Organizers expect more than two thousand people to come to St. Paul’s Sculpture Park Saturday for the 6th annual Hmong Arts & Music Festival. The festival will include artwork created by Hmong artists, a main stage with traditional and contemporary musicians and performers,, a live cake decorating competition, games and food, youth art, and the Dreamcatcher Clothesline Community Art Project.
Hmong Arts & Music Festival, Saturday, August 25, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., St. Paul Sculpture Park, across from Sears on Marion, free and open to the public
“We are really looking at how the Hmong community has progressed,” said Kathy Mouacheupao, executive director of CHAT (Center for Hmong Arts & Talent), which sponsors the event. “In the past, a lot of our themes have been around oppression of the community – how we were involved in the war, immigration and those things. This year we are looking at how we have been strengthened by our experiences and looking at the dreams. It will be a really fun, positive day and a celebration of our dreams as we move forward.”
In a 1974 National Geographic article, Lyteck Lynhiavu, a young Hmong Leader, was asked, “why virtually no Hmong become artists?” To which he responded, “The Hmong dream only at night…An artist must dream all day, and we don’t have time.” Festival organizers say that things have changed since 1974 – today the Hmong community has found time to dream and to realize their dreams as artist in a wide variety of disciplines.