Yay for community event successes! The Asian Professional Exchange (APEX) held their second charity mixer and fashion show to fundraise for the 17th Annual APEX Youth Olympics – a sporting event that brings together at-risk youth from inner cities to promote leadership through team-building exercises.
Over 500 professionals in the greater Los Angeles area came together to witness the work of trail blazing Asian American designers and entrepreneurs, Stella & Jamie, Line and Dot, Ai for Ai and Carol Chen Couture.
With the World Expo going on, Shanghai is the place to be right now. (They’ve gotten 10 million visitors since May!) Audrey contributor Janice Jann was just there as part of the Miss LA Chinatown goodwill tour. Hip New York-based indie band PaperDoll, headed by Chinese-Taiwanese-Thai American vocalist Teresa Lee Chaisiri , is in Shanghai right now to perform at the World Expo (August 10 & 11), and they just performed at Shanghai’s oldest underground live music venue, Yuyintang, yesterday.
Everyone seems to be getting into the Expo act, including international fashion and accessories brand Bottega Veneta. The Italian brand is partnering with Academy Award-winning composer, conductor and cultural ambassador Tan Dun for a world premiere concert called “Martial Arts Trilogy.” The concert — which combines elements of Tan’s acclaimed scores from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; Hero and The Banquet — is expected to be the top cultural event at the six month-long Expo and will take place this Saturday, August 7. Tan will be conducting the Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra, China Youth Symphony Orchestra and Shanghai Philharmonic Chorus at the new 18,000 seat Expo 2010 Shanghai Culture Center.
This concert, sponsored by Bottega Veneta, represents a shared commitment to foster young creative talent and nurture the next generation of musicians, designers and creators. “It is a pleasure and also a responsibility, I believe, to help young designers and artists share their work with the widest possible audience,” said Tomas Maier, creative director of Bottega Veneta, which also developed an artisan training program at the Scuola Della Pelletteria in Vicenza, and sponsored a student design competition at the University of Tokyo last spring.
In addition to the China Youth Symphony Orchestra, the concert will feature young soloists from around the world, including Italian cellist Amedeo Cicchese, Japanese violinist Ryu Goto, China’s guqin player Lu Xiaozi, and Chinese American pianist Sun Jiayi.
To celebrate the concert and partnership, Bottega Veneta has created a limited edition bag (there are only 26 of them!) to benefit the Spring Buds Project. The limited edition bag which will be sold at all their China stores and one will be auctioned off online. All 26 purchasers of the bag will receive two VIP tickets to the concert.
All the proceeds of the bags will be donated to the Spring Buds Project of CCTF, a public fundraising fund committed to helping every child in China to develop their overall physical, mental and social potential, and to help them become self-reliant, contributing members to their communities. The Spring Bud Project, launched in 1989, aims to help girls in poverty stricken and education deprived regions get back to school. In the last 18 years, the Spring Bud Program has sponsored the education and practical skills training of more than 1.7 million girls in China. The Program’s latest efforts focus on vocational training and even entrepreneurship.
To find out more about the concert, go here.
When the clock finally read 6 pm, I leapt out of my swivel chair and skipped through the door. I jumped into the elevator and ran to the beige Sienna van where my family was waiting to take me to the airport. Farewell to the old 9-6 and hello to adventure, excitement and travel!
As part of the 2010 Miss LA Chinatown court, we generally hold our princess duties around the Los Angeles Chinatown (duh) area. However, this special summer, four of us had the opportunity to travel to various cities in China and act as ambassadors for the Los Angeles Chinese Chamber of Commerce, where we soaked in the culture of the east to take home and share with our local community in the west.
Over our two week-trip, we visited five areas around China — Beijing, DengFeng, Shanghai, Shantou and Hong Kong. We were treated to a multifaceted look at the face of China, going to countryside villages and large metropolises, admiring 1,000-year-old Longmen Grottoes in Luo Yang, and then glimpsing into the future of Shanghai at the World Expo. We tilled soil and practiced Shaolin martial arts. We dolled up and dined with government officials. We visited colleges and nightclubs. We ate. A lot. We suffered repercussions from eating a lot.
The entire time, a pending Audrey blog post was in the back of my mind. “What experiences should I share with Audrey readers about my trip to China that will be meaningful for them to read?”
I had expected this post to be one of those fish out of the water tales where I hilariously shared tales of asking to use the restroom and then being led to a side of the street or where I eat strange foods and then throw up afterward, but in actuality, my experience in Asia became one of coming home. It became one of where I found myself comforted to know the language of my ancestors and to learn their customs. It became one where I liked seeing faces like mine all over the billboards and magazine ads. It became one where I was proud to see how far my homeland had come and excited to see where there future will head.
The thing that is so refreshing about traveling is that you are living in the present. When I’m at home, I’m either constantly planning for the future, whether it be counting down to closing time at work or waiting for the weekends, or thinking to the past, whether it be reminiscing about the good ol’ days with high school friends or flicking through Facebook photos of my past travels (what? You know you do that too.) But when I’m at a particular city for only three days, I have no time to twiddle twaddle lamenting about my exes or worrying about what to do with the rest of my life. I’m too busy staring at sunsets, enjoying a conversation with a cute stranger, and living life at the moment.
Travel reminds us to do this: to live in the present. Think about your daily life. How often do you spend it worrying about what’s going to happen next or pining for the past? How often do you spend it just sitting there soaking in your surroundings and feeling life’s pulse?
I constantly wish for traveling to be a full-time gig, but I don’t think I would appreciate it as much if it were. So, I’ll take the few sacred weeks every year or so and hold it dear to my heart. Until the next adventure.