HAIBAYÔ, a creative initiative that aims to energize the historic Asia on Argyle corridor through innovative cross cultural, multi-generational collaborations, is hosting the Argyle Mid-Autumn Moon Festival, a one-day culturally focused event on Argyle Street on September 10, 2022. This event wouldn’t be possible without the support of the Chicago Presents grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events.
The Argyle Mid-Autumn Moon Festival intends to add cultural value and meaning to the Asia on Argyle district in Uptown by celebrating the second-most important holiday behind Lunar New Year from many different Asian countries. As music and performance will be the primary focus of this event, and as second-generation Vietnamese American community planners and organizers, we are in a unique position to include a diverse line-up of multi-generational, multicultural musicians and performers.
This year we will offer music and performance on two stages. The main stage will highlight traditionalPan-Asian musical performances including Chinese/Vietnamese Lion Dancers, Thai Traditional Performance, Traditional Korean Music & Dance, and Taiko Drummers. In addition to traditional musical performances, we will showcase more contemporary vocalists within the Asian American Diaspora as well as a nighttime showcase of Vietnamese & Filipinx singers. The second stage will showcase DJs, Hip-Hop, and R&B artists within the Asian American diaspora.
Beyond music and performance, we will be hosting an array of both food and artisanal art vendors. Immm Rice & Beyond and Pho Xe Lua will be vending within the festival, and Nha Trang Restaurant and Pho Loan Restaurant will have to-go options as they are on the block. We will be hosting roughly 15-20 artisanal vendors that sell unique, creative, and must have products. Lastly, we’ll be working with community organizations to host lanterning making sessions.
The main purpose behind this proposed festival is not only to culturally share our stories, traditions, and heritage, but to create a lasting community impact. The Asia on Argyle community was first faced with 2 years of the shared streetscape project, where many businesses suffered financially, some even closing. The COVID-19 pandemic left an even harsher reality as many businesses faced a duality of challenges – the pandemic itself, and the anti-Asian hate stemming from the pandemic. As the CTA is starting the Red-Purple line modernization project until beyond 2024, with Argyle Street at the heart of construction, there will be even more barriers and roadblocks that these businesses face. We hope that this festival shines a spotlight on the area and reminds people to continue to support the 40+ year community built by immigrants and refugees trying to make a new home for themselves in a new land. To be able to carry on our family’s legacy, our community’s legacy into the future is our true aim.