Cynthia Brothers

Managing Blog Editor & Social Media Editor

Cynthia Brothers is from Seattle and has recently worked as a grantmaker in the immigrant rights and civic engagement fields, with the AAPI online organizing group 18 Million Rising, and with pro-migrant arts and culture group CultureStrike. She's also paid the rent as a mental health researcher, public benefits outreach worker, and espresso flunky. She's performed with the Tribes Project in the U.S., Mexico, and South Africa, and in addition to Hyphen, has been published in the International Examiner and Mavin Magazine. Cynthia first got mixed up with Hyphen by covering the 2008 New York Asian American Film Festival. She's also blogged at

AAIFF Films: 'The Mikado Project'

In the spirit of mockumentaries such as A Mighty Wind and Finishing The Game, Director Chil Kong's The Mikado Project follows a rag-tag theatre troupe as they struggle with racial politics, artistic egos, and paying the bills. The Angry Buddha Company, which typically stages "out of vogue" protest theater, is faced with an an eviction notice and imminent closing. To boost ticket sales, artistic director Lance Liu (Allen Liu) decides to mount an all-Asian American production of Gilbert & Sullivan's 19th century very white, very racist operetta The Mikado. And to "give the (white) audience what they want," Lance is determined to keep the musical true-to-form, with yellowface, geisha girls, and all.

AAIFF Films: 'Other Nature'


Nani Sahra Walker's documentary Other Nature (2010) follows several Nepalese activists in their fight to include LGBTQ rights under Nepal's new democracy. In 2008, after transitioning out of centuries of monarchy, Nepal was the most recent nation to become a federal republic, which included an effort to write a constitution incorporating the needs of its citizens. While Nepal's Supreme Court has been the first in the world to recognize "third gender" (a category originated by advocates in Nepal's LGBTQ movement), implementation by the government, as well as societal attitudes, have been slow on the uptake. 

The Hyphenite's Social Calendar: Wounds Unkissed, Carmina Burana

Friday July 23rd -- NYC

Mouth to Mouth Open Mic

Asian American Writers' Workshop presents its sixth Mouth to Mouth open mic of the year. This month's open mic is hosted by comedian Ali Wong and writer Sung J. Woo (Everything Asian).

9 pm (sign-up at 8:30 pm)

Asian American Writers' Workshop

110-112 W 27th St, 6th floor, New York

$5 suggested donation

The Hyphenite's Social Calendar: Poetry from the Rooftops, Who's Got Flavour?

Wednesday July 14th and Tuesday July 14th -- NYC

YO GIRL! Solo Show

Natalie Kim's one-woman show YO GIRL!, about growing up Korean in white suburbia with multiple mothers, will be previewing in advance of its showing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this August.

7/14 & 7/20 at 7 pm

59East59 Street Theatre, Theatre C

59 E 59th St, New York

$15; tickets here

Thursday July 15th -- Berkeley

Go! Ohana

The Hyphenite's Social Calendar: Beijing, CA, Irrelevant

Wednesday June 30th -- Los Angeles

Disaster Preparedness and Immigrant Communities

The Asian Pacific American Legal Center (APALC) and Tomas Rivera Policy Institute (TRPI) will discuss their newly released report that shows city and county government agencies are ill-prepared to serve Asian and Latino limited English speakers in a disaster.

10 to 11 am

APALC Community Room

1145 Wilshire Blvd, 1st floor, Los Angeles


The Hyphenite's Social Calendar: Kollaboration NY, Chink Monkey

Wednesday June 23rd to Friday June 25th -- Alexandria, VA

Advancing Justice Conference

The Advancing Justice conference brings together a diverse group of stakeholders around national civil rights and social justice issues facing the API community. With keynote speaker Samoan Amerian activist and organizer Lua Pritchard. More info and registration here.

