Asia North

Asia North 2024 Graphic

Exhibition + Festival

Asia North 2024 / May 3 – June 1

Various locations throughout the Station North Arts District, Baltimore, MD

Celebrate Baltimore’s Charles North – Station North – neighborhood’s constantly evolving identities as a Koreatown, arts district, and creative hub. Co-produced by Asian Arts & Culture Center and Central Baltimore Partnership.

Location Info

16 W North Ave, Baltimore, MD 21201
Motor House, 120 W North Ave, Baltimore, MD 21201
Baltimore Improv Group 1727 N Charles St, Baltimore, MD 21201
Sidewalk in front of the North Avenue Market, 30 W North Ave, Baltimore, MD 21201

Asia North 2024 - Love Letters to Baltimore + the DMV graphic

Exhibition

Love Letters to Baltimore + the DMV

Friday, May 3 – Saturday, June 1
Gallery Hours:
16 W North Ave: Friday – Saturday, 5 – 8 p.m.
Motor House: Tuesday – Saturday, 4 – 10 p.m.
Gallery 

APIMEDA (Asian, Pacific Islander, Middle Eastern and Desi American) artists based in Maryland, DC and Virginia creatively express their ideas of love and home, including the meaning of home, how they respond to the question, “Where are you from?” and more. Through research from AA&CC’s Greater Baltimore Asian Community History Project, this exhibit honors the Station North neighborhood's ongoing transformation from a historic Koreatown to a diverse arts district. Curated by Nerissa Paglinauan with Guest Co-curator Ryan Jafar Artes.

Love Letters to Baltimore + the DMV

Featured Artists

Kurt Astudillo * Hannah Atallah * Nancy Berson * Katherine Broadwater * Rieko Chacey * Yunkyoung Cho * Anna Divinagracia * Barbara Han * Jahru * Annette Wilson Jones * Priyanka K * Adele Yiseol Kenworthy * Heejo Kim * Myungsook Ryu Kim * Paige Dasol Kim * Jinyoung Koh * Anthony Le * Nipun Manda * Tayyab Maqsood * Sushmita Mazumdar * Gabriel Pilac Melendres * Adrianna Morgan * Kat Navarro * Nadia Nazar * Josh Nguyen * Lynn Nguyen * Sookkyung Park * Syeda Rahman * Yeeve Rayne * Hannah Shaw * Asma Shikoh * Amelie Wang

Opening Event

Asia North 2024

Friday, May 3, 5 – 9 p.m.
16 W North Ave and Motor House

Celebrate the kick-off of Asia North 2024. Meet the artists featured in Love Letters to Baltimore + the DMV. Enjoy performances by Ami Dang, Soo Kyung Jung, Somapa Thai Dance Company, and the Yong Han Lion Dancers. Savor dishes provided by the Baltimore Xiamen Sister City Committee. Hosted by Joyce Liang. 

Improv

Free AAPI Improv Jam Led by A++

Saturday, May 4, 5 – 6 p.m.
Baltimore Improv Group 

All experience levels from novice to experts are welcome.

Improv

All AAPI Performer Improv Comedy Show ft. A++

Saturday, May 4, 7 – 8 p.m.
Baltimore Improv Group 

Social Hour

NAAAP Baltimore 2nd Thursdays AAPI Meet-Up

Thursday, May 9, 6 – 8 p.m.
16 W North Ave
$10 NAAAP Members, $15 Non-Members
Registration Required

Celebrate artists who are exhibiting in the Love Letters to Baltimore + the DMV exhibit while bringing people together for Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Enjoy food from a local AAPI-owned business, covered by your registration fee.

Discover & Dine

Kamayan x Crab Feast

Friday, May 10, 6 – 9 p.m.
16 W North Ave
TICKETS COMING SOON

Gather around a communal table with friends, family and strangers alike to enjoy a combined Filipino Kamayan and Maryland crab feast. "Kamay" literally translates to "hand" in this traditional Filipino practice of eating with your hands. Food is artfully laid out atop banana leaves in the middle of a long banquet table. Participating caterers include Frisco Baltimore, Mama Rosa Grill, Barkada Breads, and Kuya Nonoy. Presented with Barangay Baltimore.

