AAI Annual Block Party 2023
* Due to the inclement weather, our Block Party has been postponed to the next day, Sunday (10/8) 2-6:30PM
Saturday, October 7, Asian Arts Initiative's annual Block Party will take place at Matthias Baldwin Park, to celebrate the launch of the Invasive Species installations this fall and to bring together members of the neighboring communities. The Block Party will be an opportunity for the public to meet the lead artists, and to enjoy music, poetry, dance offerings, with local food and drinks. Join us! RSVP to the event here.
Malaya Ulan (Free Rain) & Kingsley Ibeneche
Bethlehem & Sad Patrick
Karen Smith Experience
Called “bold, unapologetic and boundary-breaking” by Billy Penn, ALMANAC DANCE CIRCUS THEATRE is an award-winning, internationally recognized, Philadelphia-based performing arts ensemble dedicated to creating original works of genre-defying art. Almanac is also known for grassroots, community-centered event production, as exemplified by Rocky Award-winning Fit Fest and acclaimed Cannonball Festival.
MALAYA ULAN (FREE RAIN) & KINGSLEY IBENECHE
Malaya Ulan (Free Rain) is a fifteen-year-old Filipino-American activist, community organizer, dancer, filmmaker, and poet. Ulan self-published her poetry collection, Ulan-When My Tears Turn into Roses, and has performed at the Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance, Judson Dance Theatre, Barnes Foundation, Painted Bride, Philadelphia Fringe Festival, Swarthmore University, and Festive Walk in the Philippines. She also performs with her mother, Anito Gavino, through their mother-daughter collective, AniMalayaWorks.
Kingsley Ibeneche is a Nigerian American performing artist based in South Jersey with a focus in music & dance. Ibeneche has worked with notable acts and been featured on various publications and platforms such as Travis Scott, James Blake, Halsey, SNL, GAP, NIKE, The FADER, Paste Mag, okayafrica, NPR, afropunk, and SOFAR. Ibeneche focuses his performances on connecting the African people and the African diaspora through movement and sound.
BETHLEHEM AND SAD PATRICK perform songs of love and other struggles. Her soaring vocals and his sparse guitar ride atop her driving tarima and body percussion to deliver powerful songs about being in and out of love, living in the city and on the margins, and struggling to make it.
KAREN SMITH EXPERIENCE
Karen "Magic Fingaz" Smith, Brooklyn native, Philly resident, is a professional percussionist, playwright, poet, director, teaching artist, curator, and pie-maker. Smith is a recipient of several grants including a 2023 Pew Fellowship and the Leeway Foundation's Art and Change and Illuminate the Arts Grants. Smith is the founder, artistic director and lead percussionist of Weez the Peeples and Sistahs Laying Down Hands Collectives.
Caitlin Green (she/they) is a dance artist (originally from Huntingdon, PA) with a background in dance/movement therapy and counseling. Green has choreographed and co-created works in the Philly Fringe Festival and the Painted Bride Art Center’s Building Bridges artist cohort, and was choreographer for Regothereshego’s “Killing My Friends” music video. Green is a trauma-informed teaching artist with Dancing Classrooms Philly, The Village of Arts and Humanities, and BuildaBridge International, as well as a writer for dance journal thINKingDANCE.
Ikechi Onyenaka is a jazz-neo soul saxophonist, multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter, and recording artist from Upper Darby. Although his primary instrument is the alto saxophone, he also plays the tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, clarinet, piano, keyboard, bass, and drums. Onyenaka has played at numerous events and venues, including South Jazz Club, City Winery Philadelphia, Haverford Music Festival, and Facebook Watch’s ‘Peace Out 2020’ event.
by Cookie Club Philadelphia Chapter
Assembled during the pandemic by Serena Hocharoen, Cookie Club is a group of 5 friends who love to talk about home cooking, family recipes, and diasporic foodways. Learning as we go, sharing intermittently and across distance, we also find occasions to throw down together. Cookie Club Philadelphia Chapter comprises Heidi Ratanavanich, Tess Wei, and Connie Yu.
Asian Arts Initiative is pleased to present Invasive Species: Eco/Systems Land Based Initiatives, a series of projects and events that are the culmination of the two-year collaboration with Dr. Ashley Gripper (of Land Based Jawns) and Sonia Galiber (of Soil Generation), with Eto Otitigbe and eo Studio as the artistic director and production partner. The presentations in Fall 2023 will include an Outdoor Exhibition, Gallery Exhibition, Performances, AAI Block Party Community Day, and Workshops.
For information on the Invasive Species project, please visit here.
Our building is located at the intersection of 12th St and the Vine Street Expressway, easily accessible by the Broad Street Line and multiple bus routes. The building is routinely surveyed to ensure ADA compliance, including a permanent ramp at the entrance of our building and elevator access to all three floors. AAI is also establishing an Accessibility Accommodations Plan. Current offerings include: hearing auxiliary packs with headphones and microphones, alternative texts and descriptions, and mobility accessible on all floors. Future offerings may include: professional ASL interpreters, Braille markers, portable digital magnifiers, and a cognitive disability guide.
Invasive Species: Eco/Systems Land Based Initiatives is funded by:
Our Town Grant of the National Endowment for the Arts
William Penn Foundation
PNC Arts Alive