By Nhien Nguyen
Though it’s never easy to say goodbye to the summer sun, September has become my favorite month in the Pacific Northwest. It’s a time when the fall arts season kicks in – when new exhibits, shows, films and book readings light up our cold and cloudy Seattle days.
Asian Pacific Americans have always contributed greatly to the arts in this city. I am constantly amazed by the number of artists that could be profiled to easily fill our newspaper for the entire year.
As a former freelance arts writer for the Examiner prior to the editorship position, I indulged in the luxury of interviewing local artists on their creative processes and techniques. I learned that artists created art for a variety of reasons that stemmed from cultural expression, to self expression, to political expression.
The role of arts in developing a more compassionate, just and healthy society has never been more important than it is today. Arts and artists can have an incredible impact on social policy, and, luckily, there are institutions recognizing the connection between arts and politics.
One good example of such an institution is Social Justice Fund Northwest (formerly A Territory Resource Foundation), which is now funding programs promoting progressive values that uses the arts and cultural expression. The fund understands that at the root of grassroots organizing for fair and equitable policies is a struggle over values. There is no better way to transform people’s hearts and minds than through the arts.
Take a look at the myriad of arts programs and events in our Fall Arts Guide. The International Examiner is proud to contribute to arts programming with two major events this fall. On Saturday, Oct. 15, we bring notable authors Kien Nguyen and Aimee Phan to provide free writing workshops that will offer tools to give Asian Americans the power of the pen. The second annual Arts, Etc. event (named after Alan Lau’s famous arts column) is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 5 that will recognize and celebrate Asian American artists at the Port of Seattle, Pier 69 (see page 12 for more information.)