Interdisciplinary dance works giving artistic voice to Asian Americans

Community Events

Introducing the ‘Jeanette Acosta Invest in Women’s Health Act of 2019’

Jeanette Acosta Invest in Women’s Health Act

Jeanette dedicated her life to social justice issues. Let’s do a bit of our own activism on her behalf.
The Jeanette Acosta Invest In Women’s Health Act will:
Expand access to preventive and life-saving cancer screenings
Increase funding for healthcare clinics serving populations most at-risk
Improve training for treating low-income women and women of color

Tools & Resources
Join us in calling our U.S. House Reps to Co-Sponsor H.R. 3129

The Jeanette Acosta Invest in Women’s Health Act of 2019 (H.R. 3129) already has 42 co-sponsors, compared to 17 last year!

Let’s help Rep. Jimmy Gomez and his staff build momentum to make a request to increase co-sponsor support.

Use this social media kit to share messages on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Find out who your U.S. House Representative is here.
Call your Congressperson by dialing the Capitol switchboard
Ask to be connected to your member of Congress.
Once connected, you can speak to the legislative assistant in charge of health issues.
Or you can speak to the person who answers the telephone.
Use the talking points below to urge them to co-sponsor.
I urge Representative [name] to cosponsor the Jeanette Acosta Invest in Women’s Health Act of 2019, H.R. 3129, introduced by Congressman Jimmy Gomez.
This important legislation would expand access to preventive, lifesaving women’s health screenings at safety net healthcare providers.
Specifically, the bill would create new grant and pilot programs to expand access to preventive services and better train health practitioners, especially in treating low-income women and women of color.
The bill is named for Jeanette Acosta, who dedicated her life to making the world a more just and inclusive place through public service, and who lost her battle with cervical cancer at the age of 32.
I hope Representative [name] will cosponsor the Jeanette Acosta Invest in Women’s Health Act of 2019, H.R. 3129, by contacting Congressman Jimmy Gomez’s office.
Encourage 3 friends to do the same!
Share, text, call, nudge this week.

Help grow the community.
Invite 3 friends to sign-up on this Remember Jeanette email list!
Click here to join

Volunteer Call for upcoming production ‘In the Skin of Her Hands’

Warm greetings community! Lenora Lee Dance is seeking volunteers for our upcoming production, “In the Skin of Her Hands”. The show will take place at Dance Mission Theater on November 1 and 2 at 8 pm and November 3rd at 5 pm. Lenora Lee Dance continues its immersive, multimedia audience engagement, and we are looking for volunteers to help the production run smoothly. Following are the details, volunteer roles, and how you can sign up. In addition, tickets are on sale NOW. Invite your community to see the next production of this award winning dance company.

Izzie Awards:

We need 4 volunteers each day of the shows. There are various roles you can play. We ask that you commit for one day, Friday (11/1) and Saturday (11/2) 5:30-10:30pm and Sunday 11/3 and 2:30-7:30pm. In gratitude for volunteering, you will receive 1 complimentary ticket for each show you volunteer.

Dance Mission is located 3316 24th St, San Francisco, CA 94110; across the street from the 24th St BART station. Street parking can be very challenging, so we highly suggest you take public transit. There is parking garage at Mission Bartlett Garage Google Maps. Follow link for rate information

Volunteer Roles:
A. 4 volunteers to set up, clean up, pass out programs, and to direct audience from room to room, to their seats, and to maintain appropriate distance from the dancing area

RSVP via email to Shannon Preto, or call (415) 570-8615
Which date you would like to volunteer
Which date you or a friend would like to see the show
Your cell phone number so we can call, or text, as we get closer to the show

For more information:
Lenora Lee Dance:
Video trailer:

photos by Robbie Sweeny
1.) Johnny Nguyen, Jory Horn, Hien Huynh
2.) Lynn Huang
3.) Jacinta Wu

PRESS RELEASE: In the Skin of Her Hands

Lynn Huang photo by Robbie Sweeny



CONTACT: Lenora Lee
(415) 570-8615


Dance Mission Theater in association with Asian Improv aRts and API Cultural Center present
as part of Dance Mission’s WORD Series (Womxn Oracular Radical Dance) 
the World Premiere of a new multimedia dance experience 


In the Skin of Her Hands

by Lenora Lee Dance


At Dance Mission Theater
3316 24th Street San Francisco, CA 94110

Post-Performance Panelists
Friday, 11/1, 8pm show – Karina Lee Howe, Pamela Munster, Julie Wong
Saturday, 11/2, 8pm show – Raymond Fong, Valerie Soe, Marie Weber-Retherford
Sunday, 11/3, *5pm show – Karina Lee Howe, Cristina Prada, Akriti Sharma

*note daylight savings time


Performances will begin on time, please arrive early.
Post-performance discussions to follow each show
Theater is on second floor, there is no elevator access

Lenora Lee & Hien Huynh photo by Robbie Sweeny


General Admission – $35
Arts Patron – $60 (includes reserved seating & invitation to special rehearsals)
Student, Senior – $25

For more info:
For questions or high resolution images, email, (415) 570-8615.

