On the chilly evening of January 19, over 50 community members, local electeds and collaborative partners made their way to attend APANO’s capital campaign kickoff.
As folks trickled into the Jade/APANO Multicultural Space (JAMS), warm welcomes and the smiling faces of APANO staff members greeted attendees. Immediately adjacent to the check-in tables a series of easels displayed colorful watercolor renderings of the planned redevelopment of the space.
Communicating the need to raise $2 million is no easy task but speakers at the event, Joseph Santos-Lyons, Executive Director of APANO, and APANO Board Members Raahi Reddy and Thach Nguyen, conveyed the importance of a space like JAMS as a cultural hub, a center for gathering and a safe haven for the diverse communities that APANO works with and supports. In the short amount of time that we have operated JAMS since 2015, over 20,000 people have utilized the building for community forums, cultural programs and even weekly taiko practices.
Candace Kita, Cultural Work & Development Coordinator at APANO, led the group through a small visioning activity in which folks were prompted to write or illustrate their answers to why they were invested in the community and what folks hoped to see happen in the future APANO multicultural center. Paper cutouts of leaves, branches and roots were provided, collected and then pieced together to form a beautiful tree mural that represented the hopes and dreams of our community for the future redevelopment.
As the event came to a close, we offered each of our guests a parting gift, a Jade succulent, to take home with them. The vibrant green leaves of the Jade plant resemble jade coins and are symbolic of growth, renewal, wealth and prosperity; all of which are things we wish for our communities for the years to follow.