Autumn Moon Festival At Tucson Chinese Cultural Center

PROGRAM: “Where Are You From?”
TIME: 6-8:30 PM
DATE: Saturday, October 7th, 2017
WHERE:  Tucson Chinese Cultural Center, 1288 W. River Rd.
Featuring Asian Pacific American Storytellers from around Tucson
** and special guest storytellers from Phoenix**Celebrating diversity and fighting stereotypes under the Autumn Moon

In collaboration with the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum – Arizona Chapter and the South Mountain Community College Storytelling Institute.

Light refreshments and mooncakes immediately following the conclusion of the program.

This event is free to the public.

“This event made possible in part by a grant from Arizona Humanities”

Carolyn’s note:  There will be male and female storytellers from Chinese, East Indian, Vietnamese, Filipino, Japanese cultural backgrounds. “The festival will feature eight Asian/Pacific American storytellers from around Tucson, plus three from Phoenix, Claudia Kaercher, Cindi K-Harbottle, and Donna Cheung.”  Moderated by Liz Warren and Kathy Nakagawa.

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Carolyn Classen
Carolyn Sugiyama Classen, a life long Democrat, was born & raised in the State of Hawaii, was a Legislative Aide for U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye on Capitol Hill, and practiced law for a while. In Tucson she worked as a tribal staff attorney for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe and later was the Interim Executive Director of the now defunct Domestic Violence Commission. In 2008 she became a “My Tucson” guest columnist for the Tucson Citizen newspaper, then continued blogging for for over four and a half years. Her blogsite was entitled “Carolyn’s Community” about community events and some political news, until Gannett Publishing shut down the site on January 31, 2014. She started with Blog for Arizona on Feb. 11, 2014. Part time she has been sitting as a Hearing Officer in Pima County Consolidated Justice Courts Small Claims Division since April, 2005. She is married to University of Arizona Distinguished Professor Albrecht Classen, a native of Germany. They have one son, who lives in Seattle, WA with his wife and daughter. She is also the Editor of the Southern Arizona Japanese Cultural Coalition website, (since Jan. 2013).


  1. Fantastic stories by 9 Asian American storytellers, after welcome by Project Director Robin Blackwood, Allen Lew – Pres. of Tucson Chinese Assn, LD 9 State Rep. Pam Powers Hannley, State Senator Steve Farley (who spoke in Chinese, saying “good wishes for the Autumn Festival”. ASU Prof. Kathy Nakagawa spoke of Asian Americans being treated with the “forever foreigner myth”, as “not belonging”. Eugene Mar (Chinese from Safford, AZ) spoke of the history of his family who arrived via Mexico; Jaclyn Mona is Filipina/Lebanese/Syrian and helped raise 6 of her siblings after death of her grandmother & mother; Claudia Kaercher from Phoenix is Micronesian of “birth/soul” (of Chamorro/Filipino ethnicity) now a U.S. Citizen; Susan Owara, Sansei (3rd gen. from Maui) spoke of rude comments while at college in Indiana and her mom’s support; Neelam Sethi (on video) is an immigrant from India with an arranged marriage, lived in Salt Lake City, Utah; Cindy Kishiyama Harbottle from Phoenix was a flight attendant whom people thought was Korean, Chinese, Eskimo, even Black American. Eryn Chiu Neff grew up in Taiwan, now a doctoral candidate in art at UA, raised by single mom and absentee father; Donna Cheung also from Phoenix was befriended in Kindergarten by a white boy, as she was completely “culturally disoriented” being a Hong Kong immigrant, w/o English skills; and finally Lucky Nguyen told of the adversity her South Vietnamese family faced after Saigon fell, she finally escaped as a “boat person” but a ship she just missed one night did sink and 575 people died. The theme of the stories was “Where are YOU from”, with common thread of immigration, value of education, building family in America and learning about other cultures. So. Mt. Community College instructor Liz Warren helped coach these storytellers, with funds from AZ Humanities. Chinese Moon cakes, Vietnamese bahn mi, spring rolls, shrimp were served with green tea.

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