On the Road

Hello, Everyone —

First, I want to apologize for the long silence. Where to begin after all these months?

I guess the best place to start is to explain WHY these pages have been blank for so long. If you’ve followed The Kim Loo Sisters on their Facebook page, you already know the answer:

The Kimmies and I have hit the road!

First stop: The Mixed Remixed Festival in Los Angeles on June 10-11. What a great two-day celebration of films, books, performances, etc. of, by and about mixed race persons and interracial families! (The Kimmies are Americans of Polish and Chinese descent, as am I.) I was very fortunate to serve on two panels — “Hapa Writers: Our Stories in Fiction” where I spoke about and read from my biographical novel Bittersweet — and “Film Screenings,” where I showed a clip from The Kim Loo Sisters documentary. The audiences and the presenters at both couldn’t have been more enthusiastic or collegial! I was thus energized and encouraged for…

Next stop: The San Diego Chinese Historical Museum for a private preview screening of The Kim Loo Sisters on June 12th. A beautiful museum — and a full house! The screening was followed by a q&a with the audience (among whom were family and friends in the Los Angeles and San Diego area, some whom I’d never met, others whom I hadn’t seen in decades), book signing, and reception. Kudos to the extraordinarily caring and organized staff and volunteers of SDCHM who made the screening such a success — one that far exceeded my expectations.

Back in New York: With some hesitation, I bid a fond farewell (but not good-bye!) to California, where I had the excellent good fortune to spend a few days of r&r in gorgeous Laguna Beach. What a different vibe from New York City! Still, home beckoned, and it welcomed me with open arms — and a new venue for The Kim Loo Sisters. This time it was literally around the corner from my apartment — the Lower East Side Girls Club — where a partial screening was held on July 28th in their otherworldly planetarium! The perfect spot for observing four new stars in the firmament named Alice, Maggie, Jenée and Bubbles Kim Loo!

The girls and women who attended the event — ages 8 to 18 — were among the most attentive and engaged that it’s been my pleasure to meet. For one, they wanted to see the entire documentary — not just 20 minutes of it. (“Another time,” I promised them, “when the film is finished.”) They bombarded me with questions during the q&a: Are you related to the Kimmies? How old are they? Are they all still alive? What ever happened to their younger brother and sister? Why did you make this film? What do you still have to do to get it finished? The Kimmies realized their dream of having their names up in lights on Broadway theatre marquees. What a good role model for women and girls aspiring to a career in the performing arts or in whatever field they choose — and the LES Girls Club is doing a great job helping them realize those dreams. Brava!

CAMOF-KLS-Flyer-finalOn to the Windy City: The Kim Loo Sisters will be giving its Midwest premiere private preview screening on Saturday, August 27th at 2:00 p.m. in the spacious, renovated Chinese-American Museum of Chicago. Chicago holds a special place in the Kimmies’ hearts. It was their base of operations when they became a jazz vocal quartet. It’s also the city where Jenée (my mother) met her future husband Youlin (my father) who was attending the University of Chicago, and where their first child Marcene (my sister) was born. The event is free, but please RSVP.

Return to New York: What better place in New York City to host a private preview screening of The Kim Loo Sisters than the Museum of Chinese in America? If you’re in NYC and free on Tuesday, September 13th at 6:30 p.m., please come join us! We’re still hammering out the details, which I will include in a future update closer to the day of the screening. Or you can contact MoCA for more information about the event.

A much-needed break in October and November: I’ll be taking a long trip for completely personal reasons — to visit family living in Hong Kong and Bali, Indonesia. I can’t wait! An extra-added bonus: the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival will be in full swing when I’m in Bali.

California, here I come (again!): This time, my destination is the northern half of the state. We’ve been invited to partner with the prestigious Chinese Historical Society of America in San Francisco to give a free private preview screening at the beautiful, recently renovated Great Star Theatre in Chinatown. For those of you in the Bay Area, we hope you’ll mark your calendars for Saturday, December 10th at 1:00 p.m. Please check back (or go to the Kimmies’ Facebook page) for updates and details closer to the event.

I think I’ve covered just about everything regarding recent and upcoming screenings. I hope you’ll be able to attend one of the latter. If you can’t, more are on the way!

And if you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to email me at <lesliedli@gmail.com>. I’d love to hear from you!

Warmly,

Leslie

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