Lenora Lee Dance (LLD) celebrates its 12th Anniversary Season with the World Premiere of our latest multimedia dance production, “In the Skin of Her Hands.” Inspired by the lives and experiences of those living with breast cancer, this piece is a journey through healing, compassion, and forgiveness in the face of the unknown. It will feature contemporary and aerial dance, multimedia film/video projection by Olivia Ting and Lenora Lee, original music by Francis Wong and Tatsu Aoki, as well as voiceover interviews from those with cancer, their loved ones, and experts in the field.

“In the Skin of Her Hands” will share stories and perspectives of those living with breast cancer, their families and communities, gained from a community engagement project involving interviews and workshops. So many women have been affected by breast cancer, including Lenora’s sister and mother, creating an extremely urgent need for greater awareness, information, and connection in the face of this health crisis. On average, every 2 minutes a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer. Over 3.3 million breast cancer survivors are alive in the United States today.

LLD will premiere “In the Skin of Her Hands” 11/1 – 11/3/19 at Dance Mission Theater as part of the theater’s WORD Series (Womxn Oracular Radical Dance). We will include a panel of those living with cancer and experts in the field as part of the post-performance programming.

Through this process, we embrace moments of sharing and honoring women’s stories and experiences, in order to reflect collectively, inspire resiliency, and acknowledge the communal bravery, compassion, and endearing support of loved ones.


Johnny Nguyen & Megan Lowe photo by Robbie Sweeny


Jory Horn photo by Robbie Sweeny


“The words that are spoken are both incredibly specific and indelibly universal – the location comes alive and is given voice through Within These Walls.”
– Brian Resler, No Proscenium

Audience responses to LLD’s “Within These Walls”

“Deeply touched, deep sorrow. I was so moved. As beyond moved right now, still trying to metabolize the complexity” – Amber Cady

“It was a truly unique and powerful experience, and I feel fortunate to have witnessed it. It snuck into my dreams last night.”

“It was brilliant and emotionally powerful.”


Lynn Huang & Megan Lowe photo by Robbie Sweeny


Lenora Lee on Asian Pacific America with Robert HandaLenora Lee on Asian Pacific America with Robert Handa, NBC Bay Area, July 29, 2019

Audience responses to LLD’s “Within These Walls”

“Deeply touched, deep sorrow. I was so moved. As beyond moved right now, still trying to metabolize the complexity” – Amber Cady 

“It was a truly unique and powerful experience, and I feel fortunate to have witnessed it. It snuck into my dreams last night.”

“It was brilliant and emotionally powerful.”


Conceived, Produced & Directed by Lenora Lee
Choreography by Lenora Lee in collaboration with performers Jory Horn,
Lynn Huang, Hien Huynh, SanSan Kwan, Megan Lowe, Johnny Nguyen
Music Score directed by Tatsu Aoki and Francis Wong, with Kioto Aoki, Edward Wilkerson Jr.
Vocals by Edward Kaikea Goo, Megan Lowe, Jacinta Wu
Media Design & Editing by Olivia Ting & Lenora Lee
Videography by Edward Kaikea Goo, Hien Huynh, Lenora Lee, Joel Wanek
Calligraphy by Jacinta Wu
Voiceover by Raymond Fong, Erika Gee, Marina Goez, Karina Lee Howe, Winnie Lai, JoAnn Lee, Lenora Lee, Mixi Li, Nancy Lim-Yee, Megan Lowe, Ha Wa Lui, Javier Moreno, Sandra Moreno, Pamela Munster, Cristina Prada, Camilo Romero, Isabel Romero, Rose, Valerie Soe, Melody Takata, Olivia Ting, Marie Weber-Retherford, Julie Wong, Jacinta Wu


Please Note:

  • Comfortable footwear is encouraged
  • Guests may encounter situations in close proximity with performers
  • We encourage guests with special needs to contact us prior to arrival at:
    or (415) 570-8615

    Dance Mission is located 3316 24th St, San Francisco, CA 94110; across the street from the 24th St BART station. Street parking can be challenging, so we highly suggest you take public transit. There is a parking garage at Mission Bartlett Garage Google Maps. Follow link for rate information: lotsimpark

    Volunteer Call
    LLD is seeking volunteers for the weekend of shows. Join and work alongside the cast and crew to be apart of the production! For more information: click here or contact (415) 570-8615

    Hien Huynh photo by Queenie Quan with Connection, 2019 bamboo installation by Tanabe Chikuunsai IV, taken at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco





    Lenora Lee Dance (LLD) integrates contemporary dance, film, music, and research and has gained increasing attention for its sustained pursuit of issues related to immigration, global conflict, and its impacts, particularly on women and families. The company is directed by San Francisco native Lenora Lee, who has been a dancer, choreographer and artistic director for the past 21 years in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York. She has been an Artist Fellow at the de Young Museum, a Djerassi Resident Artist, a Visiting Scholar at New York University 2012-2016, and an Artist in Residence at Dance Mission Theater. She is currently a 2019 United States Artists Fellow and has been recently awarded a Creative Work Fund and California Arts Council California Creative Communities grant with the Chinatown Community Development Center to collaborate on an immersive performance piece in 2020.

