OUR STORIES | Chilli Lor: Hmong artist speaks for change

“I wanna be the change that I am seeing” sang Chilli Lor and the United Prodigies at the Hmong New Year’s celebration November 30. The song about education and equality picks up on themes that are central to Chilli Lor’s life. Born in Thailand some 21 years ago, she came to the United States at the age of two. Today, Lor studies at St. Catherine University and majors in sociology and critical studies of race and ethnicity. Continue Reading

Eleanor & Park: Avalon School and St. Paul Public Library welcome controversial book, author

Rainbow Rowell, author of Eleanor & Park, has faced a lot of criticism during recent weeks. Her book has been highly praised by some people (and is a best seller on the New York Times list) and torn apart by others. Initiatives against the book were raised by parents in the Anoka-Hennepin school district, who did not want their children to read it. They called it a “dangerously obscene” book. After the issue went up to the school board, most of the libraries took the novel off their recommended reading program and a planned author reading in the Anoka-Hennepin school district was cancelled. Continue Reading

Third Place Gallery in Minneapolis: Where ping pong, karaoke and art come together

Ping-pong and karaoke are not what you might expect to find at an art gallery, but they go right along with exhibit openings and artist dialogues at Wing Young Huie’s Third Place Gallery in south Minneapolis. Same Difference: A cross-cultural dialogue featured artists Shana Kaplow and Meng Tang presenting their various works at the Third Place Gallery in Minneapolis and entering into a dialogue about their impressions on the Chinese and U.S. cultures on October 19. Shana Kaplow, who was born in the United States, has visited China twice and did a six-week artist residency there. Her work shows her experiences in the series, Close to Home. She stayed in Beijing in China when she started to work on the series. This work includes the video Facetime and some ink-on-paper paintings. Continue Reading

Sold-out Fresh Traditions Hmong fashion show has a successful seventh year

Expectations for the seventh annual Fresh Traditions fashion show were high on October 5 at the DS Event Center in St. Paul. Sold-out tickets showed in advance the great interest in this unique show. Once again, emerging Hmong designers were given an opportunity to present their collections to an audience. This year’s designers were Chong Her, Nou Her, Malika Lor, Nhia Xiong, Sanida Xiong, Yuri Xiong, and Kahoua XiongPachay. Continue Reading

2013 Twin Cities Chicken Coop Tour attracts many visitors

A great mix of different chickens now frolic in the backyards of many residents of St. Paul and Minneapolis. They are lovingly maintained and cared for by their owners. The interest in backyard chickens is growing and growing. Last Saturday, September 14, people had the opportunity to network with other “farmers” to get some valuable tips regarding care, chicken coop selections and also in the choice of the different chickens. Continue Reading