Walking Tour

Koreatown & Lunch with NAAAP Baltimore

Saturday, May 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Meet at 16 W North Ave
INFO + RSVP

Join us for a guided stroll around Baltimore's first unofficial Koreatown. We will explore parts of Baltimore's Charles North neighborhood and the Station North Arts & Entertainment District to discover an area several Korean-owned businesses and families have called home as early as the 1960s. From landmarks to people, the Asian Arts and Culture Center will facilitate an engaging tour that will compel conversations about Koreatown's past, present, and future. We invite participants for lunch at Kong Pocha following the walk. 12 pm lunch at Kong Pocha. The tour is free. Participants are asked to pay for their own dishes during lunch. Presented with NAAAP Baltimore.

Panel Discussion

Love Letters to Baltimore + the DMV Artists Talk

Tuesday, May 14, 7:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Motor House

Hear from artists whose works are featured in the Asia North 2024 art exhibition.

Performance

The Set List – Live Music Series ft. Shonay K., Silver City, and The Honest Thief

Thursday, May 16, 7:30 – 9:30 p.m. (doors at 7 p.m.)
Motor House
Tickets: $10 

Motor House celebrates the abundant musical creativity of Baltimore in this monthly music series called The SET LIST! Each month, enjoy the vibes and tunes of Baltimore's most vibrant musical acts that feature artists who are diverse in terms of style and genre. Come groove with us!

Walking Tour

Historic Koreatown & Landmarks with Baltimore Changwon Sister City Committee & Korean American Foundation – Greater Washington

Saturday, May 18, 2 – 4 p.m.
Meet at 16 W North Ave

Join Joy Kim for a walking tour of the Charles North neighborhood’s historical Koreatown landmarks and favorite food spots. Learn stories behind dishes such as Korean BBQ, bibimbap, and rice cakes through a presentation by Joanna Chang. Win a gift card for a local Korean eatery and enjoy an assortment of complimentary snacks that are popular in Korea, such as Choco Pie, boba tea mochi, Kopiko candy, Cosomi, melon crackers, and instant coffee mix sticks. Presented with the Baltimore Changwon Sister City Committee and Korean American Foundation – Greater Washington.

Visioning Session

Baltimore AAPI Learning Community: A Visioning Session

Monday, May 20, 6 – 8 p.m.
16 W North Ave 

Guided Writing Workshop & Open Mic

Love Letters to Baltimore + the DMV

Wednesday, May 29, 7 – 9 p.m.
16 W North Ave

Participants will engage with each other and themselves by way of a guided writing workshop, during which we will explore easy conversations with each other and ourselves. The aim of the evening is to engage with and generate dialogue around what we consider to be our homes, as a way of understanding our individual and collective power to change our homes into what we desire them to be. Directed by Ryan Jafar Artes and Mohammad Rohaizad Suaidi. The writing workshop will be followed by an open mic, during which audience members will have the opportunity to share their just-written work.

Closing Event

Asia North 2024

Friday, May 31, 5 – 9 p.m.
Motor House, 16 W North Ave, and Sidewalk in front of the North Avenue Market

Celebrate the conclusion of Asia North 2024. Congratulate the artists featured in Love Letters to Baltimore + the DMV. Enjoy performances by Meki's Tamure Polynesian Arts, Sutradhar Institute of Dance, Steve Hung, Spike Yee & Proper, and 1PICK. 

Makers Market

Asia North 2024

Friday, May 31, 5 – 9 p.m.
On the sidewalk in front of the North Avenue Market (30 W. North Ave) and Motor House

By us and for us from all over the Asian diaspora, the Asia North 2024 Makers Market highlights and showcases local APIMEDA artists/makers and their goods. Connect and resonate with others in a season of transition through community care, cultural work, and crafts. Goods featured include art prints, jewelry, pottery, home goods, and much more. Curated by WeiAnne Reidy.

