Stanford VSA – Threads of Happiness

Most Outstanding Cultural Program Nomination: Stanford VSA

TITLE: Threads of Happiness: Chỉ Hạnh Phúc
DATE: April 21, 2017
# PARTICIPANTS: 35 in dances, fashion shows, acting
PURPOSE: Showcase Vietnamese and Viet-Am identity and culture, and address gender and socioeconomic norms and barriers in Vietnamese families and communities through performance and dance
MRKT: Flyering, emails, San Jose door-to-door

How did this cultural program serve the campus and/or community?

Threads of Happiness lent a voice to those with unspoken narratives. It brought together students from smaller API organizations (Khmer, Hmong, Queer and Asian), and re-wrote gendered narratives of being a younger Vietnamese student. Due to the dinner that follows, it is a meeting space for Stanford API students and San Jose Vietnamese locals.

How did the cultural program meet goals set by the organization?

Stanford VSA strives to address the intersection of Vietnamese identity and other marginalized communities. CN 2017’s script brought up Vietnamese impressions of being LGBTQ+, the oppressive history of gendered clothing, depression and lack of on-campus resources for API communities, and being first generation/low-income in an elite institution.

How did the organization overcome any challenges that arose while planning and implementing the cultural program?

For the first time in the history of Stanford VSA, this show was spearheaded by only one director instead of three co-directors. Also, due to institutional changes, the budget was reduced by about 30%. Even so, Joanne Nguyen formed committees for choreography, publicity, and external relations to maintain streamlined communication and execution.