applicable") percentage of Asians currently living here. So I count for nothing? LOL
At most I see another Asian person every other month (or so) usually at the grocery store. If I drive an hour into Grand Rapids I may see one Asian person while I'm there. But not every time. It's kind of like being a unicorn, but Asian. In the Midwest :)
I also find myself wanting to promote multi-culturalism. I've learned so much about how to be a Midwesterner! For starters I've learned how to make Ebelskiver and planted tulips because the Danish and Dutch cultures are well represented in this area. Fred suggested I also needed to learn how to make an entire meat and potatoes meal on a BBQ grill. So I did. I shovel snow like a boss, learned to make creamed corn with the bagfuls our neighbor gives us each year, learned to garden, bake pies, and climbed "The Dune."
So this is a chance for me to give back and share some of my culturural heritage with the people of West Michigan. I immediately confirmed "yes" I would like to participate. Partly because I know for a fact that many people here in Michigan who come to ArtPrize are avid paper folders themselves. And quite a few people have asked me to teach classes. So to host a complimentary workshop at an Asian Festival seems like a great idea!
Activities that day will include:
- Martial artists
- Lion Dancers
- Cultural Dancers
- Karaoke Contest
- Band & DJ line up
- And more...
I hope you can attend. It should be both fun and from what I'm seeing on the Facebook Group's wall, quite delicious and entertaining!
CLICK HERE to follow the official event page on Facebook.
Click this link to follow Participant's Group Page which asks:
This is where you come in. Help us make the Asian festival become Amazing! Suggest below on unique / great Asian performers/acts plus contact info if you have it.
Also looking for off stage performers. Asian street performers of arts, dance, cultural performance, calligraphy, sports exhibitions (like sepak takraw), etc.
If you are interested in being a sponsor you can join the GRAF2017 Facebook group and ask to have a packet sent to you.
This post was originally published on my work-only blog Tinygami.wordpress.com.
For lifestyle + origami updates this (I Found the Place) is the blog for you.