Improv

All AAPI Performer Improv Comedy Show ft. A++ 

Friday, May 31, 8 – 9 p.m.
Baltimore Improv Group

Asia North 2024

Performer, Presenter and Host Bios

Ryan Jafar Artes (he/she/they) is an activist, memoirist, and poet. Ryan’s work calls for a re-imagination of culture via cultural renaissance from their perspective and lived experience as a transracial transnational South Asian Indian American adoptee. Ryan is the host of The Adoptee Open Mic, and hosts virtual writing classes to support their activism and creative work, most of which is self-published, including their debut poetry chapbook After Midnight.

Ryan’s work appears in Panorama: The Journal of Travel Place and Nature, and anthologies published by Querencia Press, Moonstone Arts Center, and Capturing Fire Press. Ryan’s poem “8,049 Miles,” was a finalist in the 2021 Prometheus Unbound Competition and is featured in the accompanying anthology published by Prometheus Dreaming. Ryan participated in a DIY MFA program of their own design and implementation, and hosts letter writing workshops to support their creative work and activism.

Joanna (Joohyang) Chang is a first-year pre-med student at the University of Maryland, specializing in Cell Biology and Genetics. As an honors ambassador for the Integrated Life Sciences Honors program, she brings insight to prospective honors students and their families. With a background in volunteering at the annual Korean Festivals and serving as a teaching assistant for Korean schools, Joanna has cultivated a reputation as a hardworking and thoughtful individual who shares her cultural values within her community. Guided by her experiences, she aspires to pursue a career as a clinician scientist, integrating her Korean-American values with her passions for medicine and scientific curiosity

Amrita “Ami” Kaur Dang is a South Asian-American vocalist, sitarist, composer and producer from Baltimore. Her sound blends elements of North Indian classical, noise/ambient electronics, beat-driven psych and experimental dance pop. The work references her hybrid identity as a first-generation South Asian-American, Sikh upbringing, musical education, as well as the chaos and spirituality of the landscapes of both Baltimore and urban India.

Picking up her first sitar when she was twelve years old, Dang has studied North Indian classical music (voice and sitar) in both New Delhi and Maryland, and she also holds a degree in music technology & composition from Oberlin College Conservatory of Music. Following in the footsteps of artists like Ravi Shankar and Philip Glass, she seeks to advance the sound of contemporary experimental, pop, and electronic music with the sounds of South Asia—through vocals and sitar, ragas, and sampling. And vice versa, she aims to bring a broader sound palette to the legacy of South Asian music. These goals are a lifelong mission. To that end, she has collaborated with Animal Collective, William Cashion (of Future Islands), James Acaster, Thor Harris—to name a few. She has provided tour support for Beach House, black midi, Grimes, Lower Dens, Florist and more. 

Steve Hung is a fingerstyle guitarist and one-man band who was born and raised in Texas, but has been living in the Mid-Atlantic for over a decade. He has been compared to Shakey Graves, another one-man band act who stomps on foot percussions while simultaneously picking the guitar and singing a mixture of folk, blues, and old country. His guitarwork has been compared to Chet Atkins, and highlights his speed, accuracy, and intricacy.

Steve has supported internationally acclaimed guitarists such as Mike Dawes and Olli Soikkekli, won the regional Deer Creek Fiddler's Competition, and has been praised by other highly acclaimed guitarist such as Peppino D'Agostino, Toby Walker, and Shaun Hopper. Steve's influences include Chet Atkins, Tommy Emmanuel, Justin Johnson, Shakey Graves, Ry Cooder, John Fahey, and Leo Kottke.

Soo Kyung Jung is Director of DI DIM SAE Korean Traditional Art Institute, in Washington, D.C. She currently teaches Korean dance and drums in Centreville and Chantilly High Schools in Virginia. She was the winner of the Prime Minister’s Award for the 12th International Asian Art Competition. She is a registered trainer and permitted to teach the Seungmu Dance (South Korea’s National Intangible Asset #27). Ms. Jung will perform Seungmu to kick-off Asia North 2024 on May 3. Ms. Jung's performance is sponsored by the Baltimore Changwon Sister City Committee and the Korean American Foundation - Greater Washington. 

