That frame of reference, however, is by no means limited to the city itself. From Jacobson's perspective, the organization's mission extends far beyond DC. On a national level, she says, it's ultimately about connecting AAPI artists with audiences, one city at a time. "We are also building a network of local allies," she wrote, ". . . building awareness and cultivating new audiences for AAPI arts. Our goal is to be the home of AAPI arts on the East Coast, and eventually in the US." The organizers see themselves, and the artists that they showcase, as participants in a greater social cause. Says Lares, "We're part of a bigger movement for social justice and humanity for our peoples."
On November 20, 2010, Sulu DC held its first Anniversary Show, which featured performances by nationally-recognized artists like Beau Sia, Regie Cabico, Paige Hernandez, and Rooftop Pursuit. The house was packed with nearly 180 attendees, and the room that night buzzed with celebratory energy, a testament to the wisdom of the organizers' vision and to the fruits of their passion and dedication.
"It was incredible," recalls Jacobson, ". . . We had folks from all over the country there, Japanese drummers, Bollywood dancers, tons of food and drink from multiple sponsors and Paperdoll [a rock band] . . . completely brought the house down. It was a very special evening."
Lares agrees: "Artisphere was alive that night," she wrote, "[AAPI]'s were the ones who were shining on stage and off. It was love for our community, for art, for music, for poetry that brought us together in one place."
Many thanks to Jenny Lares and Simone Jacobson for their help in putting together this feature.