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Azi Khalili &
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Asian-American Art and Growth

Spring is finally here in New York City! This week the lilacs are blooming, and last week we witnessed the tail end of the tulips and sakura blooms.

I'm playing in the orchestra of the new musical, Big, and recently made my acting debut in two of my performance art pieces about Japanese-American liberation, as part of the New Works Festival at Joseph Papp Public Theater. I'm part of an Asian men's writing/workshop performance group here in New York City that was inspired by the group that Dan Kwong started in Los Angeles, California, USA. I've helped infuse it with some counseling theory. The leader of the group is a Filipino man who is an RCer, a friend, and in my class. My sister, Leslie, came out and directed our public performance. She did an amazing job of reaching fiercely for sixteen Asian men in the troupe, interrupting internalized oppression, giving each man a true sense of his integrity as an artist and as a human being, basically counseling all of us to be proud of ourselves, empowering us, and giving us a real glimpse of our humanity. She came and blew us out of the water . . . and the performance was an intensely cathartic event, not only for the performers but also for the New York City Asian community. Dayenu . . . It makes me love to be alive.

I'm in the fourth week of my new fundamentals class and am teaching three new promising Asian leaders. I've been invited to be on the faculty of the Utah Summer Chamber Music Festival in August. I'm making new friends, and my counseling relationships continue to deepen and become ever more effective and life-changing.

I'm continuing to build Asian RC here in New York City. The work is slow and steady. I believe, though, that we're entering a new phase of growth, a fruition of our long efforts. I now have about sixteen people in my support group and am preparing to split the West Asians off into their own group.

Mike Ishii
Brooklyn, New York, USA

Last modified: 2022-12-25 10:17:04+00