July 6, 2023

An Interview with Joe Kye and Bea Yeh of Tiger Tiger

APANO is proud to introduce the amazing humans behind Tiger Tiger! Bea Yeh and Joe Kye, co-producers of the free AANHPI festival, join us on the blog today to share a bit about themselves and Tiger Tiger.

Join us for the festival on Saturday, July 22nd, 2023 from 2:00pm to 9:30pm at Fernhill Park, 4121 NE Simpson St., Portland, OR 97211.

APANO: Hi Bea and Joe! Thanks for joining us today!

APANO is really excited to be supporting Tiger Tiger this year and we can’t wait to share some information about this event. Can you tell our readers a little bit about yourselves? What is your background and how did the idea for Tiger Tiger come about?

Joe Kye: My name is Joe Kye (he/him). I’m a musician, storyteller, and community organizer based here in Portland. My experience as a child immigrant from Korea drives my passion for cultural creativity and community building.

After two years of quarantining and watching people who looked like my mom, dad, and sister getting attacked in this country, I needed a place for communal healing. Especially in a place like Portland, I yearned to share my music with an audience that just got it. 

So I started Tiger Tiger, a festival dedicated to celebrating the Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities as they exist now. Not a place to preserve and present traditions to white Portland, but a place for us to explore who we are in this very moment.

Bea Yeh: Greetings! My name is Bea Yeh (she/they) and I am co-producing Tiger Tiger. I run a social justice consulting group called Luminous Together. We create programs and spaces to gather, play, and grow. I invite folks to reach out!

I met Joe a few years ago while I was leading programs at the amazing APANO Orchards of 82 Community Space. We connected this winter and decided to co-produce Tiger Tiger as a team. This year, Tiger Tiger will again be filled with beautiful music and art, delicious food, inspiring organizations, and, greatest of all, COMMUNITY — which is the best summer vibe!

APANO: Awesome, thanks so much for sharing about yourselves! Can you share more about why you’ve put the festival together? 

Joe: I firmly believe that communal creativity is the key to connection and activation. When we break bread together; when we laugh, cry, and celebrate with each other; when we share our stories and weave them together through art, music, food, and movement, we heal within and activate our communities, imagining a culture in which we have power and agency.

I’ve been to a lot of heritage-specific festivals in Portland. They’re fantastic. But they often lean towards preserving traditions. Tiger Tiger is about exploring our identities now, and that mission is reflected in our musicians, food creatives, and artists.

After an outpouring of support after last year’s event, I’ve realized how vital a space like this is for us. I’m so glad to bring it back for year two.

APANO: It’s so important to bring folks together, and we can’t wait for this year’s event. What and who can we expect to see at the festival?

Bea: Tiger Tiger is food, music, movement, poetry, interactive art, and community! We will eat together, move together, breathe together, and build community together.

We are honored to partner with amazing chefs, community organizations, artists, and performers. Our artists and performers include Joe Kye and the Givers, Alana Rich, Greg Kramer, DJ Anjali, Suba Ganesan, Alex Dang, Tara Sonali Miller, Des Spicer-Orak, Kevin Aipopo, Qi You, Jen Hernandez, &Limei Lai.

Our restaurants include Baon Kainan, Bhuna, Chochu Local, Frybaby, GrindWitTryz, HeyDay, Kim Jong Grillin, Matta, &Yoonique Tea.

Our tabling orgs include Portland JACL, Theatre Diaspora, Chinese American Citizens Alliance - Portland Lodge, IRCO, AREAA Portland, AKAP, APANO, API Forward, Pacific Climate Warriors, TriMet, KAC Oregon, Asian American Town, BIPOC Adoptees, Parks & Rec, 311, &Care Oregon.

APANO: Amazing! That lineup is so incredible.

Last year was the inaugural Tiger Tiger, which seemed like a really great success. You brought together so many communities to celebrate and share. AANHPI communities are so diverse and we don’t often get to see the full range of identities within our community. Can you talk a little about the importance of being in coalition and what that means to you? 

Joe: There are so many communities within the acronym AANHPI (why, America?!), and it’s important to hold each tradition separately. I believe it’s also important for us to come together and build a coalition, to activate against the white supremacy so deeply embedded in this country, and in the state of Oregon. That is the type of radical joy I want to create through Tiger Tiger.

APANO: Well said! Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know?

Bea: We are committed to keep this event community focussed and FREE. That said, we are FUNDRAISING! We have about $10,000 to go to cover our budget. Our goal is to raise this as soon as possible. Your support can help make that happen. You can support our efforts at bit.ly/TigerTigerSupport to make a donation.

Funding helps support the BITE TIX program. We recognize that some members of our community experience food insecurity. We have raised funds and partnered with the phenomenal restaurants to offer a free meal at the event to community members who need it. If you would like to support the BITE TIX program, please donate! If you would like to access the BITE TIX program visit bit.ly/TigerTigerBiteTix for more information.

We are so excited to see everyone at Tiger Tiger! Thank you!

APANO: Thank you for your time today, Bea and Joe! 

We look forward to seeing you at the second annual Tiger Tiger! Please support this free festival by donating to ensure Tiger Tiger is a success this year and for years to come. 

This programming message brought to you by APANO Communities United Fund, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. APANO is a fiscal sponsor of Tiger Tiger. Photo courtesy of Tiger Tiger.