    LLD’s recent work Within These Walls (WTW) received a Special Achievement Award for Outstanding Production by the Isadora Duncan Dance Awards Committee. Hien Huynh, a main character in the piece, won the nomination for Outstanding Achievement in Performance by an Individual for his incredibly moving performance in the piece. 

    LLD creates works that are both set in public and private spaces, intimate and large-scale, inspired by individual stories as well as community strength. For the last 12 years, the company has been pushing the envelope of large-scale multimedia, and immersive dance performance that connects various styles of movement and music to culture, history and human rights issues. Its work has grown to encompass the creation, presentation and screening of films, museum and gallery installations, civic engagement, and educational programming.


    Francis Wong (music direction, composition) was dubbed one of “the great saxophonists of his generation” by the late jazz critic Phil Elwood. Few musicians are as accomplished as Wong: for over two decades he has performed his innovative brand of jazz and creative music for audiences in North America, Asia, and Europe. A prolific recording artist, Wong is featured on more than forty titles.


    Olivia Ting (media & graphic design) is interested in the role of digital technology in the fabric of contemporary lives and how our perception of recorded media (film, photography, audio) as “reality” has shifted as technology becomes more sophisticated. Olivia has done design work for Oakland Museum of California, San Francisco Arts Commission, San Jose Children’s Museum, and collaborated with various dance companies in the Bay Area. Her work shifts between video projection and altered 360 VR film experiences. She holds an MFA in Art Practice from U.C. Berkeley.


    Tatsu Aoki (music) is a prolific composer, musician, filmmaker, and educator. Based in Chicago, Aoki works in a wide range of musical genres, ranging from traditional Japanese music, jazz, experimental and creative music. Aoki is currently an adjunct Full Professor at the Film, Video and New Media Department within the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, teaching film production and history courses. To this date, Aoki has produced and appears in more than 90 recording projects and over 30 experimental films.


    Jory Horn (dance) combines Cambodian culture and dance, as a means of advocacy to address challenges and celebrations of the Cambodian-American community. His guidance and mentorship of the Cambodian art form is a true testament of the strength and resilience of his people and survived through living dance masters Chayra Burt, Chey Chankethya, and Prumsodun Ok. Jory holds a BA in Dance and minor in Recreation Administration from CSU Sacramento.


    Lynn Huang (dance) trained in modern dance, ballet, and Chinese dance. She has performed with Lenora Lee, Cynthia Ling Lee, HT Dance Company, and Ella Ben-Aharon/Sahar Javedani, among others. She studied ethnic minority dance at Minzu University in Beijing, China on a Fulbright fellowship and graduated magna cum laude from Barnard College of Columbia University with a BA in English.


    Hien Huynh (dance) was born in Da Nang, Vietnam. Through embodied practice, Hien aspires to seek understanding, and honor the recognition of the vibrations of life, deepen awarenesses, and open heart for human compassion. He is honored to have performed in the works of Lenora Lee Dance, Kim Epifano, Robert Moses’ Kin, Kinetech Arts, PUSH, Deborah Slater Dance Theater, Christy Funsch & Nol Simonse, and punkkiCo. 


    SanSan Kwan (dance) teaches dance and dance studies at UC Berkeley.  She has performed, in New York with Jonathon Appels, HT Chen, Maura Nguyen Donohue, and Joanna Mendl Shaw, among others.  In San Francisco, she has worked with Lenora, as well as composer Scott Rubin. This is her eighth year with Lenora Lee Dance.  


    Megan Lowe (dance) is a dancer/choreographer/singer who creates her own works, and has performed with Flyaway Productions, Scott Wells & Dancers, Lizz Roman & Dancers, Epiphany Productions, Dance Brigade, and more. Megan teaches for Flyaway, Joe Goode Performance Group, Bandaloop, for contact improvisation gatherings, and for Theater, Dance, & Performance Studies at UC Berkeley, where she currently works as the Office Manager.


    Johnny Huy Nguyen (dance) is a second generation Vietnamese American multidisciplinary, performing artist navigating the intersections between the personal and political. His practice is informed by fluency in street and contemporary dance forms to activate dialogue, healing, and actiont. In addition to Lenora Lee Dance Company, Johnny has also worked with Embodiment Project, Kularts, and James Graham Dance Theatre.