The Westin Alexandria

400 Courthouse Square, Alexandria VA

Thursday June 24th -- Los Angeles

The Hyphenite's Social Calendar: Mix Tape, Redlight

Thursday June 17th -- NYC

Asian American Women's Health Symposium

This year's Asian American Women's Health Symposium is titled: "Rising to the Challenges of Being a Woman", and is designed to help community healthcare providers learn more about issues affecting Asian American women living in New York City. Topics will include suicide, culture and communication, and HIV/AIDS. More info here.

8:30 am to 5 pm

25 W 43rd St, 18th fl, New York

The Hyphenite's Social Calendar: The Nguyens, Speed Dating

Wednesday June 9th -- NYC

Chosin Screening

In commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the Korean War, The Korea Society presents a special screening of Chosin, a documentary that preserves the personal stories of veterans who survived the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. Followed by a Q&A with director Brian Iglesias.

6:30 pm

Symphony Space

2537 Broadway, New York

$15 / $10 Asian Cinevision members

The Hyphenite's Social Calendar: Dirty Hands, Asian Rock Fest

Thursday May 27th -- Oakland

LGBT APIA Literary Night

Oakland Asian Cultural Center (OACC) presents an evening of readings and reflection on the APIA queer experience, Featuring Aimee Suzara, Joel Tan, and Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha. The evening will start with contributions from students from the Oakland Word program.

7 pm


388 9th St, Suite 290, Oakland

The Hyphenite's Social Calendar: 1969, DisOrient Film Festival


Tuesday April 20th to Sunday April 25th -- Los Angeles

Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA)

The Eighth Annual IFFLA features a rich mix of programs designed to build and support the growing interest in Indian film, as well as supporting filmmakers of Indian descent in career development, as they navigate the studio system in Hollywood. Tickets and schedule info here.

Arclight Hollywood

6360 West Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles

The Hyphenite's Social Calendar: Lao New Year, Last Train Home

Saturday April 10th -- San Francisco

International Lao New Year Festival

Promoting and welcoming unity, diversity, and cultural heritage, the International Lao New Year Festival is one of the largest Southeast Asian American festivals in the country. With cultural performances, a Miss Lao International pageant, and an evening gala. More info here.

10 am to 5pm (Evening Gala 7 pm to 1 am)

The Hyphenite's Social Calendar: Curry Favor, Ching Chong Chinaman

Thursday March 18th -- Seattle

"An American Diary": Roger Shimomura Lecture

Artist Roger Shimomura will present "An American Diary", a lecture on his work spanning over 40 years, and propelled by various historical and political events. Shimomura's paintings, prints, and theatre pieces address sociopolitical issues of Asian Ameria and have often been inspired by diaries kept by his immigrant mother. In conjunction with his exhibit Yellow Terror, on display though April 18, 2010.

7 pm

The Hyphenite's Social Calendar: SFIAAFF, Tibet in Harlem

Thursday March 11th

Live Chat and performance with Dawen and Macy Gray

R&B musician Dawen will be streaming live on the web on U-Stream with Macy Gray.  Dawen will perform some covers, take audience questions for Macy, and giveaway some CDs.

7 to 8:30 pm PST

Tune into live U-STREAM here

Thursday March 11th to Sunday March 21st -- Bay Area

The Hyphenite's Social Calendar: Paj Ntaub, Kollaboration 10

Thursday March 4th -- San Francisco

Asian Pacific Americans (APAP) for Progress Mixer


Join the San Francisco Chapter of APAP for a mix and mingle with fellow APIs left of center. For upcoming APAP events in other locations such as Boston, Philadelphia, and St. Louis, check here.

6:30 pm

Sugar Cafe

670 Sutter St, San Francisco

FREE, rsvp to colbert(at)apaforprogress(dot)org

The Hyphenite's Social Calendar: Breathin', KAFFNY

Friday February 26th -- San Francisco

Laugh for Lives Benefit

laugh4lives.jpgLaugh for Lives is a comedy benefit for the Asian American Donor Program, which works to increase awareness about the need for API  marrow/stem cell donors for the national marrow registry. Featuring comedians Dat Phan, Air Tabigue, Kevin Shea, and Justin Rivera.

