On the Friday evening of November 4th 2016, we had a special reading in the house by an Artist Peer Circle of the Queens Council on the Arts. Four writers based in Queens―and with roots in China, Croatia, Kosovo, South Africa, Taiwan, and other parts of the Americas―find, lose, and make their way home through fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.
Readers: Artrit Bytyci, Malcolm Chang, Catherine Kapphahn, and Doreen Wang.
Facilitator: Tim Fredrick.
Our favorite moments of the night include Doreen Wang explaining the two kinds of home — the one you were born into and the one you create by building your own family, Artrit Bytyci telling the story of his grandma being dislocated from her home because of the political turmoil in the communist countries and breaking the mental borders, Catherine Kapphahn’s journey of collecting and putting together pieces of her mom through continuous “guessing, imagining, and searching,” and lastly, how Malcolm Chang faced and combated racial disparity and white supremacy as a Chinese diaspora in South Africa.
We also just simply loved having a group of diverse writers and audience in the historic home of Lewis H. Latimer in Flushing, Queens, echoing his personal path of defining a humane home against all odds.
Artist Peer Circles are organized by the Queens Council of the Arts to nurture Queens-based artists in gathering, growing, building partnerships, and becoming leaders in their fields. With a trained facilitator, artists meet in small groups over the course of 9-months to develop alliances and act as resources for each other in developing their craft, careers, and lives as artists.