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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Singer-songwriter and February feature Giana Nguyen explains that sometimes we just can’t choose the ways in which we express ourselves— they choose us:

Hmmm…“How do you express yourself?” Such a simple question, yet so many ways to answer! I express myself through the notes I write, the hugs I give, the cookies I bake, the laughs I share…but my most public expression is through the songs I sing. I’ve loved music since I was a kid. My [biased] parents tell me I was singing full, adult love songs at 4 years old; and I’ve been playing piano since 7, and never missed an opportunity to join school choirs. 

Music is not just an enjoyment, but a necessity in my life.
I tried to put it on the back burner for a different, more stable career path. But I slowly realized as the years went by, regardless of my accomplishments in that career, that I wasn’t completely happy…I wasn’t completely me. Your work plays a big part in defining who you are as a person, and at the time, my work wasn’t aligned with who I am. And from the moment I decided to face my fears (of failure, judgment, exposure, ridicule) and DO SOMETHING with music, I’ve never felt more free or more in tune with my identity. Since the transition into my new career, I’ve released original music, collaborated with other artists, started teaching piano again, and am volunteering for an arts organization called the Vietnamese American Arts & Letters Association. The things I do now on a daily basis surround me with my lifeblood, music, and it’s a wonderful feeling.
Thanks, Giana. Can’t wait to see you express yourself this THURSDAY, FEB 2!
  1. commongroundoc posted this