Interdisciplinary dance works giving artistic voice to Asian Americans

2021 Sacramento Dance Sampler – in Memory of Jory Horn


April 10, 16 & 18

This 10th Anniversary Season is dedicated to the memory of Jory Horn (1991-2019). Jory may have left too soon but his abundance of creativity and dedication to the art of dance continues to inspire us all. Fifty percent of the ticket price will help establish the Jory Horn Memorial Scholarship for aspiring dancers at Sacramento State.

The mission of the Sacramento Dance Sampler is to foster community growth by providing a platform to showcase the works of emerging and established professional dance artists and to expose audiences to the growing dance culture in our region. Founded by Lorelei Bayne in Sacramento in 2011, this annual event is modeled after New York City’s, Symphony Space Dance Sampler. The goal this year is to bring together acclaimed professional area dance companies for a virtual celebration of dance!

Sacramento Dance Sampler is scheduled to showcase April 10th, 16th and 18th (Showtimes TBD) as part of the Sacramento State, College of Arts and Letters, Festival of the Arts (FOTA) week-long celebration April 5th-11th, 2021.


One “ticket” purchased gives access for all 3 Dance Sampler programs, available to view through the end of April.

Purchase Dance Sampler virtual ticket here



Jory Horn Scholarship Fund

We, at Sacramento State University, would like to continue Jory’s joy of helping those in need.  With the Dance & Theatre Department at Sacramento State University, we would like to set up a one-time scholarship or an endowed scholarship for aspiring dancers. The endowed scholarship will provide funding on an annual basis.

$2,500 -> Minimum for Scholarship

$10,000 -> Minimum for Endowed Scholarship

Please click here to view the scholarship fund



Our Statement as Lenora Lee Dance

photo by Robbie Sweeny


Dearest Friends, Colleagues, Community, and Beyond,

We, at Lenora Lee Dance, believe that hate, racism, discrimination, injustice, silence, and apathy have no place in society. We, as artists, activists, community builders, creatives, and forward thinkers, are part of the tapestry of the over 21 million Asian Americans who live here in the United States.

With a history dating back some 200 years, Asians / Asian Americans have played an integral part of building the United States of America, through agriculture, farming, fishing, manufacturing, working on the front lines of the health field in hospitals and nursing homes, and as business owners, scholars, educators, artists, community leaders, lawyers, entrepreneurs, etc.

We, as many other underrepresented communities, have felt the brunt of injustice and discrimination consistently from the beginning, particularly with the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act with other racist policies enacted around the same time, in hopes to prevent the immigration, naturalization, and inclusion of Asians in America.

Our contributions and experiences have been minimized and omitted from the American history books. The model minority has been used to invisibilize the struggles of our communities, while also undermining the fight for justice in other communities of color. At the same time, we are treated as perpetual foreigners and in times of crisis, time and time again, our communities have been conveniently used as scapegoats.

The levels of disregard Asian Americans have continually endured over the decades, has come back again into public attention, because of the racist and xenophobic rhetoric running rampant during this COVID-19 pandemic and fueling the rise in hate crimes of harassment, violence, and murder against our communities.

We stand united in voice, community, solidarity, and action with our sisters, brothers, and siblings, fighting in support of justice, equal rights, and safety for ALL Asian Americans. We will not be silent while our mothers, fathers, grandparents, children, neighbors, and community members across the country are under attack. And we will say the names of those who were killed in Atlanta, all of their names:



Daoyou Feng

Hyun Jung Grant

Suncha Kim 

Paul Andre Michels

Soon Chung Park

Xiaojie Tan

Yong Ae Yue

Delaina Ashley Yaun


We, as a nation of all people must move forward embracing our country’s diversity, knowing there is broader power and vision to collaborate across communities to support one another in healing from our traumas and that our fight for justice is not mutually exclusive to justice for other communities, but part of the whole.

Let’s celebrate our partnerships, and work together with the experiences of our many communities and generations.

Reporting & Community Safety
Support API led organizations 
Medical and Mental Health Support
Legal Services
Direct support to Atlanta shooting victims through AAAJ Atlanta chapter:
Social Media Links:

dual upcoming events with artistic director Lenora Lee!

Women’s History Panel – Shawl Anderson program

As part of Women’s History Month, please join us for a vibrant discussion with three longtime site-based artists in the SF Bay Area


Date And Time

Mon, March 29, 2021

12:00 PM – 1:15 PM PDT

eventbrite link: here

About this Event

During the past year, many professionals and students alike have begun to explore site-specific work both inside buildings and outdoors. Our sense of space, place, access, and venue continue to shift in terms of both artmaking and experiencing dance. Please join us for a conversation with three longtime choreographers passionate about site-based work: Nina Haft, Joanna Haigood, and Lenora Lee. We will talk about their work and inspirations, where they see site-based work in the field right now, and artmaking in the months ahead.