    Dr. Raymond Fong worked as a counselor with City College of San Francisco’s (CCSF) Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (EOPS) from 1990 to 2018, and as coordinator of the EOPS’ Second Chance program, a comprehensive academic support service program that was geared towards the needs of formerly incarcerated CCSF students. Ray holds a doctorate degree in International and Multicultural Education, a baccalaureate degree in Psychology, as well as masters degrees in MFT Counseling, and in Ethnic Studies. An accomplished bodybuilder, he is also a longtime martial artist who teaches karate at his San Mateo dojo. Ray’s mother battled with both breast cancer and Alzheimer’s disease prior to her passing earlier this year. He and his family were confronted with many challenges in caring for their mother, and struggled in finding ways to create and maintain meaningful connections with her.

    Karina Lee Howe earned a BA in Pre-Physical Therapy and a Minor in Asian American Studies at San Francisco State University. She received a Master’s of Science in Physical Therapy from Columbia University. It was in college that Karina met Perry and their lifelong collaboration began. The twenties were the milestones of marriage and career. The thirties were establishing the family unit, and having four children. The forties were about nurturing the family (developing the football players, artists, lacrosse players and tennis players) and growing the therapy practice. With the introduction of Metastatic Breast Cancer, the fifties have become the period of change. The refocusing of life back on oneself. Relinquishing control to the medical professionals. The acquisition of knowledge, everything about her type of breast cancer and how to survive it. And new goals: to be the best patient there is, to cherish every day, and to impart life lessons to her family as often as she can.

    Pamela Munster, MD is a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, where at the Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, she is leader of the Experimental Therapeutics Program, Director of Early Phase Clinical Trials Unit, and Co-Director of the UCSF Center for BRCA Research. In Dr. Munster’s lab, UCSF scientists are exploring new ways to detect, surveil, intercept, and cure BRCA-related cancers. In addition to her laboratory research, she develops novel strategies to treat patients with incurable cancers as an oncologist. Dr. Munster serves on multiple local, national and international committees focused on developing new treatments for cancer, has published over two hundred articles, authored textbooks and is a frequent lecturer. A native of Switzerland, she leads breast cancer awareness campaigns in the United States, United Arab Emirates, and India.

    Dr. Munster was diagnosed with a BRCA2 mutation in 2012. There was not an easy place to coordinate her care, and so she set out to create the UCSF Center for BRCA Research in partnership with Alan Ashworth, PhD, FRS. By transcending the doctor-patient perspective, Dr. Munster gives a framework for successful treatment – epitomizing the personal, patient centered care that is a hallmark of the UCSF medical center. Dr. Munster recently authored Twisting Fate, about her experience as an oncologist and a cancer patient.

    Cristina Prada was born in Colombia in 1931. She grew up around a farm in La Calera, a small town outside of the capital, Bogotá. Her mother, Cristina, died while giving birth to a younger sibling. Her father, Lorenzo, raised her and her four siblings. Cristina worked several jobs from a young age, eventually becoming the manager of a pharmaceutical laboratory and giving birth to her daughter, Isabel Cristina. In 1973, she immigrated to the United States and settled in southern California. For over 20 years, Cristina worked two full-time jobs, at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach and at various hotels around Disneyland. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014, which went away with treatment, but then metastasized and was diagnosed again in 2018. Cristina attributes the cancer to the chemicals used during her years of employment in the U.S. She is heartened in her struggle by her three great granddaughters, Emma, Penelope, and Olivia Cristina.

    Since 1986 Valerie Soe has produced nearly two dozen short films and documentaries which have exhibited worldwide. Her essays and articles have been published in numerous books and journals and she is the author of the She is Professor of Asian American Studies at San Francisco State University. Her latest film, Love Boat: Taiwan, premiered in 2019. She discovered her cancer through a routine mammogram and subsequently had chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation therapy.

    Marie Weber-Retherford is a wife and mother of three children, who are all in their 20’s now. She has been a registered Nurse for 40 years, currently still working full time in pediatric Emergency Department. Marie is a 12-year survivor of both DCIS (ductal) and invasive breast cancer, which was discovered by her own manual exam.

    Julie Wong is a physical therapist and a certified lymphedema therapist at Proactive Physical Therapy. As a breast cancer survivor, she discovered a vacuum of care and information for other patients. Her background as an orthopedic specialist combined with her osteopathic and lymphedema studies and applications allowed her to develop protocols never conceived or tried. In 2013 Julie was honored with the Komen San Francisco “Make a Difference Award” for helping patients regain function, comfort, and understanding.

    Dr. Akriti Sharma, DPT is a Doctorate in Physical Therapy, Board Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist and is Owner of Proactive Physical Therapy where the focus is on treating breast cancer patients. She utilizes a unique physical therapy protocol that addresses total body systems to help patients before, during, and after breast cancer treatment: including radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and various breast cancer related surgeries. Akriti & her team at Proactive Physical Therapy are also involved in and support various breast cancer organizations throughout San Francisco.