7 pm
Palace of Fine Arts Theatre
2301 Lyons St, San Francisco
$ 20 door / $ 15 pre-sale tix here 

Trailblazing: An Interview with Jack Tung

As part of its Trailblazing Issue release party this Friday, Hyphen will present a killer lineup of live performances -- including local musician Jack Tung. A Bay Area resident by way of New York by way of Taiwan, his genre-defying wall of sound prompted Giant Robot to dub him "Jack Fucking Tung". He also wrote the score for the 2009 San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival. Jack shared some thoughts with Hyphen regarding his complex, intricately-layered sound and creative process.

The Hyphenite's Social Calendar: New Year Festival, Quick Love

Thursday February 17th -- San Francisco

MATCHA Year of the Tiger

SFBG Gas copysmall.JPGThe Asian American Art Museum presents its monthly mixer MATCHA, celebrating the year of the tiger. Event includes a martial arts demonstration from Shaolin Temple USA, the exhibit Shanghai, and soup dumplings. Music spun by DJ Friendly Traveler. More info here.

5 to 9 pm
Asian American Art Museum
200 Larkin St, San Francisco
$ 10

The Hyphenite's Social Calendar: Swinging Chinatown, Mouth to Mouth

Wednesday February 10th -- NYC

Vincent Who? Screening

vincent.jpgAsian Pacific Americans for Progress (APAP) will screen its documentary Vincent Who? -- about the hate crime and murder of Vincent Chin over 25 years ago that galvanized the APIA community and movement. Featured interviews include Helen Zia, Lisa Ling, and young APA activists whose lives were impacted by Vincent Chin. Followed by a Q&A with Curtis Chin, co-founder of APAP and a producer of the film.

7 to 9 pm
Asian American Writers' Workshop
16 West 32nd St, 10th floor, New York
$ 5, light refreshments served
RSVP here

The Hyphenite's Social Calendar: GO!Style, Beware of Cupid

Thursday February 4th -- San Jose

South Bay First Thursdays: Rebuilding Trust Between Community and SJPD

southbay1st.jpgHave you ever wanted to make a complaint about the police, but didn't know where to turn? South Bay First Thursdays presents an interactive community forum highlighting the role and responsibility of the Independent Police Auditor. With panelists Anne Im of Asian Americans for Community Involvement (AACI),  Daniel Katz, Assistant Chief of Police -- City of San Jose, Richard Konda of Asian Law Alliance, and Shivaun Nurre, IPA Deputy Director of San Jose.

6:30 to 9 pm
2400 Moorpark Ave, Suite 210, San Jose

The Hyphenite's Social Calendar: ComedyZEN, Refugee Nation

Wednesday January 27th -- NYC

So The Arrow Flies Performance

EstherChae.jpgInternational award-winning actor/writer Esther Chae will perform her solo play So the Arrow Flies for one night only. Based on real events about a North Korean Actor and double agent who is is exiled to South Korea, the show touches on themes of political ideology, national identities, allegiance, and love for one's family. Proceeds will go towards the Asian Women Giving Circle, to fund Asian American arts and activism projects in New York City.

6:30 doors & cocktails, 7:30 show
Cherry Lane Theater
38 Commerce Street, NYC
$ 100+, tickets here

The Hyphenite's Social Calendar: Learn to See, Sulu for Haiti

Wednesday January 20th -- Mount Vernon, Iowa

Poetry with Patrick Rosal

patrickrosal.jpgAward-winning poet Patrick Rosal will read from and discuss his works at Cornell College. A Fulbright grant winner, Rosal is the author of two full-length poetry collections: Uprock Headspin Scramble and Dive and My American Kundiman.

7:30 pm
Shaw Conference Room
Cornell College Commons
600 1st St, SW Mount Vernon, Iowa

The Hyphenite's Social Calendar: Family Matters, Growing Up Filipino II

Tuesday January 12th -- NYC

Daytime Drinking (Natsul) Film Screening

daytimedrinkingsmall.JPGThe Korean Cultural Service of New York presents a free screening of Daytime Drinking (Natsul), directed by Noh Young-seok. The film follows a post-break up, alcohol-fueled festival of bizarre situations, exacerbated by the protaganoit's inability to refuse a drink. Boy, we've all been there -- and how! More info on the film here.

