Celebrate our common humanity and the unique beauty of diverse experiences during this 6 week international community festival. 27 individuals from Baltimore to Bengaluru share their personal and cultural stories about life in quarantine, racism, relationships, social justice, empowerment, persistence, mortality, immigration, identity, courage, loneliness, and sustainable living through narrative, music, art, animation/video/short film, and more. See the schedule and learn more about the storytellers and their stories below.

If you require captioning during the event, please submit your request to [email protected] at least 48 hours before the event.

Sushmita Mazumdar (Arlington, VA) “Sing to Me, Mr. Shuffle”
• Charley Jo Raine (Towson, MD) “Fortress”
• Sookyung Park (Laurel, MD) “Sookkyung’s Art”
• Henry Chen (Towson, MD) “From Shanghai to Towson: One Immigrant’s Story”

Sushmita Mazumdar (Arlington, VA) “Sing to Me, Mr. Shuffle”
Sushmita came to America 21 years ago and as English became her main language, she lost touch with her other native Indian languages, like Hindi. But she still listened to songs from Hindi movies. One day, many years after she had become an artist, she suddenly wondered if she still remembered how to write the Devanagari script, used to write Hindi (and Nepali, and Sanskrit). As the songs played from the Gaana app on her iPhone, she grabbed a pen and wrote the lyrics down as the song played. She did remember! As an artist whose work is all about a community space for art and stories, Sushmita had to re-imagine what to do there when the building was closed to the public during the pandemic. Luckily, music is still there!

Sushmita Mazumdar is an artist, writer, and educator, and founder of Studio Pause, a community space for art and stories in Arlington, VA. It is where she works, teaches, and invites everyday people to visit, learn, share their art, and celebrate the art and writing of others. She works across stories, book arts, and visual art, often mixing into it the community who collaborate, discuss, and respond to inform her creations. Sushmita is a studio arts instructor for the Smithsonian Associates and has taught book arts at libraries, schools, museums, and art centers. She has been commissioned to create community art projects for Arlington Arts, The National Building Museum, and the Freer and Sackler Galleries of Art. Her art has been on view at the Smithsonian Community Show, the Art League, Arlington Artists Alliance, Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington, Virginia Humanities, George Mason University, and at Glen Echo Park’s Popcorn Gallery.

Charley Jo Raine (Towson, MD) “Fortress”
My name is Charley jo and I make music driven by emotion. I am a singer-songwriter who strongly believes music can change the world and I hope to use my music to stand up for those being put down and bless those others turn their back on. To me, music is like the rain, sometimes angry, sometimes soft; when it comes growth is sure to follow. Tonight, I share my story as the token black child within the white community.

Sookyung Park (Laurel, MD) “Sookkyung’s Art”
When I lived in South Korea, I run my own arts and crafts studio named Saerom. The studio specialized in decoupage and stained glass it was one of the oldest arts and crafts studio in South Korea. I continued my career for about 25 years until I moved to the U.S.A. In the U.S.A., I was unfamiliar with a new community: the educational system, bank accounts, a written contract, and even gas station. I thought deeply how I could adapt myself to a new society; before long, I was determined to challenge the college test. I studied hard every day for many weeks and passed the test by a miracle. Nothing ever gave me such great pride.

Henry Chen (Towson, MD) “From Shanghai to Towson: One Immigrant’s Story”
Henry Chen shares his experiences of being a very happy, satisfied, accomplished Asian American, while remaining a not-completely-accepted immigrant after 73 years! Henry Chen came to U.S. in 1947 with his parents and went to school in Upper Darby, PA. He later studied Biochemical Sciences, Biophysics, and Nuclear Physics at Harvard College, The Johns Hopkins University, and University of Maryland College Park. He served as a full-time faculty member at Towson University from 1965-2009. Henry has also been a practicing musician since 1964.

Add to Calendar 20201015 America/New_York 7700 Osler Drive, Room 2037 Towson MD 21204 Our Stories Virtual Festival