Home  /  Welcome  /  Press  /  Current Page

Festival Press Release


Andrea Louie
Executive Director, Asian American Arts Alliance
(212) 941-9208
alouie [at] aaartsalliance.org


Asian American Arts Alliances Locating the Sacred Festival explores “sacred” in New York with music, dance, exhibitions and talks

Festival aims to promote diverse Asian American community and offer opportunity for all New Yorkers to reach across cultures, never more important, as recent attacks at Wisconsin Sikh temple demonstrate

(NEW YORK, 20 August 2012)— From an inflatable Buddha on the East River to a flash mob in Washington Square Park, the Asian American Arts Alliance’s Locating the Sacred Festival promises all New Yorkers a chance to glimpse the sublime and the sacred in everyday life. In the wake of the shootings at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin and as the eleventh anniversary of 9/11 approaches, New Yorkers are reminded that opportunities for greater cultural understanding are never more important.

The 25-event, 12-day festival—which takes place in all five New York boroughs from 12 September to 23 September 2012—is a vibrant collaboration between artists of all disciplines with spaces all across the city, exploring together the meaning of the word “sacred” and its relevance in their communities. The festival is coordinated by the Asian American Arts Alliance, a non-profit organization that for 30 years has supported individual artists and small arts groups in New York.

The festival opens at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, 12 September 2012, at the magnificent Church of the Ascension in Greenwich Village with an innovative program of music exploring the intersection of sound and soul. It features sound artist Bora Yoon and the South Asian Sufi devotional musicians of Riyaaz Qawwali from Texas. The event begins with a blessing led by Burmese Buddhist monks who led the 2007 “Saffron Revolution.”

“This amazing festival showcases the diversity and talent of the Asian American community, which now makes up more than 1 million people in New York, or 13% percent of the population,” said Andrea Louie, executive director of the Alliance. “The festival aims to promote artists as agents of change, demonstrating the power of art and culture to unleash imagination, break down barriers, and connect communities together for the greater good.”

In addition to such events as Dana Leong’s sundown concert in the Skyroom at the New Museum, Kelly Zen Yie-Tsai’s 9/11-inspired spoken word theater world premiere, or Vangeline Theater’s Japanese Butoh performance at Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance, the festival features three talks as well as special initiatives such as the online dialogue/blog, “Making the Memory Sacred: Art, Human Rights, and Community,” and a team of filmmakers who will trade tasty treats from a food truck in exchange for recipes and family stories.

“After two years of planning, we now turn it over to all New Yorkers to share in the exceptional work that has been created and to explore what is sacred to us all,” said Nico Daswani, festival director for the Alliance.

For a full calendar of events, biographies of the artists, and details about all the collaborators, please visit www.locatingthesacred.org.

Stay updated


The Asian American Arts Alliance is dedicated to strengthening Asian American artists and arts/cultural groups in New York City through funding, promotion and community building. The Alliance helps support individual artists and arts organizations access and share resources online and in person. The Alliance builds community through programs that lead to peer-learning, collaboration, and professional development.