7 pm
Tribeca Cinema
54 Varick St, New York

The Hyphenite's Social Calendar: Cats of Mirikitani, Saturday Saloon

Wednesday January 6th to Sunday January 24th -- New York City

The Devil You Know Puppet Show

pingchong_thedevilyouknow.jpgTheater wizards Ping Chong & Company and Phantom Limb's Erik Sanko and Jessica Grindstaff join forces in The Devil You Know, a tale of desperate deals, second chances, and democracy's eternal promise of renewal. The classic American Faust fable, "The Devil and Daniel Webster," is transformed with the help of dozens of finely crafted marionettes, video projections, an original score by Erik Sanko, and revolving stages.

Ellen Stewart Theatre/La Mama Experimental Theatre Club
74 East 74th St, New York
$ 15 - $ 30 tickets here

The Hyphenite's Social Calendar: Jeremy Lin, MAVIN Holiday Party

Not a whole lot shakin' this week due to the holidays, but here's a couple events coming up after the New Year. Merry Merry!

Monday January 4th -- Santa Clara

Jeremy Lin "Homecoming" Game

Catch Palo Alto's Jeremy Lin -- who has a real shot at the NBA -- during a rare homecoming appearance to the Bay Area. Lin's team Harvard Crimson will play the Santa Clara Broncos in the NCAA Division.

lin.jpg7 pm
Leavey Center Arena
Santa Clara University
$ 8.88 and up; ticket specials here

The Hyphenite's Social Calendar: Holla'days & Hapa-Palooza!

Friday December 18th -- San Francisco

Kaya and KSW Holiday Book Launch

bookHyperart.jpgJoin Kaya Press and Kearny Street Workshop for a holiday party and book launch of HYPERART: THOMASSON by conceptual artist Akasegawa Genpei. A preview of the performance tour "SF Thomassons" with Philip Huang will also be featured.

6 to 9 pm
1436 Howard Street, San Francisco

Hyphen Gift Guide: Charity Edition

Feeling that consumer fatigue? Afraid of amassing a closet-full of unwanted presents doomed to a downward spiral of serial re-gifting? Consider diverting your dollars from stuff to substance by donating to a worthy charity. This Hyphen gift guide presents a diversity of nonprofits serving APIs and people of color: from youth organizing to music education to anti-trafficking, we're sure you'll find something worthy of your generosity.

East Bay Asian Youth Center (EBAYC)

ebayc.jpgEBAYC works
with low-wealth youth of all ethnicities (although primarily Asian) in Oakland's San Antonio
neighborhood, as well as their parents and schools, to
inspire young folks to be leaders and builders of a just and
compassionate multicultural society. EBAYC provides long-term case
management to foster school re-entry, service access, employment, and
skill development. Donate here.

The Hyphenite's Social Calendar: Tao Po, Culinary Workshops

Thursday December 12th -- Los Angeles

The Killing of a Chinese Cookie Screening/Cook-Off

thekillingofachinesecookie02.jpgJoin Giant Robot and various community sponsors for a special screening of the documentary The Killing of a Chinese Cookie, followed by a sampling of fortune cookie-inspired desserts, and a Q&A with writer/director Derek Shimoda. More info here.

6:30 pm
Japanese American National Museum
369 East 1st St, Los Angeles
FREE; first come, first serve: RSVP to contact(at)thekillingofachinesecookie(dot)com

The Hyphenite's Social Calendar: Noho Hewa, American Me

Wednesday December 2nd -- Philadelphia

National Cambodian American Town Hall Meeting on Diabetes

cambodianhealthsmall.JPGCommunity members are invited to join the National Cambodian American Health Initiative and the National Cambodian American Diabetes Project for a town hall meeting to strategize around diabetes prevention and management in the Cambodian American community.

