Center for Community Services, Kangle Singers and Dancers
Funding to support rehearsals, five outreach performances, and a concert entitled "We Are a Family", to be held on Saturday February 6, 2021 at the CCS auditorium.
Savita Katarya (Rochester, MN) Savita works in cross-cultural leadership development and was connected to the CEO Tour in 2019. She identifies as an immigrant from India.
Jose Losada-Montero (Marshall, MN) Jose was a contact of a former MHC staffperson (Kirk MacKinnon Morrow). He is a Spanish professor at SMSU. He identifies as an immigrant from Spain.
Juan Fernandez-Iglesias (Winona, MN) Juan Fernandez-Iglesias is a Winona State University Global Studies and Languages professor, and has blogged for MHC previously. He identifies as an immigrant from Spain.
Minnesota Humanities Center
$850,000 the first year and $850,000 the second year are for a competitive grants program to provide grants to preserve and promote the cultural heritage of Minnesota.
The Minnesota Humanities Center must operate a competitive grants program to provide grants to programs that preserve and honor the cultural heritage of Minnesota or that provide education and student outreach on cultural diversity or to programs that empower communities to build their identity and culture. Priority must be given to grants for individuals and organizations working to create, celebrate, and teach indigenous arts and cultural activities and arts organizations and programs preserving, sharing, and educating on the arts and cultural heritage of immigrant communities in Minnesota.
This project is to support the Kangle Singers and Dancers at the Center for Community Services (CCS) - specifically their rehearsals, five outreach performances, and a concert entitled "We Are a Family", to be held on Saturday February 6, 2021 at the CCS auditorium.
This project has three goals: 1) to double rehearsal time, and thereby to sustain and increase the number of Chinese immigrant seniors who participate in S&D programs; 2) to support five outreach performances, and thereby raising awareness of works by senior Chinese artists in the community and increasing the understanding of the Chinese cultural identity through interaction with other senior citizens in the Twin Cities area; and 3) to foster collaboration and partnerships with other artistic organizations.
Success will be measured in three ways: 1) Quality and satisfaction of the seniors who participate in our project; 2) Appreciation and satisfaction of our audiences, specifically the number, diversity, and geographic coverage of the audience; 3) Impact on the Chinese immigrant and Minnesota community at large. Specific components of these measures and our progress to date on achieving them are as follows.
1) All rehearsals and lessons have been carried out as scheduled for this project, despite the pandemic. We have doubled the rehearsal time from once every other week to every week. Dance rehearsals are held every Saturday, and singing rehearsals are now held on every Sunday PM. After some initial struggles, the seniors have learned to sign on to Zoom Meeting for their rehearsals. Attendance has stabilized at around 25 people for both singing and dance rehearsals for a total of 50-60 people. As the pandemic continues, more and more people are looking to increase their stay-home activities, and as a result, the number of attendees at our rehearsals is increasing.
2) Kangle stands for ‘health’ and ‘happiness’ so we named our outreach program “Healthy Dance and Happy Singing”. Instead of the proposed five outreach performances, we have held 17 outreach lectures/past performances via Zoom Meetings to date, reaching over 60 participants each time from both inside and outside the Chinese community. The lectures focused on Chinese music and Chinese dance. They were held on Sunday mornings from 10 - 11:15 AM. Video clips included performances from Kangle Singers and Dancers and our partner organizations such as CAAM CDT, and Minghua Chorus. Student dancers and singers gave demonstrations from their homes. English captions of the lectures were posted via Chats for non-Chinese speakers. Of the participants, 70% are Chinese, 30% Caucasian and other. 70% are over 55 years old, 30% are youth and from other age groups. 60% are female and 40% are male.
With the outreach lectures/performances, the singers and dancers really enjoyed watching their past performances again on videos, mesmerized by “how young we looked.” Audiences were impressed with the accomplishments Kangle artists have achieved. Everyone appreciated the opportunity to participate in the lectures. Some even jested for the pandemic to go on, so the lectures can continue. We received overwhelming responses from artists who want to participate in our programs, either by giving lessons or lectures. We would like to thank MHC for making this project possible.
The lectures have been recorded. In addition to posters, information of our Zoom lectures have been forwarded to Eden Prairie Senior Center, Edina Senior Center, Pebmoob Senior Center, Yorktown Continental Senior Apartment, and York Gardens Senior Living. The Chinese Heritage Foundation has posted our lecture series on its calendar online.
A total of 17 lectures were held from August 23 to February 07 as our outreach program.
Our final concert called "We Are a Family" was held on Feb 28 as proposed for the project. It was broadcasted via YouTube and two other Chinese overseas Internet social media channels (Bilibili https://m.bilibili.com/video/BV1uz4y1m7eo , GoMedia https://youtu.be/B2G0ejdeB84 , https://youtu.be/mNCk3pkz07U ). The concert generated over 3000 viewers. It was a result of our collaboration with Alliance of MN Chinese Organizations (AMCO), and Chinese American Association of MN (CAAM) as described in our original proposal. More than 10 organizations performed in our concert, including but not limited to CAAM Dance theatre, Carlton Chinese Music Ensemble, Qian Xu Singing Studio, Twin Cities Dance Theatre, and MiNtshis Performing. Kangle S&D's chorus "The Red Sunset" was a huge success. Much time and work were spent on learning and producing the programs online.