Nina Otis Haft is Artistic Director of Nina Haft & Company, a Bay Area-based contemporary dance ensemble known for gender and cultural commentary and site-specific performance. Nina has been profiled in Dance Magazine and received support from Djerassi Resident Artist Program, Hambidge Center, Shawl-Anderson Dance Center, Margaret Jenkins’ Dance Company (CHIME), Conney Project on Jewish Arts, California Arts Council, among other arts foundations. NHCo is known for Dance in Unexpected Places, performing in dockyards, synagogues, bars, parking lots, regional parks, cemeteries and other liminal spaces. Her work has been presented in Boston, LA, Madison, NYC, Portland, San Diego, Novosibirsk, Amman, Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Ramallah.

Since 1980 Joanna Haigood has been creating work that uses natural, architectural and cultural environments as points of departure for movement exploration and narrative. Her stages have included grain terminals, a clock tower, the pope’s palace, military forts, and a mile of urban neighborhood streets in the South Bronx. Her work has been commissioned by many arts institutions, including Dancing in the Streets, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Walker Arts Center, the Exploratorium Museum, the National Black Arts Festival, and Festival d’Avignon. She has also been honored with the Guggenheim Fellowship, the Herb Alpert Award in the Arts, the United States Artist Fellowship, and a New York Bessie Award. Haigood is also a recipient of the esteemed Doris Duke Artist Award. Joanna has had the privilege to mentor many extraordinary young artists internationally at the National École des Arts du Cirque in France, the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in England, Spelman College, the Institute for Diversity in the Arts at Stanford University, the San Francisco Circus Center and at Zaccho Studio.

Lenora Lee is a dancer, choreographer, and artistic director of Lenora Lee Dance. She has been pushing the envelope of large-scale, site-responsive, immersive, and multimedia dance performance that connects various styles of movement and music to culture, history, and human rights issues, inspired by individual stories as well as community strength. Lenora’s work integrates contemporary dance, film, music, text, and research, and has gained increasing attention for its sustained pursuit of issues related to immigration, global conflict, incarceration, and its impacts, particularly on women and families. It has grown to encompass the creation, presentation, and screening of films, museum and gallery installations, civic engagement, and educational programming. Lenora is a 2019 United States Artists Fellow, and recipient of the 2021 New England Foundation for the Arts National Dance Project Production Grant.

eventbrite link: here



KSW  “We Won’t Move: A Living Archive” Podcast 

KSW  “We Won’t Move: A Living Archive” Podcast Update

Lenora Lee podcast with Kearny Street Workshop set to be released on April 13!

For website TBD click here

About the Podcast:

“We Won’t Move: A Living Archive” is a new podcast series by Kazumi Chin, Dara Del Rosario, and Michelle Lin about APA artists of the past, present, and future, whose stories shape the movements and dreams of San Francisco. Each episode is guided by research and oral histories, featuring intimate conversations with local artists about their art, activism, and the issues that motivate their work. 

“We Won’t Move” was once the rallying cry of an intergenerational group of protestors fighting to protect the elders of the International Hotel, the first home of Kearny Street Workshop. With this in the podcast title, we commit ourselves to uplifting stories of radical Asian American art history, organizing, and dreaming. “We Won’t Move: A Living Archive” is a project of both remembering our roots and building toward a liberatory future.

Where do we remain firmly rooted in across generations, in our spaces, histories, and hearts? What will we refuse to move from?

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Pao Arts Center & Lenora Lee Dance present “MEDITATIONS ON THE POWER OF COMMUNITY”

Naoko Brown at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum*


Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (ISGM), Pao Arts Center & Lenora Lee Dance present “MEDITATIONS ON THE POWER OF COMMUNITY”

FILM LAUNCH DATE: Thursday, May 6th
Video performance
with a screening and panel discussion date Tuesday, 5/11, 3pm PST (6pm EST) click here

In response to the Shen Wei: Painting in Motion exhibition, Pao Arts Center 2021 Artist in Residence Lenora Lee Dance presents a new commissioned work, Meditations on the Power of Community, illuminating stories of the Chinatown community against the backdrop of Wei’s large-scale, immersive paintings. Interviews and contemporary dance choreographed by Lee in collaboration with Lenora Lee Dance and Boston-based dancers, provide a meditation on the experiences of Boston’s Chinatown community. Video by Weiying Olivia Huang.


Weiying Olivia Huang is an award winning documentary filmmaker. Her documentary ‘City as Canvas’ won the Best Human Interest Documentary at the World Premiere Film Awards in 2020. The film, funded by a grant from the Cambridge Arts Council, was also nominated for ‘Best New England Film’ at the Massachusetts Independent Film Festival.








ISGM Community programs created in partnership with the Pao Arts Center are made possible by the National Endowment for the Arts and Barr Foundation ArtsAmplified initiative. 

