Discover your passion with the 7th Annual AALEAD APA Youth Summit

By Ha Nguyen, Development & Communications Associate

Photos courtesy of AALEAD Staff

On November 17, 2018, over 40 High School youth in the DMV area gathered around the Freer | Sackler Gallery of Art to participate in the 7th Annual AALEAD APA Youth Summit.

The theme of AALEAD programming this year is Ignite – Discover your passions! and indeed, during the 7th Annual APA Youth Summit this year, high school youth leaders spent the whole Saturday participating in workshops that emphasize creative arts and expression, identity, community, and self-empowerment! Let’s see what our youth participants experienced and how they felt about the summit:

“My experience at Youth Summit was exciting because it was fun meeting new people and getting to participate in the workshops.”

“I would describe it as mind-opening because I got to experience skills that I have never really thought about.”

“ I would say I had a welcoming experience. Although I am not a part of the AALEAD HS Program, I was warmly welcomed by the people in the program.”

In the morning, Youth Summit participants were able to dive into the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center’s Cultural Lab model of community co-curation with activities based on the ideas of empathy, ability, wellness, action, and beauty; to explore 3D technology with the workflow of 3D digitization, learned about photogrammetry to create a 3D model and how to use FMD printer to prepare files for 3D Printing; and to learn three foundational elements of classical Indian dance forms, focusing on Bharatanatyam dance form from South India.

“During the Culture Lab Playbook Activities workshop, I was able to learn what others thought were beautiful, how we can release our burden and understanding that we can express ourselves in different ways. It was interesting because we all saw things differently.”

After a quick lunch break, everyone then moved to learn skills in visual and written storytelling by crafting zines and stories that draw from their heritage; to use techniques such as the three-act structure, the Klueshov effect, blurry lens to draft and shoot their own mini short films; and to gain perspective on how to build communities, organize and mobilize people by digital tools to empower the community to make meaningful change.

“The Filmmaking workshop was a very creative workshop as my group and I was able to create a film with certain guidelines. This really applied the use of hands-on activities and we were able to use our creative thoughts to film and narrate a piece of cinema.” 

A huge thank you to Andrea Kim Neighbors, the Freer | Sackler Teen Council, Hutomo Wicaksono, Spilling Ink, Margaret Huey, Jalen Parker & Miles Le and Laura Li for facilitating these wonderful workshops to our high school youth leaders at the summit.

A shoutout to the wonderful Matthew Lasnoski and Grace Murray from the Freer | Sackler Gallery of Art, the dedicated AALEAD Program Staff and the amazing Youth Volunteers for the behind-the-scenes support to bring the event together!

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