Since 2010 Lao American Writers Summit (LAWS) has recognized and brought together over 250 writers of all genres including poets, playwrights, filmmakers, teachers and policymakers to help promote and support enduring contemporary Lao American literature. Last year LAWS joined forces with University of Minnesota's Immigration History Research Center renaming the conference "Lao Symposium and Lao Artist Summit" and Laos In The House was represented by Creative Director Catzie Vilayphonh who spoke on a panel about storytelling and facilitated a workshop on interviewing potential storytellers (read our blog recap here).
The 3rd national convening of LAWS is taking place this coming May 27-28 2016 in San Diego. As the 6th largest Lao community in the country and "America's Finest City" holding the summit in San Diego has potential in turning it into a new hub for Lao American artists, writers, and change-makers. The focus is finding an answer to the question of how do Lao Americans use writing to push art, creative works, and policy/grants using ingrained themes of Lao / Lao American Diaspora history to create visibility of community issues while crafting work that will be coined as Lao American for future years to come. Lao Americans are creating spaces for themselves to explore the possibilities through presentations, panels, and participatory workshops lead by emerging and established Lao American artists. The summit will then end with a reception that showcases the works of Lao American artists to help send off participants with inspiration.