Joy Kim is a first-year student studying marketing at the University of Maryland Robert H. Smith School of Business. As a student at the University of Maryland, she is exploring her growing passion for business, marketing, and international relations. As a member and ambassador of the International Studies Scholars program, she incorporates her interests outside of business, learning about global issues and cultural diversity. In the past, she has served as a teaching assistant for the Korean Education Center, assisting in the planning and leading beginner-level Korean language classes for adult learners. As she learns about the business world and what it means to be a global citizen, she strives to share her culture and voice as a Korean American. 

Joyce Liang (b. 1997, China) is a Baltimore-based curator specializing in uncollectible art mediums in unconventional exhibiting spaces. Completed her B.F.A. in Art History at Maryland Institute College of Art, she now serves as the Gallery Manager for AREA 405 and Arts Operation Coordinator for Central Baltimore Partnership. Her curated exhibitions have been exhibited in the U.S. and China, including Creative Alliance, the Parlor, and Charles Theatre in Baltimore, and Tree Art Museum in Beijing.

Meki’s Tamure Polynesian Arts Group, Inc. was founded in 1969 by Meki & JoAnn Toalepai who were performers at Baltimore’s most famous tiki restaurant – The Hawaiian Room in the Emerson Hotel. Meki is an immigrant from Western Samoa performing across the United States in the early 1960s when he met JoAnn who was a Baltimore native that practiced hula as a hobby. They met when Meki’s group had a contract with the Emerson Hotel to provide entertainment. The Hawaiian Room closed around 1970 and the Emerson Hotel was demolished in 1971. The couple had married in 1966 and formed Meki’s Tamure Polynesian Arts Group a few years later. Tamure is a Tahitian term for “dance festival or party”. Meki’s Tamure Polynesian Arts Group is still run by the Toalepai family and continues its mission to use the cultural group to entertain, educate and instruct audiences in Maryland and surrounding states with regards to the art forms of Polynesia. Polynesia is defined as the geographical region within a figurative triangle formed by Hawaii (North), New Zealand (Southwest) and Easter Islands (Southeast). 

Nerissa Paglinauan is Curator of the Asia North Exhibition and Program Manager of the Asian Arts & Culture Center at Towson University where she engages audiences in Asian arts and culture through exhibitions and programs. In 2013, she co-curated AA&CC’s first all-Filipino art exhibit, Art Filipino: Works by Master Artists, featuring works by Jose Joya, Fernando Amorsolo, Pacita Abad, and Toym Imao, among others. She previously served as an administrative, editorial and production assistant at National Public Radio and as a Program Director with the Living Classrooms Foundation. She holds B.A.s in Music and Child Development from Tufts University and is active as a choral singer with the Baltimore Choral Arts Society.

1 PICK is a high school K-Pop dance group created by their lead Rachel Lee. Members include Rachel Lee, Min Kim, Janice Chen, Caitlyn An, and Dina Chen.

WeiAnne Reidy is the organizer of Asia North 2024’s Makers Market. She has previously curated Growing Our Gardens living altar and APIMEDA Makers Market during Asia North 2022 and 2023. WeiAnne is particularly invested in amplifying cultural identity and LGBTQ+ experiences across the Asian diaspora. WeiAnne is delighted to continue connecting and highlighting local artists, creators, and makers. 

Shonay K is a Baltimore-based singer & producer. Born in Upstate New York to two Pakistani parents and having lived all over the Northeast, Shonay K’s music is boundless with inspiration and references to his culture and his idols. Shonay K’s music career began in 2014 after starting a production quartet named “PiXELVISION” with three of his close friends. Going solo in 2015, he spent the next years sporadically releasing projects such as the instrumental-only album, “Neon Nights” in 2017. With the release of the album “Lunar Eclipse” in 2021, Shonay ushered in a new era in his musical journey by leaning into more vocal heavy tracks. 2022 and 2023 brought about the release of joint EP’s, “Neon” and “Blacklight”, which explored themes such as fast and obsessive love, heartbreak, making peace, and bad coping habits. Tracks like “Love U Loco”, “All In”, “Too Fast” and “Falling” show Shonay K’s immense love for dance music and romantic lyrics while songs like “Every Night”, “Peace With The Pieces”, and “Blacklight” show a darker, sadder side to his artistry.

The Somapa Thai Dance Company, based in the Washington D.C. Metropolitan area, has been actively giving performances, presentations, classes, and workshops since 1999.

