Wednesday, June 17, 2009

our whole list of speakers is up! come meet them on 6.27.09

Did you ever wonder:

What it was like to photograph the Obama campaign?
What lunch has to do with design?
What lessons can be learned from the fashion world?
How art and science are coming together?
Who is part of the Banh Mi Boom?

What happens when you put THIS many creative people with THIS many ideas together in one room?

If you like listening to stories, if you want to be inspired, please come find out with us:

"Hay Qua!" Mini-Fest
Saturday, June 27th / 10-4PM
The Bitter End (147 Bleecker St)

Limited number of seats. Get your tickets now before they sell out.

Ina Adele Ray, a.k.a. Adele, is a half-Vietnamese and half-American filmmaker and professional video editor residing in Brooklyn, New York. She recently produced Parallel Adele, with director Adele Pham, which has been frequently showing on the film festival circuit. Ms. Ray is currently working on the post production of an hour long documentary, Lost Pictures, that is a personal exploration that spans three wars, three continents, and her family's experience as a Vietnamese diaspora living in France and the US. Website:

14 years ago, Alex Nguyen picked up a trumpet and has yet to put it down. Alex has since performed on famous stages from the likes of the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, to the Savannah Onstage International Arts Festival, and across Europe and Asia. Nguyen was also the winner of the International Trumpet Guild Jazz Competition and the Jamey Aebersold Award for Artistry at the National Trumpet Competition. Alex Nguyen just turned 24. Website:

It's not easy being an Asian American comedian... but Ali Wong has been doing it and doing it well. Being half Vietnamese American, she shares with the audience the little tidbits of her Vietnamese culture, such as the power of mighty Nuoc Mam (fish sauce). Ali has recently graced the cover of Hyphen magazine as a fake import car model, opened for Dave Chapelle, and picked as "Best Comedian of 2009" by SF Weekly. She is currently now living in NY, creating a heavy buzz in the stand-up comedy scene. Website:

An Nguyen Xuan, born and raised in Paris, France, now finds his home in NY. His restaurant 'BEP' ('kitchen' in Vietnamese) opens exclusively on Mondays and shares its home w/ Simple Cafe, a cozy french eatery in Brooklyn. Xuan prides BEP on using natural ingredients as he serves Vietnamese staples like Pho, Hu Tieu, Cha Gio, and Banh Mi. Every week, An posts the menu for the upcoming Monday. We can't wait to see what he has next! Website:

At the start of this year, Audrey Tran became the author of ArtfulGreenDot, a new weblog about environmentally conscious art. Since then, her work has been picked up by bloggers from the New York Times and the BBC. Currently, she lives and works in New York scouting out and writing about the visual forces behind the Green Movement. After recently earning her B.F.A. in studio art and journalism from New York University, Audrey hopes to continue making and showing her own artwork in the city while continuing the evolving dialogue on eco-art over the blogosphere. Website:

Accomplished photographer Bao Nguyen's most well-known subject ? President Obama. His beautiful photographs have appeared in the New York Times, Vogue, Rolling Stone, and New York Magazine, among others. Last summer, Bao left New York for a bit to join the Obama campaign in Virginia as AAPI State Field Director. When he wasn't taking photos of the President, Bao could be found coordinating field operations and working to advocate issues important to Asian American voters. He is now working alongside fellow filmmaker Adele Pham on The Transition, a documentary following the lives of Obama campaign volunteers during the first year of the Obama administration. Website:

Đoan Hoàng is a producer, director, and writer of films, heading her own production company, Nuoc Pictures. Her documentary, Oh, Saigon, about her family divided in the Vietnam War, has had over 150 broadcasts on PBS nationally and has played in 10 countries, including Vietnam, Israel, Spain, the United Kingdom & Germany. Oh, Saigon is the winner of numerous awards, including the Grand Jury Prize at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, Sundance Institute's Documentary Fund Award, and Best Feature Documentary at the 42nd Brooklyn Arts Council International Film Festival. She is currently writing a semi-autobiographical script called Love London and directing a new feature documentary called American Geisha.

Hai Ninh is a New York actor and model but originally hails from Oregon. In 2008, Hai had the honor of working for the Obama Campaign as a Deputy Field Organizer in the swing state of Pennsylvania. Hai is currently President of the Asian American Film Lab: a non-profit organization that supports filmmakers and coordinates a national short film competition called the "72 Hour Film Shootout" now in its 6th year. Website:

Jared is a Vietnamese singer/songwriter and artist. Born in Vietnam, he is one of the 219 orphans who, in April 1975, when the communists were 12 miles from Saigon, were evacuated from An Lac Orphanage in "Operation Baby Lift". "Operation Baby Lift" was a $2 million dollar US initiative that airlifted over 2,500 Vietnamese orphans out of a war-torn country to protect them from the impending threat of the Communist Regime. Jared now performs for his fellow "Operation" brothers and sisters. He can be seen playing open mics and small gigs around New York.