Education and community programs receive support from the Vertex Foundation, Rowland Foundation, the Liberty Mutual Foundation, and Janet Burke Mann Foundation. 

The Museum receives operating support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council







Pao Arts Center was established in 2017 as a visionary program collaboration between Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center (BCNC) and Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC). Located at 99 Albany Street in downtown Boston, Pao Arts Center is Chinatown’s first arts and cultural center. 

Pao Arts Center mission is to celebrate and strengthen the Asian Pacific Islander (API) community of Chinatown and Greater Boston through access to culturally relevant art, education, and creative programs. Pao Arts Center functions in service of BCNC’s and BHCC’s goals to support the social well-being, economic success, and education of their constituents.

Pao Arts Center represents the belief that investing in arts, culture, and creativity are vital to the health and well-being of individuals, families, and vibrant communities. Through its innovative approach, Pao Arts Center empowers creativity, connection, learning, and support.












I.J. Chan at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum*

Behind the scenes interviews during the creative on the process.


















VIRTUAL EXHIBITION TOUR AND EVENTSFlora Hyoin Kim at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum*
*Shen Wei: Painting in Motion Exhibition (Hostetter Gallery)
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston
December 3, 2020 – June 20, 2021

Words of Gratitude

Chloe Luo & Johnny Nguyen photo by KateFim


Dear Community, Friends, 

We wish you many blessings, good health, and prosperity as we close the year. 2020 has been one of the most challenging times in our existence. We, however, remained deeply committed to advance our art as a creative and social practice, engaging in complex problem solving, community building, collaborative participation, providing inspiration for next generations – a voice for the underrepresented, a powerful vehicle for diverse, connected perspectives. It is our time to rise, and we are. 
We endured many changes due to the pandemic, which include:
  • Letting go of our 945 ArtSpace, a Chinatown storefront space under the auspices of Chinatown Community Development Center (CCDC), which was a project of Asian Improv aRts SF in collaboration with Lenora Lee Dance (LLD), API Cultural Center, and CCDC. 
  • All five of LLD’s 2020 projects were postponed due to the catastrophic effects of the pandemic on our artists, collaborators, and organization. We postponed large group rehearsals due to city regulations and health risks facing our 11 dancers. 
  • The pandemic hit LLD artists and administrators extremely hard, with the loss of some or all performing art, arts education, and non-art related jobs. We feel the devastating effects: loss of work, uncertainty about artistic livelihoods and health, being forced to reinvent ways to survive, and moving multiple times or away from the Bay Area temporarily. Much of LLD’s grant income is project-related, earmarked for when the projects start up again.



Hien Huynh & Johnny Nguyen photo by KateFim


Going forward into our 13th Season

LLD continues to work with CCDC on And the Community Will Rise, supported by Creative Work Fund, California Arts Council, Rainin, Zellerbach and Fleishhacker Foundations. It focuses on stories of advocacy and the fight for tenants’ rights by current and former residents of Ping Yuen housing complex and staff of CCDC. We are also being commissioned to create Convergent Waves for Pao Arts Center in Boston, with additional support from National Endowment for the Arts, New England Foundation for the Arts, and ArtsEmerson. It celebrates the contributions of activists and non-profit leaders in the fight for affordable housing, eliciting stories of community agency, resilience and transformation. For both, we are in the midst of research, interview and sound score editing, and are considering film versions or outdoor performances of these projects in 2021 / 2022. We will also continue editing the Within These Walls film by filmmaker Tatsu Aoki, inspired by those detained at the U.S. Immigration Station on Angel Island.
Gama Hsu photo by Robbie Sweeny


Your support is critical during this time of survival 

We strive to inspire people to engage, to risk, to be touched by the generosity of others, with a fearlessness in knowing artists hold a key to building bridges and creating the foundation for transformation and transcendence. Contemporary segregation exists along color, class, geographic, economic, and material lines. We have to become part of decision-making teams to determine sustainable solutions and build paths to freedom via equality. We need to unobstruct the divide, the fear of indifference, and the resistance to change with risk-taking vulnerability. It is appreciation of diversity, and power in uplifting voices of collaboration into leadership roles that will bring facets of American society together, allow us to dissolve barriers of discrimination & control, and bear witness to our collective abilities to grow, unify, and transform. 
We deeply appreciate your generosity and invite you to make a contribution today! 
Your gift will directly support the above programs in addition to LLD’s upcoming virtual online programming featuring films, performances, interviews and discussions with collaborating artists, designers and filmmakers. With the intensity of this year, and the myriad of adjustments we’ve all had to make in our lives, we are ever so grateful for your continued support. 
Wishing you grace and love,
                                                                         Lenora Lee                  Hien Huynh              Lucy Tafler

                                                                  Artistic Director      Marketing & Outreach     Project Consultant


Derek Harris & Lynn Huang photo by Hoa Huynh