AA Limelight Interview with Kelly Zen-Yie Tsai
Who are you?
I’m a lover, fighter, spoken word poet, playwright, filmmaker, dancer, Chicagoan turned Brooklynite, artist-activist, dreamer, and someone who is lucky enough to make a living at what I love.
What are you all about?
I care about community. I grew up at the dinner table arguing politics with my family. I have a sense of history and a desire to share with people the beauty of our many histories. The paths we are traveling may be new, but in essence, have been traveled before. I grew up hanging out at spoken word poetry and later hip hop open mics. It’s where I learned the value of being myself and honoring unique experiences, rhythms, and words.
What keeps you going?
Sometimes the creative challenge of trying something new. Sometimes the powerful affirmation from my audiences. Today, I just finished performing / facilitating a workshop for a group in DC, and this woman told the organizer that the day completely rejuvenated her soul. That’s a pretty hard-core, yet wonderful statement. It’s crazy amazing that these tiny arrangements of abstract sound and image (i.e. language) can move people’s hearts and minds so thoroughly.
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