Most Outstanding Cultural Program Nomination: University of Arizona – Miss Vietnam
Our Miss Vietnam Southern Arizona (Hoa Hậu Áo Dài Arizona) 2017 Pageant was held on Saturday, April 8th, 2017 at Tucson Expo Center. This year we had 9 participants with our main objective is to showcase the Vietnamese traditional dress, Áo Dài, and share our Vietnamese Culture to everyone, both Vietnamese and non-Vietnamese audience to give a more diverse outreach. We also encourage young Vietnamese women who are participating in our pageant to refine their speaking skills, their individuality, as well as their confidence as individuals in society. Our pageant winners would then receive a one-time scholarship for their college expenses.
Along with our pageant, we have Vietnamese cultural performances such as Áo Dài and Rice Hat dances from our VSA’s Golden Lotus Cultural Dance Team and the pageant participants themselves to our local Lion Dance team, Brothers Lion Dance Team (Đội Lân Anh Em) which consists of current VSA members and high school youths. We also have our VSA members performing throughout the event as well as reaching out to student based performers to perform at the event such as Dia Clones Dance Team and Purple Bamboo.
We have our VSA members work together with our VSA Executive Board team as volunteers at the event as of serving food to setting up and cleaning up the event. We also had high school students, as well as non-VSA members and VSA Alumni help us with the event.
Our VSA reached out to the local community in Tucson, Arizona which includes our Vietnamese community for sponsorships of the event throughout the year. We also put on fundraising events throughout the school year to put on this event.
Through marketing techniques, we reached out via online through social media and reached out in person with posters and flyers in the local community in Tucson through businesses and the Vietnamese community.
At the event, we have judges from former pageant winners, our school’s community, and our Vietnamese community in order to judge on the participants’ performance within our pageant.
How did this cultural program serve the campus and/or community?
Our Miss Vietnam Southern Arizona pageant served our campus and community through creating more cultural awareness of our lovely Vietnamese culture and traditions and help others who does not know about culture learn more about it. Also since the Vietnamese community in Tucson, Arizona is not that large in size compared to other cities, with our event, we hope to benefit by help growing the community and inspire young Vietnamese youths to join VSA to continue for the future years to come.
How did the cultural program meet goals set by the organization?
Our pageant met the goals our VSA set by being able to achieve all of our goals we previously planned. Examples of our VSA being able to achieve all of our goals are getting great feedback from our local Tucson community (both from our campus and Vietnamese community) that we have improved from previous years’ pageants we hosted and encourages us to continue to host the event for the future years to come.
At our event this year, we also had high school students who were also volunteering for our pageant and after having asked for their feedbacks, they are wanting to join our VSA soon. Some of these high school students also have joined our local Lion Dance team, Brothers Lion Dance Team (Đội Lân Anh Em).
How did the organization overcome any challenges that arose while planning and implementing the cultural program?
One of our major challenges for our VSA to put on this pageant is financially, due to our VSA wanting to put on a better organized and bigger event as our VSA’s previous pageants were more smaller scale. With this main goal, we as an Executive Board team had to work hard to be able to reach out to the communities more for sponsorships than the previous years. Another challenge that would come up towards this during the school year is with asking for more sponsorships which required us to put ourselves out there in the community more, which public speaking was a weakness at points amongst our team. Although with this challenge, our team still was able to overcome that fear and be able to achieve and build connections for possible future sponsorships in the years to come. Through the process of us wanting to grow the pageant more in order to get it more known within our Tucson, AZ community as well towards others within our region, Southwest Union of Vietnamese Student Associations (SWUVSA) by reaching out as much as we can. This was achieved through asking each organization in our region through social media.
Facebook (pageant): https://www.facebook.com/uamvsa/
Daily Wildcat Promotion Article: http://www.wildcat.arizona.edu/article/2017/04/vietnamese-student-association-to-host-pageant-showcase-tucson-vietnamese-community
Arizona’s Vietnamese Community Article: http://thangbomaz.com/tin-chi-tiet/miss-vietnamese-southern-arizona-april-08-2017.html