Laotian-American Community of Fresno


Lao arts and culture

The Laotian-American Community of Fresno was founded in 2000 by concerned Laotian community members as a source of mentorship, guidance, and support for community members and their families as new lives were being established in the United States.  They are the only Lao-run nonprofit in the Fresno area, and their mission is to promote and preserve Lao cultural heritage and traditions through traditional Lao dance classes and Lao literacy classes, and also to empower and encourage Lao youth to pursue college educations.

In 2016, 2014, and 2013, grants from ACTA's Living Cultures Grants Program supported an ongoing program of traditional Lao dance instruction designed to preserve and promote cultural transmission to Lao-American youth. The classes taught by culture-bearers will concentrate on five dances which range from the popular ritualistic dance of welcome to dances depicting the enlightenment of Buddha.

In 2009, the Lao-American Community of Fresno received support from ACTA's Traditional Arts Development Program to hire accountant Emmett Castro to assist with securing the group's 501(c)(3) nonprofit status.

Images

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Dance practice session at Laotian-American Community of Fresno (Photo courtesy of Khampha Thephavong)

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