The hip-hop dance group The Company, from Daly City, CA, collaborated with my brand Empire in the Air to create a dance summit called Art of Us. Art of Usserved the children and nanays (mother in Tagalog) of Project PEARLS. Our youth instructors from The Company were Melissa Batesting, Jolo Cabrera, and KJ Estudillo. Empire in the Air's Aiko Tanzawa taught the nanays.
Project PEARLS is an NGO that aims to alleviate children from slum communities out of poverty through education and health. Its main community is Helping Land of Tondo, Manila in which the children not only live in a garbage dumpsite but also depend on garbage for food.
We spent nearly a week dancing with the children with two goals in mind: 1)provide the PEARLS children a positive outlet from their harsh realities and 2) show the PEARLS kids that dance has the power to be an extension of themselves.
I served as the liaison between the dance teachers and Project PEARLS as well as the host for the Art of Us team.
For the class of 2017, the San Jose State University's Pilipino Commencement committee invited me to be the keynote speaker.
Description of San Jose State University's Pilipino Commencement:
San Jose State University's Pilipino Commencement is a convocation that differs from the department graduations and University-wide commencement, in that it brings a family and culturally-centered focus. Along with its intimacy, Pilipino Commencement honors the accomplishments and successes of its graduates through giving the opportunity to each participant to speak, compiling a montage of everyone’s college careers for families and friends to see, and awarding each graduate with a certificate of excellence.
My goal in writing the keynote speech was to welcome graduates into the unknown (also known as post-graduate life.) I aimed to comfort them with the fact that succeeding-- whatever that may mean to them-- is not a race and that it is okay to take time to figure out what their own goals are.Also, while writing the speech, I made an effort to make it relatable with my own experiences as a San Jose State University graduate myself.
Founded by Jasmine Solano, "Unity in Color" is a visual representation of various communities' support for Women's Rights. I had the honor of organizing the Oakland, CA chapter with photographers Amina El Kabbany and Vanessa Vigil in February 2017
"Together we stand in solidarity to show our support for Women's Rights. We acknowledge our history as we move towards our collective future. We wear yellow and gold as a nod to the colors of the early American feminist movements, while acknowledging that inclusive and intersectional feminism is our standard today."
The locations of our Unity in Color photo-shoot included Solespace on Telegraph Ave. and in front of the revolutionary statues "Remember Them: Champions for Humanity"
by Amina El Kabbany
by Amina El Kabbany
by Vanessa Vigil
HELLA KITTY All-Female Art Show presented by Cukui & ThatGirl
To celebrate Women's History Month, the clothing brand Cukui and dj ThatGirl hosted an all-female art show throughout March 2017. I was one among the 27 artists chosen to be featured.
Along with visually fighting for women's rights, proceeds of the show went towards the ACLU as a response towards the new U.S. administration.
The event description is the following:
Hello Kitty is more than just an icon. She's a movement, a global ambassador, a cultural powerhouse, a cobranding phenomenon. Created without a mouth, this blank canvas of expression makes her the perfect muse, allowing people to project their own thoughts and feelings onto the character. Her image has continuously been reinterpreted by artists to explore a wide range of subject matter including gender roles, feminism, political dissent, pop-culture, self-exploration, etc.
In honor of Women’s History Month in March, Cukui and ThatGirl present HELLA KITTY - Remixed and Reimagined. An all female art show featuring a collection of work where artists are given the freedom to reinvent the icon.