1 to 4 pm
Cambodian Association of Greater Philadelphia
5412 North 5th St

The Hyphenite's Social Calendar: Asian Americans in Fashion, B Here

Friday November 27th to Saturday December 6th -- Santa Monica

From the Heart: Jude Narita & Friends

jude & Friends -headshots_email.jpgCheck out award-winning performance artist Jude Narita in her one-woman play From the Heart, which celebrates the lives and brings to life the dreams of Asian and Asian American women. A local artist will perform each night before the show. Filmmaker and actress Darling Narita will also be screening SLAM BAM. More info here.

11/27: 8 pm with musicians Dawen and Sue Jin
11/28: 8 pm withperformance artist  D'Lo and Sue Jin
11/29: 3 pm with D'Lo and Dawen
12/3: 8 pm with performance artist Denise Uyehara and poet Elizabeth Iannaci
12/4: 8 pm with Denise Uyehara and poet Amy Uyematsu
12/5:  8 p with performance artist Dan Kwong and Elizabeth Iannaci
12/6: 3 pm with Dan Kwong and Elizabeth Iannaci
Miles Playhouse
1130 Lincoln Blvd, Santa Monica
$ 15 General / $ 12 students & seniors / $ 10 advance tickets here

The Hyphenite's Social Calendar: Enter the Green Dragon, BANANA Roundtable

Tuesday November 17th -- Nationwide with Lac Su -- as part of their AAPI Empowerment Series -- will be presenting an interview with Lac Su, author of the powerful new memoir I Love Yous Are for White People, about Su's refugee upbringing in Los Angeles. Also an executive for a global think tank and a father, painter, and photographer, Su is organizing the upcoming BANANA API Bloggers Roundtable. Participants will have a chance to submit questions for Lac prior or during the interview.

6 pm PST / 7 pm Mountain / 8pm Central / 9 pm Eastern
Phone or webcast -- registration here.

Page Turner: Asian American Literary Festival

welcome.JPGThis Saturday I was lucky enough to check out the first half of the Inaugural day-long Page Turner Asian American Literary Fest, presented by the nonprofit literary arts organization Asian American Writers' Workshop.

Held in the expansive Brooklyn PowerHouse Arena, the festival was packed with compelling sessions featuring writers, performers, academics, and journalists, making it hard for this gal to choose which ones to drop in on. The sessions had an impressive turnout, and with speakers parked on couches as opposed to stuck behind a podium or table, had a less stiff, formalized vibe than your typical panel (more pics here).

How to Draw Asian Women

When I first saw the heading for this entry on Jezebel, I immediately thought: Oh great, another
book/seminar/workshop on how to attract Asian chicks by some skeezy bloated white guy or Asian girl with serious internalized racim issues.

But, Surprise! Racism (and the homonymerific English language) is so creative, and totally outmaneuvered my entrenched, stereotypical expectations.

The Hyphenite's Social Calendar: Film Fests Galore, Page Turner

Tuesday November 10th -- Philadelphia

Kevin So and Wayne Hsu Perform


Wayne Hsu

Nashville-based singer-songwriter Kevin So and Philadelphia's own Wayne Hsu will perform together for a one-night-only benefit show. Proceeds will support the community-based arts center Asian Arts Initiative, which strives to provide a voice for Asian Americans and others through exhibits, performances, workshops, and youth programs.

7:30 pm
Asian Arts Initiative
1219 Vine St, Philadelphia
$ 10 - $ 20 tickets at the door or online

The Hyphenite's Social Calendar: AP/LGBTQ, First Expressions

Wednesday November 4th -- San Francisco

David Chang Speaks Out

davidchang2.jpgChef David Chang -- of Momofuko fame -- will join a panel discussion on food, art, and anything goes. He'll be joined by Momofuku cookbook co-author Peter Meehan, Chris Cosentino, and Meadowood chef Chris Kostow.

