"Art has always been a great way for me to express myself." - Dao Than
On Saturday, April 21, Miss AACO 2011 Dao Than hosted a fundraising event fo the Asian Pacific Development Center's ReLAY (Responsible Leadership and Action for Youth) program as part of her community service project.
Re-LAY After School Program (Responsible Leadership and Action for Youth) is an intensive mentorship and after school program for middle school youth. The activities at Re-LAY includes but are not limited to: mentoring, life skills curriculum, tutoring. The program currently serves the refugee students at Merrill Middle School (Denver Public Schools).
ARTiste (ART Is Shown Through Expression) was an art gala showcasing the art done by our refugee youth and to celebrate the youth and their art. Miss Dao Than has been working with the youth every week at the program on the art project that will be showcased at the ARTiste fundraiser. Local artist made their artwork available for purchase. 100% of the proceeds from the event was donated to APDC's ReLAY after school program, including the entrance fees and sales from the artwork.
Performances included the a lion dance by the Colorado Asian Cultural Heritage Center, rapping by Ann Mariano, dancing by Machinez Remainz and lastly a dance by the ReLAY students taught by Dao.
Dao Than's service project was to promote the importance of art education for youth. She says, "I never had my chance to pursue my love for art, but I do not want others to lose that opportunity either. I want to organize workshops that allow children to experience different forms of art. I would also like to host a fundraising night where local artists can come to display their art. There are so many talented artists in Colorado and they deserve to be recognized!"
Dao is a student at Regis University and was crowned Miss Asian American Colorado in June 2011. She has organized several art workshops for middle school and high school students in the past year. She has also emceed several events including: Boulder Asian Festival, UNAVSA-8 Conference, Project Renew - A Fundraiser for the Lao Buddhist Temple, and more!