    Dance Mission Theater’s WOMXN SPEAK: WORD series

    Womxn’s Oracular Radical Dance. Dance Mission is proud to announce its presenting and program for 2018-2019, WORD, during which we are working closely with four groups of womxn identified artists. Don’t miss these exciting performances, conversations, and on-going investigations that dive into some of today’s most pressing topics. 


    Asian Improv aRts

    As a non-profit multidisciplinary arts presenter it has produced high quality arts and cultural events for 24 years in the San Francisco Bay Area in community based and major venues such as Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (with Dohee Lee’s FLUX), Great American Music Hall (with SFJazz), and Zellerbach Playhouse (Cal Performances) as well as various venues outside the Bay Area including the Museum of Contemporary Arts (Chicago), Flynn Center (Vermont), Library of Congress (Washington DC) and Banlieues Bleus Festival (Paris, France). AIR pursues a strategy of collaboration between artists, community resources and mainstream institutions to create cultural and educational programming that brings together diverse sectors across generational, cultural and social experiences. 



    The Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center’s (APICC) mission is to support and produce multidisciplinary art reflective of the unique experiences of Asian Pacific Islanders living in the United States. APICC was founded in 1996 by representatives of five nonprofit arts groups: Asian American Dance Performances, First Voice, Asian Improv aRts, the Asian American Theater Company, and Kearny Street Workshop. Since 1998, the center has promoted the artistic and organizational growth of San Francisco’s API arts community by organizing and presenting the annual United States of Asian America Festival as well as commissioning contemporary art for and by the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. 


    “In the Skin of Her Hands” is supported in part by Dance Mission Theater, United States Artists, CA$H a grants program of Dancers’ Group, San Francisco Grants for the Arts, and Generous Individuals. 

    To contribute in the support of Karina, visit:


    Lenora Lee, Hien Huynh, Megan Lowe, Jory Horn, Lynn Huang, Johnny Nguyen photo by Robbie Sweeny

Lenora Lee Dance, Call for Participants!

Lenora Lee Dance (LLD) is seeking participation for our new multimedia dance, “In the Skin of Her Hands,” a work dedicated to breast cancer survivors via a journey of healing, compassion, forgiveness and the unknown. LLD is looking for survivors and/or their loved ones who are open to sharing about experiences dealing with the disease, providing inspiration for the creation of the piece.

“In the Skin of Her Hands” will examine the effects of cancer on survivors, family, and community. So many women have been affected by breast cancer, including Lenora’s sister and mother. On average, every 2 minutes a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer. Over 3.3 million breast cancer survivors are alive in the United States today.

LLD will premiere “In the Skin of Her Hands” 11/1 – 11/3/19 at Dance Mission Theater as part of the theater’s WORD Series (Womxn Oracular Radical Dance). We hope to include a panel of experts in the field as part of the post-performance programming, and will look into ways to encourage early cancer screenings.

We invite your participation for a moment of sharing, honoring your stories and experiences, and reflecting collectively to inspire resiliency and acknowledge the gathered bravery, compassion, and endearing support of loved ones. Those interested please email Lenora at or call 415-913-8725 by Sunday, 7/28/19.

With much appreciation,
Lenora and Company

Photo Credit: Robbie Sweeny
Dancers: Johnny Nguyen, Lynn Huang, Wei-Shan Lai

Lenora Lee Dance’s Volunteer Call for May 2019 award winning performance

Lenora Lee Dance seeks volunteers for our next production, “Within These Walls / Dreams of Flight”. The show takes place at the US Immigration Station, Angel Island State Park, San Francisco Bay. We are looking for volunteers to help the production run smoothly. Following are the details, volunteer roles, and how you can sign up. In addition, tickets are on sale NOW. Invite your community to see this fantastic, award winning show.

“Within These Walls” and “Dreams of Flight” trailer

Tickets: eventbrite WTWDOF

Izzie Awards: SF Chronicle Izzies


We need 6 volunteers each day of the shows. There are various roles you can play. We ask that you commit for one day, Sat. (5/4, 5/11, 5/18) or Sun. (5/5, 5/12, 5/19). If you are available to help for more than one day, that would be very much appreciated! In gratitude for volunteering, you will receive 1 complimentary ticket for each show you volunteer. You will still need to purchase your own round trip ferry tickets to the island and shuttle tickets to the Station. You have the option to walk to and from the Station to the ferry dock.

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Volunteer Roles:

a. 2 Pier 41 ferry dock ushers: For the volunteers that work the Pier 41 ferry docks, you need to be there from 8:30 am to 12:00 pm. Duties include handing out pre-purchased tickets, guiding ticket holders to the ferry ramp, informing them of what to expect, and advertise the show to the public.

b. 2 Angel Island Dock ushers *: You will need to be there from 8:30am to 1:00pm. Duties include guiding ticket holders to the shuttle or to the hiking trail, answer questions, advertise the show.

c. 2 Angel Island Immigration station ushers *: You will need to be there from 8:30am to 3:00pm. Duties include processing performance admission tickets, handing out identifying badges for ticket holders and programs, guiding individuals to the restrooms, and managing the crowds as they walk around the station.

