Asian American Cultures Festival Honored as Outstanding Community Arts Project
(BOSTON) – The Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) announced today that the Asian American Cultures Festival: The Kingdom of Kambuja has been honored with a Gold Star Award for excellence in community arts and culture.
This event was part of the UMass Lowell Center for Asian American Studies series “Forty Years Later: Where Are We Now,” marking 40 years since the wars involving Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and the U.S. Flying Orb Productions premiered “The Kingdom of Kambuja,” a multimedia play in which a Cambodian refugee mother uses fairy tales to communicate her difficult stories to her daughter. The evening included performances by Angkor Dance Troupe, the UMass Lowell World Music Ensemble, and a tribute band to 1960’s “Golden Age” of Cambodian pop music.
“Performing arts have long been an integral and important part of Khmer Culture. Being recognized for such a beautiful piece of preforming art that not only is representative of our community but a cathartic release for our community its truly incredible. I sincerely hope this recognition inspires other cultural artists from our diverse community continue to perform and create their art work,” said State Representative Rady Mom.
“Lowell is a city that celebrates and honors diversity,” said Anita Walker, MCC Executive Director. “The Asian American Cultures Festival is a great example of the role that the arts can play in that larger civic goal. Congratulations to all of the volunteers and supporters who contributed to the Festival’s success.”
The Asian American Cultures Festival: The Kingdom of Kambuja is one of five programs throughout the state to earn a Gold Star designation. Funding from the Lowell Cultural Council helped support this initiative. The award will be presented at the Massachusetts State House on Wednesday, February 10, 2016 during the Local Cultural Council Statewide Convening.
The Gold Star Program annually recognizes model community arts, humanities and science projects funded by the 329 Local Cultural Councils (LCCs) across the state. These projects celebrate diversity, foster collaboration, showcase artistic excellence and provide learning experiences for people of all ages and backgrounds.
Gold Star awards are nominated by Local Cultural Councils and are evaluated by the Massachusetts Cultural Council based on a variety of criteria including: artistic quality, success in reaching out to underserved constituents, educational value, and ability to engage with the community. The LCC Program is the largest volunteer-run, grassroots arts funding program in the nation, supporting thousands of community-based projects in the arts, humanities, and interpretive sciences annually.
About the Massachusetts Cultural Council
The Massachusetts Cultural Council is a state agency supporting the arts, sciences, and humanities, to improve the quality of life in Massachusetts communities. It pursues its mission through grants, services, and advocacy for nonprofit cultural organizations, schools, communities, and artists. MCC’s total budget for this fiscal year is $15.7 million, which includes a $14 million state appropriation and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. MCC also runs the Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund in partnership with MassDevelopment. MCC’s five-year strategic plan is online here.