MicCheck! is a summer series of events, workshops, and performances that feature emerging and established Asian and Pacific Islander (API) artists from diverse mediums, including film, poetry, visual art, comedy, dance, and more. It is presented in tandem with the Jade International Night Market and aligned with APANO’s cultural work programs. This year’s MicCheck! summer cultural event series focuses on the theme of mental health, seeking to dismantle stigma around mental health through reflection, dialogue, and creative activities. Our event lineup this summer includes:
Queer APIs + Mental Health Roundtable
Wednesday, June 6 | 6pm-8pm | Taborspace, 5441 SE Belmont St, Portland, OR 97215
This panel and roundtable discussion will invite guest speakers to share thoughts on contemporary issues facing people who identify as queer and Asian Pacific Islander. How do we navigate API spaces as queer people? How do we navigate queer spaces as API people? What areas present conflict or othering, and how do they impact health and approaches to self-care? Participants will be encouraged to listen, reflect, and share experiences and resources as they are comfortable. In partnership with Cascadia Behavioral Healthcare.
Healing the Fractures: Writing from Deep Experience
Saturday, June 23 | 11:30am-3pm | Milepost 5, 850 NE 81st Ave, Portland, OR 97213
How do we overcome cultural silences around mental health in communities of color? How do we move away from the perception that we are broken and in need of fixing? Using generative writing exercises, we will mine memory, family history, and fractured narratives of the self to build writing practices rooted in compassion and imagination. Open to all levels of writers. Registration is required due to limited capacity.
Movie and Music in the Park: CAN + Joe Kye
Friday, July 20 | Music begins at 6:30pm and movie begins after dusk | Harrison Park, 2225 SE 87th Ave, Portland, OR 97216
What does it take to heal from mental illness? Join us for a free screening of CAN, a documentary film by Pearl J. Park. CAN tells the story of Can Truong, a Vietnam war refugee, whose diagnosis with depression and bipolar disorder as a college student leads him on healing journey that explores his identity, family, and history. The film will be preceded by a concert by Joe Kye, a violinist-looper, composer, and producer based in Portland. In partnership with Portland Parks and Recreation’s Summer Free for All series.
Astrology and Wellness for Radicals
Thursday, August 2 | 6pm-8pm | Midland Library, 805 SE 122nd Ave, Portland, OR 97233
How does astrology shape the stories that we tell about ourselves? Emerging astrologer Candace Kita will share how astrology supported her journey towards mental health and wellness. Plus, we will dive into the healing potential of each sign of the zodiac!
Mindfulness and Making Workshop
Sunday, August 12 | 1pm-3pm | Filipino-American Center, 8917 SE Stark St, Portland, OR 97216
This workshop will invite participants to use clay, sand, and paper to express our emotions, experiences, and identities and create validating, healing, and safe spaces within ourselves. Through meditative and connective artistic exploration, we will build solidarity while maintaining awareness of and presence our own feelings. This workshop will cultivate 1) a better understanding and connection with your inner self, 2) replicable tools and practices that will support you and your communities in maintaining mental wellbeing, and 3) increased awareness about the narratives that we harbor around mental health. No previous artistic experience required.
Sound > Silence: Overcoming Stigmas Around Mental Health Through the Power of Sound
Thursday, September 6 | 6pm-8pm | New Expressive Works, 810 SE Belmont St, Portland, OR 97214
Unit Souzou Co-Directors, Michelle Fujii and Toru Watanabe join violinist-looper Joe Kye to present a workshop using sound to combat the silence around mental health in API communities. Workshop participants will explore their personal relationships with mental health, investigate stigmas about mental wellness in API communities, and create soundscapes through looping and drumming in order to overcome the negative perceptions around such conversations. No musical background is necessary.
2nd Annual East Portland Arts & Literary Festival
Friday-Saturday, October 19-20 | All Day | PCC Southeast, 2305 SE 82nd Ave, Portland, OR 97216
Join us for our 2nd Annual East Portland Arts & Literary Festival honoring artists of color! The festival will feature interactive performances, workshops, a book and craft fair, kid-friendly activities, and more.
As MicCheck! events are volunteer-led, they are not a substitute for medical treatment. Find a growing list of additional resources on mental health care specifically for APIs here.