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Mixing Diasporas: Drag Cabaret and Interactive Beverage Archive
March 3 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Mixing Diasporas is an intercultural, interdisciplinary, and interactive event that aims to evoke community dialogue and storytelling of personal and ancestral histories.
On display will be hands-on arts and crafts workshops and artifacts showcasing the history of Chinese-American nightclubs, including vinyl records and photographs from the famed Kubla Kahn nightclub of San Francisco from the 1940s and ’50s. The event takes place inside CHSA’s current landmark exhibit “We Are Bruce Lee: Under the Sky, One Family.”
What’s the CHSA Beverage Archive?
This new, interactive, community story-sharing project provides a unique opportunity for connecting through beverages that tell a story. Audience members are invited to participate in a guided creative writing exercise: Share a story from your life in the form of a beverage or cocktail recipe. The story can be from any time period, moment, or memory, encouraging the audience to explore: What were you drinking at a certain time of your life, and how does this drink represent that time, the challenges you face, and overcoming these issues? How does this beverage relate to personal or family history and how can this be expressed in the ingredients, the type of glass or cup, the name of the drink or the way it is made? How do you relate to the concept of diaspora? The event encourages engagement with the museum not as a static repository but, “archive as engagement” to facilitate people sharing personal stories of mixing cultures, races, genders, political perspectives, metaphysics, locations, geographies, etc.
Beverages made from the recipes of the featured drag performers will be available for purchase at the event. Audience members can choose to contribute their recipe to this project, which will eventually be published at CHSA as a community exhibit.
After the exercise, emcee and Drag King LOTUS BOY will present a dynamic cabaret that highlights the multicultural creativity and resilience of local AAPI drag performers: Phoebe Cakes (Co-Founder of FiliPINX drag group), OBSIDIENNE OBSURD (Mx. GAPA 2022), and SNJV (Mr. GAPA 2019).
LOTUS BOY is a shapeshifting, transgender and nonbinary, unapologetically disabled, Chinese-American drag king and ANTI-disciplinary artist based in occupied Lisjan Ohlone land, AKA Oakland, CA. Ze explores gender fluidity, accessibility, healing from trauma, and rage, through the mediums of poetry, lipsync, ancestral movement (qi gong and tai chi), monologue, and original music. King LOTUS BOY’s work uplifts issues regarding ableism, anti-Asian racism, transphobia, and sustainability, often incorporating humor as a vessel of universal connection. With every performance, they aim to help the audience learn—or unlearn—something. LOTUS BOY is on the boards of directors for Oaklash, the Bay Area’s drag festival, the Drag and Spirituality Summit, and the Stacey Park Milbern Disability Justice Fund. LOTUS BOY also brings drag performance, education, and gender workshops to high schools around the Bay Area.
Robert Andrew Perez is a poet, filmmaker, and performs drag as Phoebe Cakes. His debut book of poetry was nominated for the California Book Award in 2016 and his 2020 film, Stone|Fruit was showcased in 10 festivals and can now be streamed on Amazon and Vimeo. Phoebe Cakes is the mother of the House of Cakes, a Bay Area-based drag family known for it’s diversity and talent/community-forward work. She hosts trivia at the Port in Oakland, and Cake Hole, a monthly drag revue at Gilman Brewing Company in Berkeley. She is a founding member of FiliPINX, an all Filipinx drag group.
OBSIDIENNE OBSURD is a shapeshifter, a stunning visual spectacle, a striking silhouette, purveyor of the uncanny, and a genderless drag performance artist making and working in San Francisco. Since relocating to the Bay in 2021, OBSIDIENNE has taken the drag community by storm, appearing at acclaimed venues such as the OASIS in SoMa, Herbst Theatre, the Swedish American Hall, the Oakland Asian Cultural Center, and historic leather bar Powerhouse. OBSIDIENNE’s work centralizes the fusion and reclamation of their Chinese heritage and understanding of positionality in diaspora as permuted through strong visual motif. In 2022, they made history through GAPA (GLBTQ+ Asian Pacific Alliance) in winning the 2022 GAPA Runway Pageant, becoming the first Mx. GAPA in the organization’s history.. OBSIDIENNE frequently moonlights as their human counterpart, 明聖 Ezra Costanza, who is an award-winning classical violist freelancing all across the Bay.
SNJV is an artist using dance, drag, and drama to showcase humanity. Infusing culture into dance and fashion, SNJV creates performances for stage and film. SNJV started performing at 4 years old and has not stopped. SNJV holds the title of Mr. GAPA and is the first South-Asian title holder in GAPA’s history. (GLBTQ+ Asian Pacific Alliance). In addition, he is the co-founder of Parivar, a social collective to support and celebrate queer, trans, gender non-conforming folks connected to the South Asian diaspora. He is also an educator who lectures about his research on drag, dance, and identity in university and corporate spaces. While SNJV loves being in front of the camera, he enjoys stepping behind the lens to produce and direct films drawing on culture, queerness, and texture.
Audience is encouraged to explore the special exhibit: We Are Bruce Lee: Under the Sky, One Family, which is included in the price of admission.
– INTERACTIVE BEVERAGE ARCHIVE
LOTUS BOY will lead the audience in a 30-minute guided writing and reflection exercise to create the beverage recipes. In the last 10-15 mins, the 3 featured performers will share their recipes/stories and audience members will also be invited to share.
– DRAG CABARET BEGINS
Hosted by LOTUS BOY, the drag cabaret will feature show-stopping, interdisciplinary performances that engage with the performers’ personal connection to diasporas.
– DOORS CLOSE
Closest BART station is Montgomery St., which is 0.7 miles from the CHSA Museum.
If taking MUNI, get off at Chinatown – Rose Pak, which will be a ~2 min walk to the museum ( 965 Clay St San Francisco, CA 94108 )
Parking: Limited street parking.
1 step to enter the CHSA museum, as well as an ADA accessible entrance with a ramp & elevator.
1 flight of stairs down to the bathrooms, ADA accessible entrance available.
Gender-neutral bathrooms available.