Jessica Dang is a co-founder of Thunder Perfect, a branding/marketing/PR consulting firm working with emerging fashion and luxury brands. She is also contributing Editor at JC Report, an online global trend report for fashion insiders. Previously, Jessica was an Account Executive at Chanel Inc. She received her B.B.A. in Design Management from Parsons School of Design and M.A. in Art Business from the Sotheby's Institute of Art. Website:

Kim Spurlock is a Vietnamese-West Virginian filmmaker. Her film "Buoi Chieu" (Afternoon), which premiered at the Slamdance Film festival, went on to win numerous awards including the Jury Prize at the Vietnamese International Film Festival. Before earning her Master's Degree at NYU, Kim studied Anthropology in Nashville, TN, worked as a bicycle courier in Washington, DC and shot a documentary in Sofia, Bulgaria. Website:


Luan Nguyen is the guitarist and backup vocalist of the up and coming band 'Tim Be Told', which launched their debut album in 2007. Combining elements of soul, pop, rock, gospel and blues, the band has gone on to perform across the East Coast, from the Knitting Factory to the Satellite Ballroom. With each show, the band gains new listeners with their infectious guitar hooks, captivating melodies, and driving rhythm parts; but most importantly, they hope that their music will cause people to view life through a different lens, one of honesty, hope, redemption, and change. Tim Be Told’s new album, “From the Inside,” recently launched on June 4th. Website:

Minh-Dang (Mindy) Lvoff disappointed her father by abandoning her stressful, high-paid Finance career at Goldman Sachs to join the stressful, low-paid world of cooking. After graduating from The French Culinary Institute, Mindy worked with the FCI's Director of Culinary Technology, Dave Arnold, and most recently writes for and helped create Cooking Issues - a blog dedicated to advancing and sharing food technology application. Mindy also writes her own blog, "Mindy's Recipe for Disaster," chronicling the many, many mishaps that are her culinary and personal life.


Phi-Hong Ha is an award-winning Interaction Design and Strategy Consultant for products, services and digital interfaces. She has been working with TED over the last year, and last month helped them launch the Open Translation Project. Since launch, more than 1000 new volunteers have signed up to translate TED talks, including into Vietnamese, and there are over 1600 new translations in progress. Outside of client work, Phi enjoys teaming up with artists and non-profits to explore nontraditional design solutions to the world’s economic and social challenges. Along with her sister Yen Ha, Phi helped create the Viet Club Blog of creative Vietnamese Americans in New York. Phi is currently excited about designing for services and making Vietnamese breakfast "cakes." Website:

Born in Hue, Vietnam, and now a popular Brooklynite, Phong Bui is the editor and publisher of the widely-read monthly journal Brooklyn Rail, which offers critical perspectives on arts, politics, and culture in New York City, and has helped launch dozens of young writers into the Big League. "Having been brought up in a family where divided politics was always a source of conflict, I recognized the Rail as a place where these kinds of differences could be brought together onto the printed page." Artist, writer and independent curator, it is clear that Phong is passionate about everything he does. In one YouTube video interview, one can see portraits he has done of artists line almost an entire wall of his home. Phong has taught at the prestigious Columbia University and School of Visual Arts. Website:

A contributor to Serious Eats, Tam Ngo is an attorney who enjoys scotch, jerky, and a good fog. She has a slow walk, slow talk, and fast metabolism. Exacting in her field studies, her fetishes include hot bread and dry noodles. She is drawn to most forms of carnage and all forms of strange. She is also a Board member of Open House New York, a non-profit organization dedicated to revealing the city's extraordinary architecture through access and education. This year, she hopes to combine her love for food, design, and urban history in developing programs to feed the public's appetite for all.

Thu Tran gets to do what we all were told not to do as a child: play with our food. Born in Malaysia, raised in Ohio, now living in Brooklyn, Thu continues to play her heart out. Host of Food Party TV, the greatest cooking show ever (think Food Network + Pee Wee's Playhouse on a sugar high), Thu's time has been in demand. From the New York Times to the Gothamist to Paper Mag's “New York’s Most Beautiful People” ... the world is starting to take notice. Oh, and love Girl Talk ? Thu went on the GT 35-city tour styling their props/visuals. Ain't that neat (aka we're jealous). Thu currently refers to herself as a 'mixed media artist' but we refer to her as 'awesome' for short. Website:

If banh mi is the 'it' food right now, then Tuan Bui's "An Choi" is the 'it' place to be. Located on the corner of Manhattan's Lower East side, An choi's is designed to make you feel like you're one of those great hole in the wall joints in Vietnam. Tuan has been published in the NY Times, NY Mag, Serious Eats NY, The Onion and is also active in the NY community, having hosted a soft opening for the New York Fashion Week. Website:

Tung is credited as the sound/concept for the "50 People 1 Question" project. Filmed by Benjamin Reece, their crew asked the same question again and again -- in fact, 50 times to 50 different people on the streets of New York as well as various other cities. So far, they've received fifteen hundred responses from seven hundred and ninety-nine cities. As one viewer commented: "Everyone can make their day better by watching this 8-minute video." Twitter:

Vinh Hua is a Vietnamese American performance poet from Boston, currently living in New York City. He’s a former trashboy, a former sous chef, a former boyfriend and a former lot of things, but he’s currently trying to connect the past with the present and find some less obscure path to the future. Vinh has performed at venues as diverse as DC's Lincoln Theatre to Madison Square Garden, from Harvard and Yale to the Bowery Poetry Club, at prestigious conferences and street corner rap sessions. He thinks you are as dope as a durian icicle on a hot summer day for having read this. Website:

Dubbed as one half of "New York City's most dynamic Asian women-owned architectural partnerships," Yen Ha of FRONT STUDIO has a thoughtful yet creative approach to design, often taking inspiration from whimsical places. It is also not unusual for Yen and her colleague to take photos of their lunch, often near their SoHo office, to put on their wildly-popular food blog "LUNCH". Yen also worked on local favorite "Viet Club" with her sister Phi-Hong, in search and celebration of creative Vietnamese Americans in NY. From the New York Times to Page 6, Yen is one to watch. When she's not thinking about how to incorporate space, her French/Viet heritage, and humor in her designs, she's thinking about other big questions like: "Where to go for lunch ?" Website: /

"Hay Qua!" Mini-Fest
Saturday, June 27th / 10-4PM
The Bitter End (147 Bleecker St)



  1. Bummer.... just realized I have to be at ZineFest all that weekend... but will maybe try and sneak out a little... Is there an after party meet-n-greet afterwards? Please keep me notified of all upcoming events in New York... Looking good!

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