Asian Arts Festival Celebrates Its 25th Anniversary

This weekend, Andover welcomed spring with the celebration of the Asian Arts Festival’s 25th anniversary. Traditional Asian dress, music, food, henna designs and origami cranes were just some of the attractions of this year’s festival.

Over the past three weeks, Asian Arts has taken campus by storm with events such as a film screening of “Linsanity,” a Southeast-Asian Fiesta featuring performances by a Vietnamese dance troupe and a Filipino-American music ensemble, an All-School Asian Arts Festival Dinner and an evening with “Glee” star Harry Shum, Jr.

Aya Murata, Associate Director of College Counseling and an advisor to Asian and Asian-American students, has been organizing the Asian Arts Festival since 1994.

“I think the role Asian Arts Festival plays in our community carries increased significance and relevance as this constituency has grown to approximately 27 percent of our overall population,” said Murata in an email to _The Phillipian_.

This year, Murata and the Asian Arts Committeeaimed to bring a more educational focus to the event.

“Some people might feel that we are ‘post-racial’ or feel that Asians are ‘practically white’ and therefore no longer suffer from racism, or question why Asians are upset with ‘positive’ stereotypes, or assume that all Asians are ‘the same,’” she continued.

The Asian Arts Festival was presented by several of Andover’s affinity groups, including Andover Japanese Connection, Andover Korean Society, Indian and Pakistani Society (IndoPak), Chinese-Taiwanese Student Association, Southeast Asian Club and Asian Society. All proceeds from the festival will help fund the groups.