Monday, August 01, 2011

Kathy Mouacheupao moves on

I was fortunate to meet Kathy at the Center for Hmong Arts and Talent while doing research for my masters thesis. The work she and others have done at CHAT has been truly remarkable--promoting Hmong artists and getting children involved in expressing themselves through music, dance, painting, theater, etc. Kathy has been a big help to me on many occasions, so I was happy to see that she was moving on to some exciting new opportunities after leaving the organization.

Minnesota Voices (7/28/2011)

One large project she’ll be embarking on for the next four years is a fellowship through the Bush Foundation. For the fellowship she’ll be doing a lot of travelling, both within the United States and abroad, trying to connect with different Hmong artists around the world. She’s hoping to document Hmong history, with an emphasis on contemporary Hmong artists, as opposed to traditional artists. “I’m looking around the idea of biculturalism,” she said.
She’ll be documenting the history of the Hmong experience through art, she says. Most of the artists that she’s familiar with now, who are coming up with tools to express their experience, are Hmong-American — artists such as Kaolee Thao and Katie Ka Vang — but she hopes to connect with Hmong artists internationally as well. While she hasn’t entirely mapped out the scope of her project, she hopes to travel to Laos, Thailand, China, Australia, France, and California and Seattle in the United States, visiting Hmong New Year celebrations in particular. Eventually, she hopes to create a curriculum that could be used in schools such as St. Paul Public Schools, which recently adopted Hmong history into their curriculum. She also plans to create an exhibit of her findings.