* These Angel Island Dock & Immigration Station ushers will need to ride the 8:30am staff boat from the Tiburon dock – 21 Main Street, Tiburon, and do not need to pay for the staff boat ride to Angel Island. $5 all day parking available in the Bank of America parking lot on Main & Beach Streets in Tiburon. These ushers would have to take the Tiburon ferry back to Tiburon.

RSVP via email to Shannon Preto with:

1. Which role or location you wish to volunteer

2. Which date you would like to volunteer

3. Which date you would like to see the show

4. Your cell phone number

We will try to assign you to the location of your choice, but cannot guarantee it. If you know of anyone else who may like to volunteer, please pass along this email.

For more information about the performances:




April 1-2 │San Francisco, CA

Presentations and workshops by experts on human trafficking issues for advocates, legal representatives, social service providers, government officials, prosecutors and law enforcement officers.

ImprovisAsians 2014!: Reflections Collective: Cultural Preservation & Artistic Legacy March 3 – 7

Francis_Hafez by Andy Nozaka_1870671-R5-049-23

ImprovisAsians 2014!: Reflections Collective: Cultural Preservation and Artistic Legacy March 3 – 7 San Francisco State University

ImprovisAsians! is an annual series of performances and workshops at San Francisco State University exploring the connection between the performing arts and community-building. This year’s program will focus on preserving living cultural legacies in the arts. ImprovisAsians 2014 is sponsored by Asian Improv aRts in association with the School of Music and Dance, and American Indian Studies. All events are free and open to the public!

Monday, March 3
Voices from the Canefields: Folksongs from Japanese Immigrant Workers in Hawai’i
Knuth Hall
1:10-2:00 pm

Dr. Franklin Odo (founding director of the Smithsonian Instituttion’s Asian Pacific American Program and author of the book Voices from the Canefields: Folksongs from Japanese Immigrant Workers in Hawai‘i/Oxford University Press) with SFSU Professors/Musicians Dr. Wesley Ueunten and Dr. John-Carlos Perea (Ethnic Studies) and guest musicians Francis Wong, Masanori Oba, and Julie Beal. This event is co-sponsored by SFSU Asian American Studies, Edison Uno Institute of Nikkei and Uchinanchu Studies (SFSU), and the Dilena Takeyama Center for the Study of Japan and Japanese Culture (SFSU)

Wednesday, March 5
Asian Improv Today
Knuth Hall
1:10-2:00 pm

Asian Improv aRts Co-Founder and Creative Director Francis Wong and guest musicians Karl Evangelista, Yangqin Zhao, John-Carlos Perea, and dancer/choreographer Lenora Lee will give a special concert showing the range of work being produced by the celebrated artist-driven production company.

Thursday, March 6
Legends and Legacies
CA 152
6:10-8:50 pm

In this panel discussion Professors Hafez Modirzadeh and John Carlos Perea and guests Francis Wong and Lenora Lee will discuss collections (archiving, documentation, interpretation) efforts in the Persian, American Indian, and Asian Improv artistic communities.

Friday, March 7
The Inspiration of Mahmoud Zoufonoun
Knuth Hall
1:10-2:00 pm

Mahmoud Zoufonoun (1920 – 2013)

SFSU Music Professor and saxophonist Hafez Modirzadeh performs with alumni of SF State’s Creative World Ensemble, members of Mahmoud Zoufonoun’s family and other special guests. There will be a reception following the concert at 2:15 p.m. celebrating the J. Paul Leonard Library Collections work on M. Zoufonoun.

For more information, click here.

The Latest News from Composer/Musician Francis Wong

Click here for the latest news from composer / musician Francis Wong
including Video from a concert in Poznan, Poland – paying tribute to arts organizer Wojtek Juszczak as part of the Made in Chicago Festival in an ensemble led by Chicago luminaries Mwata Bowden and Tatsu Aoki.

Francis Wong’s “Diapsora Tales #2: 1969” 9/20, 7:30pm at the Berkeley Art Museum!


Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Chinese Culture Center, and Asian Improv aRts present

Diaspora Tales #2: 1969

The Francis Wong Unit featuring saxophonist Francis Wong, bassist John-Carlos Perea,and guitarist Karl Evangelista with guests taiko (Japanese drums) artist Melody Takata, yangqin artist Yangqin Zhou, dancer/choreographer Lenora Lee, and rapper/performerAK Black.

Immerse yourself in Diaspora Tales #2: 1969, an invigorating multimedia work encompassing music, dance, spoken word, and video projection. Francis Wong, an acclaimed composer and jazz musician, tells the story of his Bay Area family living through turbulent times, touching on UC Berkeley’s Third World strike (which resulted in the establishment of ethnic studies programs at the University), the Black Panthers, drug culture, and other themes.

