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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This Thursday, March 1st we will be “MERGING MICS” in a heart-warming, community-building collaboration with Tuesday Night Project. TNP hosts the 1st and 3rd Tuesday Night Cafe, a space for new work from Asian American, Pacific Islander, and Greater L.A. communities. It’s one of the longest running free public art series in downtown L.A.

Some of the beautiful TNP organizers took some time to weigh in on their thoughts about the importance of art+community:

traci kato-kiriyama:

Art is traditionally, historically, politically, spiritually a way people have communicated with each other through struggle and from the heart.  I’ve learned through various communities time and again how art, from music to murals, has the ability to reach a mass and connect on very human, personal levels.  Movement activists brought themselves together with countless people across the world through the power of sharing their stories through song.  Art is one of our best means of education through the visual and oral tradition.  Art is breath.  Art is connection.  And it’s just really damn necessary and super cool.

Chris Hahn:

Art has the ability to move people if it strikes the right cords. I am a prime example, if it were not for the art from my community I would be spending my time drinking and being unproductive. I now pursue music as a medium to release frustration and pleasure.

Candace Kita:

In my community, I’ve seen expression transform into compassion. I’m convinced that there is nothing more powerful than the art of creation— whether that means creating work or creating relationships. 
Quincy Surasmith:
Art has always been an important way for me to build and understand community. The acts of sharing and expression do wonders to help people understand, relate to, and connect with each other.
Michael Nailat:
Art has been the connecting link in my community, the common thread that has led me to meeting so many of the people I work with now.  Everyone I truly consider to be my family I’ve met through the Spoken Word scene or worked with through FilAm Arts or the Cafe.  And even though I’m not particularly good at any one medium or method of art making, because I’m surrounded by so many loving and talented artists, I can’t help but feel like their triumphs are tributes to the people and communities we’ve all built together.
NOW dya get why we’re so, so excited about our collaboration this Thursday?? RSVP on Facebook, or just show up ready for a good time. We’re going to be taking a hiatus after this show, so be sure to catch us now, and TNP when they start up again on April 3!