Asia North Festival goes virtual on July 17

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Clockwise: Musician Ellen Zhang, a painting by Nahid Navab, a painting by Nico Gozal, percussionist Sebastian Wang performs. Courtesy: Station North Arts District.

Last year, the Asia North Festival brought Asian cuisine, drinks and music to Graffiti Alley for a three-day celebration of Asian and Asian-American culture.

This year, the event was originally scheduled for April 4, but as we all know, COVID-19 happened.

Thankfully, this year’s Asia North Festival will get a second digital edition on Friday, July 17, with artist talks, storytelling and musical performances.

Starting at 8 p.m., viewers will hear from Paul Kim, whose grandfather towers over the Station North Arts and Entertainment District in a six-story tall mural that was completed in 2014 as part of Open Walls Baltimore.

Kim will share the story of his grandfather, who opened Seoul Rice Cake in the neighborhood decades ago and became a leader in the local Korean-American community.

Iranian-American painter Nahid Navab and Indonesian silk painter Nico Gozal will both share their work and discuss how they bring together their heritage and modern-day design.

The event also features musical performances from Sebastian Wang and Ellen Zhang.

Wang will perform traditional Korean percussion instruments, including two different styles of drums (the changgo and the buk) and two different styles of gongs (the jing and the kkwaenggwari).

Zhang plays a traditional Chinese string instrument known as the guzheng. A Q&A will follow.

In the middle of the event, staff from Brown Rice and The Crown will share up  food and drink recipes that can easily be made at home.

Viewers can hear the speakers and watch the performances on Station North’s Facebook page.

The Asia North Festival is being held as part of the Station North Shines series, a collaboration between the district and the Central Baltimore Partnership to highlight artists and businesses in the neighborhood.

Towson University’s Asian Arts & Culture Center, which helped put together last year’s inaugural festival, is also an organizer of the virtual event.

Organizers previously showcased four other artists during a digital event on June 5.

Brandon Weigel


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