Friday, September 20th, 7:30pm

Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

2626 Bancroft Way

Berkeley, CA 94720

For tickets and more info:

Media Sponsor: Eastwind Books of Berkeley, Photo by Andy Nozaka

ImprovisAsians 2013! Re(al)liance: Music, Collaboration, & Resistance April 15th – 18th!

Francis_Hafez by Andy Nozaka_1870671-R5-049-23

ImprovisAsians 2013!

Re(al)liance: Music, Collaboration, and Resistance

Sponsored by Asian Improv aRts in association with The Departments of Music and Dance and American Indian Studies at
San Francisco State University, 1600 Holloway Avenue, San Francisco, CA

This twenty-fifth anniversary edition of Asian Improv’s annual series of workshops and concerts at San Francisco State University, ImprovisAsians! will explore the role of performance as a community-organizing method enabling “re(al)liance” through shared histories of music, collaboration, and resistance.

All events will take place on the San Francisco State University campus.

Admission is free and open to the public for all events.

Monday, April 15th

1:10-2pm, Knuth Hall, Creative Arts Building, Room 132: Shiraz Quartet Reunion with James Norton and Hafez Modirzadeh (winds), joined by John Shifflett (bass) and Jason Lewis (drums)

2:10-3:25pm, Burk Hall 225 “The Art of Agency I”: a performance and discussion featuring Francis Wong (winds), Wesley Ueunten (sanshin – 3 string Okinawan lute), and Lenora Lee (dance).

Tuesday, April 16th

3:35-4:50, Creative Arts Building, Room 152: “The Art of Agency II”: a performance and discussion featuring John-Carlos Perea (bass, flute, voice),Wesley Ueunten, Francis Wong, and Lenora Lee.

5:30-7:30pm, Creative Arts Building, Room 152: Performing Re(al)liances: A roundtable discussion on the use of music in Chinese American, Native American, and Palestinian communities in relation to histories of occupation, relocation, and alliance building. Guests to include Dr Jess Ghanam (UCSF), Susan Greene (Break the Silence Media and Arts Project), Genny Lim (poet laureate), Francis Wong (AIR), and Dr John-Carlos Perea (AIS, SFSU).

Wednesday, April 17th

1:10-2pm, Knuth Hall, Creative Arts Building, Room 132: John-Carlos Perea Trio with Masaru Koga and Karl Evangelista. Over the course of their careers AIR co-founders Jang and Wong have cited the important influence of Creek and Kaw saxophonist Jim Pepper on their artistic visions. This performance will feature Pepper’s compositions alongside indigenized versions of jazz standards arranged by Perea.

Thursday, April 18th

3:30-5:30, Creative Arts Building, Room 146: Creative World Ensemble Master class with Dr Hafez Modirzadeh, focusing on original student works to accompany live poetry by Avotcja from her newly published book, “With Every Step I Take”.

6:10-8:50, Creative Arts Building, Room 152: “Art, Entrepreneurship, and Activism”: A roundtable discussion with Jon Jang, Francis Wong, Lenora Lee, and Melody Takata.

For more information:

Photo by Andy Nozaka

Beautiful images by the amazing photographer Robbie Sweeny

Beautiful prints by the amazing photographer Robbie Sweeny. You can order them as gifts and receive them with plenty of time for the holidays!

CAAM Co-Presents Global Lens @ Great Star Theater on December 1st

CAAM Co-Presents Global Lens @ Great Star Theater on December 1st

CAAM is partnering with The Global Film Initiative (GFI) to present Global Lens @ Great Star Theater, an event of GFI’s Arthouse Revival program this Saturday, December 1st at the historic Great Star Theater. During this event, three award-winning Chinese films from the Global Lens Collection will be screened at the historic Great Star Theater, San Francisco Chinatown’s last remaining film theater. The featured films include Dir. Peng Tao’s third feature THE CREMATOR (AKA FEN SHI REN)GETTING HOME (LUO YE GUI GEN) by Dir. Yang Zhang, and STOLEN LIFE (SHEN SI JIE) by Dir. Li Shaohong. Tickets are $5 for members of CAAM, GFI and the Chinese Culture Center and $7 for general admission.

Arthouse Revival is a project designed to support the revival of independent arthouse cinema nationwide through dynamic presentations of the critically-acclaimed Global Lens film series at iconic theaters such as the Great Star – a 500-seat landmark theater and opera-house credited with introducing Hong Kong cinema to the U.S. in the mid-1960s. For more information about this event, visit CAAM’s website,

10/28 at Yoshi’s – Asian Improv aRts’ 25th Anniversary Celebration!

10/28 at Yoshi’s – Asian Improv aRts’ 25th Anniversary Celebration!

“Women” Exhibition at the Chinese Culture Center

“Women” Exhibition at the Chinese Culture Center

SingTao Daily article about the Chinatown Music Festival!

