Issue Date: February 28, 2023
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Nathaniel Jue, Communications Coordinator
email@example.com, (408) 712-0025
SAN FRANCISCO, February 28, 2023—The Chinese Historical Society of America (CHSA) is proud to announce to launch the Mixing Diasporas: Interactive Beverage Archive participatory art project series. The event is accompanied by a one-night-only pop-up display of historic artifacts of one of the United States’ first Chinese American night clubs in a display about self-empowerment, diversity, equity and inclusion. Debuting on Friday, March 3, 2023, Mixing Diasporas is San Francisco’s only all-Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) drag event currently in existence and works to present a participatory space for creativity and for locating the city’s roots in Asian American performance art.
Mixing Diasporas opens with bespoke beverages, with ingredients and recipes that tell personal stories from the community. Audience members will be asked to write down personal narratives about what drinks represent themselves at a certain time of life; how the beverage relates to personal or family history; or how their personal narratives can be expressed in the ingredients, the glass, the name of the drink, or the way it is made. Each drink will be developed as a micro-story and collected as a creative oral history from the audience for future Mixing Diasporas events. CHSA will only serve drinks made from recipes shared at these events in an ever-growing archive of personal stories as beverages.
The evening will celebrate the history of Chinese American nightclubs and nightlife through a pop-up display of artifacts leveraging CHSA’s archival collection. Spotlighting the legacy of Chinese American nightclubs, this showcase includes vinyl records, photographs, and other historic artifacts of San Francisco’s very own Kubla Khan Theater Restaurant, which was located at the Chinatown Gateway during the Golden Age of Chinese nightclubs in the 1940s and ’50s. This display highlights the roots of and the importance of diversity and inclusion in American nightclubs and entertainment.
Mixing Diasporas will conclude with a feature drag cabaret performance that aims to amplify the multicultural creativity and resilience of local AAPI drag performers through a dynamic showcase of talents, backgrounds, and inclusive storytelling. The lineup features emcee LOTUS BOY, who curated the one-of-a-kind all-AAPI roster of drag kings and drag queens. LOTUS BOY (ze/zir, he/him, they/them) is a shapeshifting, transgender and nonbinary, unapologetically disabled and chronically illUSTRIOUS Chinese-American drag king and anti-disciplinary artist based in occupied Lisjan Ohlone Land (Oakland). Ze explores gender fluidity, accessibility, joy, and healing from trauma through the mediums of poetry, lipsync,
ancestral movement (qigong and taichi), monologue, and original music. With every performance, he aims to help the audience learn—or unlearn—something about themselves and the world around them.
Additional performers include:
- SNJV—Mr. GAPA (GLBTQ+ Asian Pacific Alliance) 2019. The first South Asian title holder in GAPA’s history, 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.
- OBSIDIENNE OBSURD (they/them)—Mx. GAPA 2022. A Chinese-American, genderless drag performance artist making and working in San Francisco. They frequently perform 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.
- Phoebe Cakes—Mother of the House of Cakes, a Bay Area-based drag family known for its 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.
Mixing Diasporas will take place on Friday, March 3, 2023, from 6 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., at the Chinese Historical Society of America located at 965 Clay Street in San Francisco Chinatown. Admission is $15; tickets are available at Eventbrite. At the event, the price may be applied to the cost of a CHSA membership.
Download performer images and assets here.
Download historic images from the CHSA archive on the subject of the Kubla Kahn nightclub that will be on view as part of a one-night-only popup display here.
Watch the performers introduce themselves on KTVU Mornings on 2 here. ##
The Chinese Historical Society of America in San Francisco is the oldest organization in the country dedicated to the presentation of Chinese American history. Since 1963, CHSA has strived to be a responsible steward of the remarkable narrative of the Chinese American community through education and programming.
For sponsorship contact Angela Mazza at firstname.lastname@example.org.