“We risk critical misunderstanding of each other when we reduce complex human beings and situations to a single narrative.” — Chimananda Ngozi Adichie
Grab a cocktail or a cup of tea and watch experienced storytellers perform hopeful immigration stories in celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. Alton Chung, Eleanor Clement Glass, and Janet Liu bring to life the diverse immigrant experiences of Asian American women with compelling stories about an early 20th-century Japanese mail-order bride, a Filipina World War I bride, and a young girl leaving her home in Taiwan in the 1960s. This program is recommended for ages 16 and up, but the whole family is welcome.
ABOUT THE STORYTELLERS
Japanese Korean storyteller Alton Takiyama-Chung grew up with the superstitions and the magic of the Hawaiian Islands. He tells stories from Hawaii, as well as Asian folktales, ghost stories, stories about Japanese American experiences during WWII, and stories of Chinese immigration to the United States. He has performed at the Timpanogas and the National Storytelling Festivals, and at international storytelling festivals in the Cayman Islands, Singapore, Vietnam, India, and Thailand. He is a former chairman of the board of directors of the National Storytelling Network, the national organization for storytellers in the U.S.
Eleanor Clement Glass delights children with folktales from around the world as a storyteller and school tour docent at the Asian Art Museum and as a teaching artist with Stagebridge’s Storybridge program in Oakland, Pinole, and San Jose public elementary schools. She has performed personal stories from her Black and Filipina cultures at the 2020 and 2021 National Storytelling Conference, Artists Standing Strong Together, and local community venues, including The Marsh and Silk Road. In 2019, she joined Eth-Noh-Tec’s international storytelling tour, exchanging goodwill and stories with local storytellers in China and South Korea.
Janet Liu grew up listening to her grandmother’s stories in Taiwan, and then moved with her family to the United States when she was 10 years old. She faced many challenges, including learning a new language, adjusting to a different culture, and making friends. However, she was able to take advantage of educational opportunities and leverage them into well-paying jobs. Now she is retired, with an adult daughter, and finds herself telling stories of a different culture, time, and context. Her story is featured on the website of The Immigrant Story, a nonprofit in Washington, D.C.