common ground open mic series

common ground is organized by progressive Vietnamese American community members, artists, and activists committed to cultivating a positive and safe healing space for artistic growth and community empowerment. The common ground collective builds collaborations across communities and supports the work of social justice spaces.

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Our new logo was designed by the lovely Candace Kita.
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Who we are: The Center for the Pacific Asian Family is a nonprofit agency in Los Angeles specializing in assisting Asian and Pacific Islanders who are survivors of sexual assault and/or domestic violence.  CPAF’s mission is to build healthy and safe communities by addressing the root causes and consequences of family violence and violence against women. CPAF is committed to meeting the specific cultural and language needs of Asian Pacific Islander women and their families.  We have multi-lingual staff and volunteers if you speak limited English. All of our services are free of charge. Services include a 24-hour hotline, emergency and transitional shelter, short-term counseling, and community education and training programs.

ON “Service”: Rachel Naomi Remen writes, “Helping, fixing and serving represent three different ways of seeing life. When you help, you see life as weak. When you fix, you see life as broken. When you serve, you see life as whole. Fixing and helping may be the work of the ego, and service the work of the soul.”  At CPAF, we believe that survivors of violence are strong, whole people, and by serving them we can support their healing from trauma and movement towards a healthier, happier life.

Dj B Chang is the founder of Milk Karton DJs

Milk Karton DJs is a community group based out of Orange County that provides a home to lost DJs. We provide FREE DJ lessons to those who want to learn more about the art form, focusing on the fundamentals, good habits, DJ culture, and etiquette. Our group also serves as a great way to network with other DJs and fans of electronic music. 

We are currently hosting classes at Posch Restaurant and Lounge in Irvine every Tuesday at 8pm. Come by and visit to learn more about what we are all about. No experience necessary, all levels welcome, even those with experience end up learning something new. Just bring an open mind and a willingness to learn.

On our theme: Service - We offer free DJ lessons to aspiring DJs in the local community. We do it because we love the art form and thrive off being able to share our passion with others.

Bio:

Danthi is a mentee at Project Motivate. She loves musicals and singing. Singing with Jacqueline is a great privilege and she looks forward to performing with her. Danthi is also currently student at Fountain Valley High School.

Jacqueline Dan is a mentor with Project MotiVATe.  She is happy that she can support Danthi tonight through their common interests in singing and the performing arts.  Outside of PM, Jacqueline is an attorney with a non-profit organization called Advancing Justice, where she serves as pro bono appointed legal counsel to immigrants detained in federal custody who cannot represent themselves due to mental illness.  She is also an avid gardener, birder, and rock climber.

Theme Response:

Danthi: Service is important because through it you can show people you care. You can also be doing something you love through service as well as helping others.

Jacqueline: Service is important to me because having a mentor in the Vietnamese community saved me from a childhood of isolation growing up in Texas.  I found meaning in being encouraged to pursue my interests with everything that I had.  Seeing how dedicated he was to helping youth who needed it the most inspired me to take action to help youth in our community find meaning and dream big.

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Bio:

VAALA is a non profit organization with a mission is connect and enrich communities through Vietnamese art and culture. This exhibition helps us reach out to other communities through Art.

VAALA collaborates for the first time with OCCCA to organize the exhibition, “HOME”. We have received more than 600 pieces of artwork and about 100 pieces selected by our curator Richard Turner . In the exhibition each artists presents his/her HOME with a unique thoughts and feelings.
http://www.vaala.org/home.html

Theme Response:
We, VAALA is a big group of volunteers, who come from many different background. We work together to create events to serve our community and others, such as art exhibition, literature, film festival, and children drawing contest. It’s our honor to use our artistic mind to serve everybody.

Bio:

Hi my name is Jazzmine Farol. I am an aspiring singer-songwriter with a passion for making people happy. I hope I can help you love yourself because you have every right to. :)

Theme Response:

I believe that music touches human beings in a way that is different and more powerful than anything else. It is a form of a communication that transcends all language in our world, it connects all hearts, all minds, all souls regardless of one’s cultural/social/gender/etc. background. That’s why I find it so beautiful in that it brings together people of all kinds in such a diverse society. It is safe, it is kind, it is accepting. It touches the heart and soothes the soul.

https://www.facebook.com/events/1431347253810266/

Bio:

Bio:

We are DRH. A music group comprised of three talented young men: Drew, Ruben, and Hanson. We formed in the summer of 2012 where our shared love for music bound us together. We have been privileged to perform at venues such as The House of Blues in Hollywood, The Glass House, Fox Theatre and The Pantages Theatre. Our style of music fuses soulful melodies, syncopated rhythms, and good vibes all encompassed in contemporary pop.

Theme Response:

The theme “service” highlights a topic that needs to be more recognized. If people all around us incorporated service in their lives, there would be less disorder, more action, more unity, which we desperately need in our society. Not only does it help build character, but it helps build the community for all the generations to come. We could come together as a nation and stand hand in hand against all the obstacles of the future.

https://www.facebook.com/events/1431347253810266/

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Bio:

Kuya Paul Abesamis is a native-born Angeleno and AMERICAN-Filipino.  He is an aspiring author, writer, poet, artist, and lover of God. Kuya Paul finds much of his artistic inspirations from his everyday life, which revolves around his faith, ministry with youth, and nerd-centric lifestyle. 
Currently, Kuya Paul is working as a Youth Overseer for Life Christian Fellowship, Southern California (a body of churches under Transformation Ministries).

Theme Response:

As a man of faith, I’ve grown up going to “service” every Sunday.  But, I’ve noticed, throughout the years, that people often want to receive rather than serve.  My parents said it best, during a recent conversation I had with them: “The mark of maturity is when you decide to give before you receive.”

https://www.facebook.com/events/1431347253810266/

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Bio:

Viet Mai is an Educator, Artist and Consultant who works to enhance the lives of others through community engagement and youth empowerment. As a member of the 2013 ELEVATED! Slam Team, Viet represented San Diego to rank 4th place at the National Poetry Slam in Boston, MA.

Theme Response:

I have built my life around serving others. One of the pillars that we teach our kids in Village of Promise is “Service With A Smile - Helping Others Helps Me.” I found this concept to be very powerful because in serving others, I am fortunate to live a life of passion and purpose.

https://www.facebook.com/events/1431347253810266/

Javier began formal music training since the age of 6. Graduated CSU, Fullerton with a Bachelor of Arts with an emphasis in Instrumental Music. Currently, he is a private piano and violin teacher. He daylights as a math teacher at the Garden Grove Unified School District.