Shades of Yellow will celebrate 10 years — and New Years — this Saturday.
Over the last half century, Hmong Asian/Pacific Islanders (HAPI) have come to the United States seeking asylum from persecution, with a significant number coming to Minnesota. The Hmong community has changed the face of Minnesota since its arrival, enhancing the community with cultural traditions, food, and the arts.
The LGBTQA community is a subset of the larger HAPI community, and out of a need to create safe spaces in 2003 the organization known as Shades of Yellow (SOY) was born. Now at 10 years old, SOY is the only non-profit worldwide serving the needs of Hmong LGBTQ.
From the modest start in a small garage over a decade ago grew a vibrant community that credits the love and support of others as the source of its success. It is that love and support that is evident at the SOY New Year’s celebration each year. The celebration this year is called the Enchanted Ball. If you have not attended one of these events, you will be pleasantly met with a rainbow of sights, sounds and tastes to delight you.
From a recent email comes the invitation to attend. “SOY cordially invites you, your family and friends for a night full of art, performances and dance as we celebrate our 10th Annual SOY New Year: The Enchanted Ball! The grand event will take place at the DS Event Center the 22nd of March. Doors will open at 5pm with food and drinks starting at 5:30pm. There will also be a cash bar.”
There will be stunning song, dance and drag performances from Mu Daiko & Girl-ISH Dance Crew (Special collaboration), Julia Star, Calvyn Moua, Sonic Rain, Malia Lee, Joshua Vang; a keynote address from Phia Xiong; music from the amazing Houseband all night long. Houseband members include: Ly Vang Shoua Thao, Kenny Lee, Shawn Mouacheupao and Shu Lor.
This year, through the support of the St. Paul Foundation’s Asian Pacific Endowment, SOY is adding an art show of pieces created by Hmong-API LGBTQ artists. The show is a roaming exhibit that will be on display at the SOY New Year’s event. Shadow puppets, stories song, dance and musical performances promise to make the engaging and interactive. There will even be opportunities to contribute to the creation of art and performance making the shared experiences a part of the vibrant history of this event.
The SOY New Year Art Gallery is the first ever showcase of visual art from Hmong-API LGBTQ artists in the world.
Soy has also put together a promotional video for the event:
Date: Mar. 22, 5-10pm
Admission: $15 adult, $12 student (before Mar. 19) then $20 adult, $15 student. Children under 10, seniors over 65 are free.
Location: DS Event Center, 415 Pascal St. N., Saint Paul [/sws_blue_box]