Media advisory - September 12, 2019
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Marsha Pitts-Phillips firstname.lastname@example.org 612-408-7828
FUNNY ASIAN WOMEN KOLLECTIVE (FAWK) PRESENTS: ‘THE SUPER SHOW’
John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and Metro Regional Arts Council grants put award-winning, nationally recognized performance artists onstage at Ordway in ‘no holds barred’ show – tickets on sale now
WHEN: Saturday October 26, 2019 8 p.m.
WHERE: The Ordway
345 Washington Street
Saint Paul, Minn. 55102
WHO: FAWK is a collaboration of nearly a dozen award-winning, multitalented, Asian American female authors, filmmakers, performance and spoken word artists, and poets, who offer their unique comedic take on a variety of societal and women’s issues–particularly issues impacting women of color.
Founded in 2014 by actress, filmmaker and writer Naomi Ko, playwright May Lee-Yang, and author Saymoukda Vongsay, their website states the group “exists to combat the invisibility and dehumanization of Asian Pacific Islander American women (APIA) using performance art, comedy, and storytelling to address controversial issues such as race, patriarchy, white supremacy and sexual health.”
Ms. Ko says they were overjoyed to receive grants from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and Metro Regional Arts Council, because it helped a dream of bringing FAWK to The Ordway, become a reality.
MORE: Media profiles of Ms. Ko, Ms. Lee-Vang and Ms. Vongsay have appeared on Entertainment Tonight, NBC Nightly News, and in the Star Tribune, MinnPost, and Pioneer Press. Now, the public can see them “Kollectively” in what promises to be a memorable performance. For tickets visit Ordway.org or call 651-224-4222. For media interviews contact Marsha Pitts-Phillips at email@example.com or 612-408-7828.
Download the PDF here.
WHY NEED ONE ALI WONG WHEN YOU CAN GET ELEVEN? - MAY 28, 2019
(SAINT PAUL, MN, May 28) Today, Funny Asian Women Kollective, better known as F.A.W.K. announced that they will expand their collective. The group was originally founded in 2014 by Twin Cities artists Saymoukda Duangphouxay Vongsay, Naomi Ko, and May Lee-Yang who are writers, performers, teachers, cultural producers, and a host of other things.
Vongsay whose credits include penning the play Kung Fu Zombies Versus Cannibals said, “F.A.W.K. was created as a space where Asian women could tell their truths—raw and uncensored. We are often censored because society thinks Asian women narratives are limited to the victim, the dragon lady, or the nameless sexpot. Expanding our collective means we get to engage more Asian Pacific Islander American (APIA) women stories.”
Ko, a former McKnight Fellow for Film and TV and a current Jerome Hill Artist Fellow, added, “We especially feel that in this current climate, it is important to cultivate a comedy space free of sexual harassment. We're trying to avoid having a male comic show us his backstage."
Lee-Yang whose work includes the play The Korean Drama Addict’s Guide to Losing Your Virginity as well as the multidisciplinary The Dead Hmong Women Project said, “If you don’t think trauma can be funny, you need to see a F.A.W.K. show. Here, nothing is off the table: how to get laid, dealing with microaggressions, and hypersexualizing Asian men to fight against emasculation.”
In 2018, through a grant from the Knight Foundation, F.A.W.K. hosted a series of monthly cabarets that featured local and national APIA women performing stand-up comedy, skits, storytelling, and performance art. Patti Kameya, who performed at one of the cabarets, said, “For the first time, I made people uncomfortable and had fellow performers to back me up. Of course it was addictive.”
F.A.W.K.’s new collective members also include Nicole Ektnitphong, Monika Hetzler, Lynn Hu, Marina Kittaka, May Esperanza Losloso, Kabzuag Melissa Vang, and Ntsuab Yang who represent a huge spectrum of the APIA experience: Chinese, Filipina, Hmong, Japanese, Korean, Lao, Mixed Indian and White, Thai, and American.
Hetzler who has been performing at local open mics and comedy shows said, “F.A.W.K. has given me the chance to create my art and find my comedic voice in a way that is both authentic and unapologetic.”
Lynn Hu added, “Laughter has the power to relieve stress, bring catharsis, and unite people. I see how comedy can be used as a vehicle for change.”
F.A.W.K. exists to combat the invisibility and dehumanization of Asian Pacific Islander American (APIA) women. FAWK believes in using performance art, comedy, and storytelling to talk about controversial issues. In addition to curating performances, F.A.W.K.’s work also extends to facilitating Clapback Workshops, which use comedy to combat microaggressions.
F.A.W.K.’s programming has been supported by grants from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, the Center for Urban Regional Affairs, Building More Purposeful Philanthropy, the Open Meadows Foundation, Solidarity MN, and Asian Pacific Endowment with the Saint Paul Foundation.
For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org