8/24/12 SingTao Daily article on the Chinatown Music Festival.  Photo features festival producer and creative director of Asian Improv aRts – saxophonist/composer Francis Wong with dancer/choreographer Lenora Lee.


3rd Annual Chinatown Music Festival Saturday, 8/25!

The Chinese Culture Center of San Francisco presents

The 3rd Annual Chinatown Music Festival: America’s Cup of Tea

Saturday, August 25th, 2012, 11:00am – 5:00pm

Admission is FREE to the public

Musicians Jon Jang and Francis Wong, photo by J. Astra Brinkmann

Please join us for the 3rd Annual Chinatown Music Festival: America’s Cup of Tea, on Saturday, August 25, 2012 in Portsmouth Square from 11 am – 5 pm. Under the theme of Chinatown, Our Home, the Festival will feature the premiere of a newly commissioned work by pianist/composer Jon Jang celebrating the contributions of Chinese workers to the building of the First Transcontinental Railroad, the Latin jazz of the John Calloway Quintet, traditional Chinese cultural arts from the Yellow River Drummers and Kei Lun Martial Arts, and the perennial rhythm and blues favorite Jest Jammin’. Collaborating in the presentation of the event are these organizations: Chinatown Community Development Center, Chinese Progressive Association, Asian Improv aRts, and the API Cultural Center.

The new work by Jon Jang, entitled Central Pacific, Central Subway,will be the opening of a yearlong temporary art project by CCC entitled Journey to Chinatown, supported by the San Francisco Arts Commission Central Subway Art Project. In the composer’s words, “Just as historical political leaders Abraham Lincoln and Dr. Sun Yat-sen shared a vision of the railroad as an important way to unify their respective countries, United States and China, the Central Subway will help unify San Francisco and enhance Chinatown’s role as a cultural destination for all San Franciscans.

Also featured will be tea tasting, crafts, games, film screenings, cultural demonstrations, and the final opportunity to view the acclaimed 2012 Xian Rui exhibition of Adrian Wong’s work Orange Peel, Harbor Seal, Hyperreal in the CCC Gallery.

The Festival is thankful for the generous support of Grants for the Arts/San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund, Neighborhood Arts Collaborative, San Francisco Arts Commission, Bank of America, Wells Fargo Bank, Recology, Verizon, Portsmouth Square Parking Garage Foundation. The media sponsor for this year’s festival is the Sing Tao Daily.


Jest Jammin’

Performance Schedule

11-11:30am                   Yellow River Drummers

11:30-11:45am                      Opening Ceremony

11:45-12:15pm                         Jon Jang Quartet

12:30-1:45pm                                 Jest Jammin’

2:10-2:45pm                           Jon Jang Quartet

3:00-4:00pm                 John Calloway Quintet

4:15-4:45pm                      Kei Lun Martial Arts


Portsmouth Square (across the bridge from the Chinese Culture Center 3rd Floor

Entrance on Kearny Street between Clay and Washington), San Francisco, CA 94108

Chinese Culture Center
750 Kearny Street, 3rd Floor
San Francisco 94108

More information – Call (415) 986-1822 or email

Wednesday, May 23, 8pm – “4×4” Francis Wong Special Edition Quartet meets Wayne Wallace Latin Jazz Quartet

Featuring: Wayne Wallace, Murray Low, David Belove, Colin Douglas, Francis Wong, Jon Jang, Deszon X. Claiborne, Tatsu Aoki

   Wednesday, May 23, 2012 / 8pm 
   Hall of Culture, African American Arts and Culture Complex (AAACC)
762 Fulton Street, San Francisco, CA 94102
Admission: $15 advance online, $20 at the door
Five-time Grammy nominee, WAYNE WALLACE, is one of the more respected exponents of African American-Latin music in the world today.  He is an accomplished trombonist, arranger, educator, and composer with compositions for film and television.  Wayne will lead a stellar ensemble featuring Murray Low, piano; David Belove, bass; Colin Douglas, drums. 

Creative Director and co-founder of Asian Improv aRts, saxophonist/composer FRANCIS WONG, is celebrated internationally for his role in sharing the experiences of Asians in America through music and interdisciplinary collaborations.  His ensemble will feature Jon Jang, piano; Deszon X. Claiborne, drums; and Tatsu Aoki, bass. 

Photos by Andy Nozaka and Dennis Scherzer
For more info, email, visit , or call (415) 908-3636

KPIX CBS Channel 5 – May 9, 6pm segment on CHSA and “Passages” installation

IMG_1031  Please watch the KPIX CBS Channel 5 news at 6pm on Wednesday, May 9th  to see Linda Yee featuring CHSA exhibits and programs.  She speaks with CHSA director Sue Lee and “Passages” installation artist / dancer Lenora Lee.  Special performance by Lenora and Francis Wong.

The Music That Started The Movement, With Charlie Chin

  This Saturday, May 12, 1pm at CHSA – 965 Clay St (bt Powell & Stockton)