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Great Leap to Present ‘The Air We Breathe’ in Long Beach

LONG BEACH — Great Leap Inc. presents “Collaboratory X: The Air We Breathe,” a work-in-progress featuring stories written and performed by local residents, on Friday, May 31, at 7 p.m. and Saturday, June 1, at 2 p.m. at the Manazar Gamboa Community Theater, 1323 Gundry Ave., Long Beach.

After eight weeks of participating in theater workshops facilitated by Dan Kwong, Nobuko Miyamoto and Young-Ae Park of Great Leap, community members will present a performance on the impact of environmental pollution on communities of color in Long Beach. Participants integrate a variety of exercises, like improvisational choreography, to express their unique concerns of living in a port city.

“Our Collaboratory artist mentorship program with Long Beach’s Cambodian, Samoan and Tongan community members is really cooking now,” said Miyamoto, who is being honored as an Asian Pacific American Heritage Month “Local Hero” by KCET and Union Bank. “Dan and Young-Ae are creating with youth aged 10 to 16.  And I’m working with the elder Cambodian ladies, who are joyful, energetic, and do they have stories!  Previously they worked on a project researching pollution in their neighborhoods.”

This event is free and open to the public. For reservations and information, email jumakae@gmail.com or visit www.greatleap.org.

Founded in 1978 by Miyamoto, Great Leap is a Los Angeles-based multicultural arts organization that uses art as both performance and creative practice to deepen relations among people of diverse cultures and faiths. It collaborates and creates with professional artists, fosters new leadership in the arts by mentoring emerging artists, and builds community through workshops, residencies and performances.

Most recently, Great Leap has produced environmentally themed videos — “BYO Chopstix,” “Mottainai,” and “Cycles of Change” — that can be viewed on YouTube.

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