CID Block Party and Arts Walk a catalyst for community connectivity, public safety

Anna Carriveau August 18, 2016 0
Awkwafina is the headliner of the CID Block Party 2016. • Courtesy Photo

Awkwafina is the headliner of the CID Block Party 2016. • Courtesy Photo

API Food Fight Club, a group of young, progressive API American organizers, dedicated to improving community through art, food, history, and social justice, will be holding their first-ever CID Block Party and Arts Walk in the International District on Sunday, August 28 from 3:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. In the making for over a year, the cultural event will celebrate young artists on the rise in the community by featuring an exciting lineup of musicians and DJs, local artists, food trucks, and more. The International Examiner had the pleasure of catching up with Tuyen Than, a member of the API Food Fight Club, who helped plan the event. She went into detail about the nearing occasion and how it all came into being.

Tuyen Than said that because they all have a full time job, they can only meet once a week to collaborate and make sure everything is on track when organizing the event. • Courtesy Photo

API Food Fight Club’s Tuyen Than. • Courtesy Photo

International Examiner: What was the inspiration behind throwing a CID Block Party?

Tuyen Than: We wanted to see more representation of the Asian American experience in a community we spend most of our time in. Chinatown-International District is still a hub for all things Asian American. As the community ages, the next generation of Asian Americans take its place. We wanted to use this block party as an entry point for Asian Pacific Americans to see themselves in this community.  

We saw this block party as a catalyst for community connectivity and public safety. In light of the Donnie Chin murder, and the increasing lack of public safety in the Chinatown-International District—we wondered, how do we encourage public safety without increasing the police presence? What can we do as a community to feel safer in our community? This is an amazing event, because it’s for us, by us, and celebrates us.

IE: API Food Fight Club has been planning this event for over a year. Can you briefly describe what that process has been like for you and your members?

Than: The challenge of planning this event is we’re all volunteers who have fulltime jobs. Initially, we separated the event planning process into 4 committees— logistics, marketing, programming, and something else. Then we reached out to our network to see who would be interested in being part of the committees.  

Over the course of the year, we would meet once a week to discuss what needs to be done and to make sure we’re on track. Throughout this event planning process, we were extremely collaborative and understood that this was a collective effort we were working towards together.

IE: Can you tell me more about the event’s special guests and happenings?

Than: Our event’s special guests are: Awkwafina, Shawn Wasabi, Kero One, Sendai Era, Tomo Nakayama, and Tele Fresco. We’re really excited about our special guests, because this is the first time Awkwafina has ever performed in Seattle. Awkwafina recently released a project she had with Margaret Cho called “Green Tea.”

IE: What kind of artists will be participating in the arts walk?

Than: We have Crystal Anguay, Derek Dizon (“kalu arts”), and some other artists we can’t name yet.

IE: What kind of food and vendors will be at the event?

Than: At our event, we’ll only be having up to two food trucks, because we want to encourage people to support the local restaurants in the neighborhood. In addition, Friends of Little Saigon is also hosting their 6th annual Celebrate Little Saigon festival a block away from our event with food from local restaurants, a pho eating contest, and a beer garden.

IE: Can you tell me more about the API Food Fight Club and how others can get involved if they are interested?

Than: API Food Fight Club is a network of community organizers who like to eat food and fight crime. It started out as an idea between a group of friends, which then evolved into “why not turn this into a real thing?” If you want to get involved, contact us through our website at apifoodfightclub.com or cidblockparty.com. Email us at hello@apifoodfightclub.com.

We’d also like to thank our sponsors and supporters for making this event happen: Pacific Medical Center, Sound Transit, Wave G, SCIDpda, Hing Hay Coworks, Interim CDA, and the International Examiner.

For more information on the CID Block Party and Arts Walk, visit cidbp.com.

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