Key performers have over 30 years of performance experience, having been trained in Thailand with the most celebrated dance masters including National Artists and others from the prestigious Department of Fine Arts in Bangkok, Thailand. The group has performed extensively in the D.C. Metropolitan area and has been invited to perform in many prestigious locations in the U.S. and outside the U.S.

The Somapa Thai Dance Company's mission is to preserve and promote Thai culture and arts in the Americas. Through performances and workshops, the Company hopes to encourage understanding and appreciation of the arts between people of different countries, cultures and ethnicities in the communities in which we are invited.

Spike Yee & Proper are a rapper/DJ duo based in Morgantown, WV. Both hailing from east Asian descent, they blend their cultures with modern Hip Hop and Electronic music for an easily digestible set that has been curated for audiences of all walks of life.

Mohammad Rohaizad Suaidi (he/him/his) is a Queer theatre-maker and performer who has directed and conceptualized new devised works in Honolulu, Kuala Lumpur, Micronesia, New York, Singapore, and Baltimore. Rohaizad has taught at institutions of higher learning since 2002 and is currently Adjunct Professor at Towson University and UMBC, where he teaches courses in Acting, Theatre Ensemble, Cultural Diversity in Contemporary Theatre, and Queer BIPOC Theatre. He is also a trained ESL teacher who has been teaching at the Adult Learning Center in Baltimore since 2016, working with adult learners who are refugees and recent immigrants.

In 2018, Rohaizad co-founded the Asian Pasifika Arts Collective (https://baltimoreapac.org/), a non-profit organization that uses art to advocate for more diverse representation of Asian and Pacific Indigenous Americans. As an immigrant, Muslim, brown Southeast Asian, and gay cisgender man, Rohaizad is committed to creating platforms and opportunities for AAPI artists to make and present works that explore intersectionality and the community’s complex diversity.

Yong Han Lion Dance Troupe is a Baltimore based lion dance group composed of Johns Hopkins University students. They keep the ancient art of lion dancing alive and provide Chinese cultural enrichment to Maryland and DC communities by performing for cultural events, weddings, birthday parties, and more. You can send any performance inquiries to yonghanldt@gmail.com.

Sutradhar Institute of Dance and Related Arts (SIDRA) is a non profit arts organization dedicated to quality arts education and performance. Sutradhar is the home of Devi Dance Theatre and Children of Devi Dance Theatre. The director, Nilimma Devi, is a renowned Kuchipudi dancer and choreographer.

The Sutradhar Institute introduces dance through a blend of yoga, creative writing, story-telling and music--all links in the chain of Kuchipudi aesthetics. This holistic approach to an ancient art form enhances its attractiveness to young people, allowing them to connect to dance from a deeper and more expressive core. SIDRA’s mission is to transcend cultural and gender barriers with re-imagined, innovative and cross-cultural choreographies of ancient Kuchipudi and to nurture and encourage dancers and artists to overcome language and cultural boundaries through dance.

Asia North 2024 Partners and Sponsors

TU Asian Arts & Culture Center, Central Baltimore Partnership, Station North Arts District, Motor House, Maryland State Arts Council, William G. Baker, Jr. Memorial Fund, Citizens of Baltimore County, TU-BTU Presidential Priority, Baltimore Changwon-Sister City Committee, Korean American Foundation – Greater Washington, Barangay Baltimore, Baltimore-Xiamen Sister City Committee, NAAAP Baltimore, and Baltimore Improv Group.

Asia North logo

Asia North celebrates the arts and Asian culture that are defining characteristics of Baltimore’s Charles North neighborhood, part of the Station North Arts and Entertainment District.

Inaugurated in spring 2019, Asia North is a collaborative community celebration that recognizes, showcases, and honors the art, culture and the Asian heritage of Greater Baltimore, especially the Korean history of Baltimore’s Charles North community.

The Asian Arts & Culture Center co-produces events with the Central Baltimore Partnership, and multiple community partners. Area artists and organizations present exhibits, performances, films, and more. In spring 2020, the programs expanded to online formats.

Asia North graphics by Mika J. Nakano.