7 pm
Cafe du Nord
2170 Market St, San Francisco
RSVP to events(at)7x7(dot)com with "Changtastic" in subject line.

The Hyphenite's Social Calendar: Loi Krathong, Get Dressed

Tuesday October 27th -- NYC

South Asians in British Dub and Punk

dub.JPGJoin filmmaker and professor Vivek Bald as he presents a series of British punk and dub music archives from the late 1970s and early 1980s, which influenced his documentary Mutiny: Asians Storm British Music. Screening will include Bald's film, which charts the rise of South Asian music in 1990s Britain, focusing on two decades of musical cross-pollination and political struggle that gave rise to groups like Asian Dub Foundation, Talvin Singh, and State of Bengal. Co-sponsored by NYU Program for Asian Pacific American Studies and 3rd i

7 pm
20 Cooper Square, Room 471
RSVP here

'9500 Liberty' Bay Area Premiere

Hyphen is a media sponsor for the highly anticipated and award-winning (Best Documentary, Charlotte Film Festival) film 9500 Liberty, by Eric Byler (Charlotte Sometimes, Americanese) and Annabel Park. The film will be making its San Francisco premiere on October 29th. The documentary centers on Prince William County, Virginia as a battleground for America's immigration debate after elected officials adopt a 287g policy requiring police to question anyone they have "probable cause " to suspect is an undocumented immigrant. The film reveals the tactics and reactions of anti-immigrant groups, residents, and the online community, as well as the harmful social and economic impacts of this immigration policy. Markos Moulitsas, founder of Daily Kos, will introduce the premiere. Screening followed by Q & A with the filmmakers.

Thursday October 29
Cocktail reception
6 to 7 pm
Screening and filmmaker Q & A
7 to 9 pm
Sundance Kabuki Theater
1881 Post Street, San Francisco
$ 10 screening / $ 25 screening + reception; tickets here (funds will support broad film distribution)

The Hyphenite's Social Calendar: Dumplin' Eatin', Breaking the Bow

Wednesday October 21st -- Oakland

NAPAWF Benefit for Typhoon Relief

sf_logosmall.JPGThe National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum Bay Area Chapter presents a benefit and fundraiser for those in need of recovery and relief from natural disasters in the South Pacific and Southeast Asia.Event includes performances by PI performance group Oceania Sisters Rising, a PI photo exhibit, DJs, and drink specials.

5:30 to 9 pm
1727 Telegraph Ave, Oakland
Donations appreciated

The Hyphenite's Social Calendar: Diaspora & Jazz, What's Crackin'?

Tuesday October 13th to Sunday October 18th -- NYC

National Asian American Theater Festival (NAATF)

asiantheatrefestsmall.JPGMeet the many faces of Asian American Theater at the Second Annual NAATF, featuring 17 new scripts, panels, musicals, dance, and other theater forms. Complete info and tickets here.

Opening Night Party with performances of various new short plays:
9:30 to 11:30 pm
The Bubble Lounge
228 West Broadway, NYC

The Hyphenite's Social Calendar: Ketsana Relief, Chinese in Panama

Tuesday October 6th -- Nationwide hosts Tamlyn Tomita, which aims to connect the API community with diverse pioneers and leaders, is hosting a live teleconference and webcast with actor and activist Tamlyn Tomita. Tamlyn has appeared in dozens of films, television shows, and theatrical productions, and was active in 2008's Democratic National Convention and API civic engagement efforts.

6 pm PST / 9 pm EST
Register here for dial-in and webcast info.

The Hyphenite's Social Calendar: Muslim Punk, Fong Lee Benefit

Wednesday September 30th and Friday October 2nd -- NYC

Goh Nakamura and the Invisible Cities

Two staples of the San Francisco music scene hit up NYC as part of their Follow Your Whim tour. Singer-songwriter Goh Namakura and the band Invisible Cities will be giving two performances downtown in the coming week.

6 to 8 pm
Wicked Willie's
149 Bleecker St, NYC

6 to 8 pm
Giant Robot Store
437 E 9th St, New York