May 16th, 2008


Kelly Zen-Yie Tsai's "Move This Earth" Performance

Kelly's in the blue shirt on the left.
I'm in the center.

I managed to successfully bring Kelly Tsai to K College for her "Move This Earth" spoken word performance Wednesday night and a writing and activism workshop yesterday morning. She is a Chinese Taiwanese American spoken word artist, playwright, essayist, and choreographer, and her poetry and music discuss issues of growing up Asian American, cultural pride, political activism, immigration, sexual assault, and violence against women. Her performance goals are described as "inspiring the audiences to live their lives out loud and to answer the call to social change through words, works, and self." Anida Esguerra says of Kelly Tsai: "Experience one of her performances and you will understand that fierce artists do not need to scream to be heard...that the world matters too much to let things just slip by." Tsai's work and dedication to activism, women's empowerment, cultural understanding and diversity, and ethnic pride through poetry, hip hop, and song make her a unique voice for moving us "toward a just world." Tsai's performances speak to themes of intercultural understanding, social justice, and self and societal empowerment.

Her performance was very inspiring and several students, particularly students of color came up to me after the show to tell me how much her work spoke to them. She is able to connect to the audience in a very real way, and I'd highly recommend bringing her to your campuses if you can. She's awesome. I hung out with her quite frequently the past two days, and she's also very down-to-earth, easy-going, and fun. She got only minimally stressed when her luggage was lost. Sorry, if this sounds kind of like a proposal, followed by a love letter, that would be because that's what it is!

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