Art of Us pt. I
"Art brings us peace and serves as an outlet from our daily struggles. The children we will work with come from impoverished communities and do not have the guidance or sources to find their outlets. Our goal is to provide guidance and positivity through art, or more specifically, dance." - Aiko Tanzawa
In collaboration with the dance group The Company and Project PEARLS, the Empire in the Air team organized a show titled "Art of Us" in February 2017. Proceeds from the fundraiser go towards sending three choreographers from the Company to host dance workshops for the Project PEARLS children in August 2017. The choreographers include: - Melissa Batesting - Jolo Cabrera - KJ Estudillo
Art of Us performers were the following: Melissa Batesting Jolo Cabrera KJ Estudillo and Astralogik JR De Guzman MelvinSings Sorah Yang with sounds provided by DJ Druskee
Vendors included: Empire in the Air The Company Bayani Art The Kinjaz
The organizers for Art of Us included myself (Empire in the Air and Project PEARLS), Aiko Tanzawa and Christopher Nguyen (Empire in the Air), and Bernadette Bernacer (The Company) and Russel Benzon (The Company)
by Raymond Baltazar
by Raymond Baltazar
by Raymond Baltazar
Growth: a Dedication to the Bay Area
"Growth: a dedication to the Bay Area" was an art show hosted by Empire in the Air in April 2016.
We invited artists and performers in the Bay Area to celebrate how our home provides a cultivating environment for creativity to flourish.
ARTISTS: AGUYCALLEDWEST BRYANT SINA CAS5ANDRA JESS TSE JOSE RUIZ JTODDO MEAGGYMEGS MISACAT STEPHANIE ACEDILLO
Proceeds of the artwork went to the non-profit 826 Valencia, an organization that helps the youth in SF grow through creative writing and literature. You can learn more about them at 826 Valencia.org
PERFORMERS: GIAN CARLOS HIDDEN VISIONS MIKEY MANIFEST MR. NO NAME PAT RACELA
My responsibilities included as the head organizer and the liaison between Empire in the Air and the artists and the hosting venue, 1920c.
by Miguel Nuestro
by Melanie Macareg
by Melanie Macaraeg
In May 2016, I was invited by LEAD Filipino to be a panelist for their Q&A event "Eastside Entrepreneurs.
Event description: ""Eastside Entrepreneurs" will feature distinct Filipino and Filipina American leaders who had their beginnings in the San Jose and Eastside San Jose areas and took the opportunity to give back to their communities. These entrepreneurs have reshaped the San Jose/Greater Bay Area business landscape we know today, and L.E.A.D. Filipino asked them to come share their inspriational stories. Bringing together four heavy-hitting founders of San Jose-Based brands such as: the nationally-regarded tattoo artist and fashion tastemaker, Orly Locquiao; creative maker and innovative extraordinaire, Marie Millares; foodie turned Rice Rockit visionary, Jay Baltazar; and artist-photog-street brand turned chic designer, Francesca Mateo, Eastside Entrepreneurs will engage the audience in how these Filipino and Filipina American entrepreneurs created a whole new class of business creativity and innovation.
Through sharing personal stories and experiences, Eastside Entrepreneurs will show the youth of today that with determination and a vision - they too can achieve their dreams."
October Outreach & April Action
While serving as the Outreach Intern at the University of San Francisco's University Ministry, I organized two large-scale events titled "October Outreach" in October 2015 and "April Action" in April 2016.
October Outreach is a poverty-themed one-day immersion where participants volunteer with several service agencies throughout the city that service poor and marginalized communities.
For October Outreach, I networked with the following organizations throughout San Francisco, our university's home city, and Oakland to provide volunteer opportunities for this one-day immersion: Meals on Wheels, Saint Vincent De Paul Center, Root and Rebound, Exploratorium, Ocean Beach, SF Food Bank, and the SF Botanical Garden Society. We had over 100 USF students volunteer.
As for April Action, we worked with the USF Community Garden, Urban Sprouts, SF Parks Alliance, SF Park & Recreation, and Sutra Stewards. The number of volunteers also expanded to nearly 200 and not only included students but alumni as well. The event description was the following:
April Action is a community engagement volunteer event that gives the USF community the opportunity to connect with nonprofit organizations throughout the city of San Francisco. Participants engage in either social analysis learning experiences or hands-on activities at various organizations in the city.