Tag: Against The Grain Productions

Vietnam Culture Camp — Unforgettable

ATG’s Director of Marketing and Public Relations, Aivy Nguyen, returned for another summer volunteering as camp counselor for Catalyst Foundation‘s Vietnamese Culture Camp. Here is her recap of her weekends.

“Two weekends. Two cities. One sad ATG’er who’s sad another year of camp is over.

Yet another wonderful year of camp has passed with more memories and stories with the kids, parents counselors and staff at Catalyst Culture Camps in Northfield, MN and New Haven, CT. With two camps back to back, my culturally fused weekend was a blur of kids, play-time, snack-time, arts, crafts, circle painting and the infamous never-ending piggy back rides.

Midwest Catalyst Culture Camp
East Coast Catalyst Culture Camp

This year, I was lucky enough to be chosen as camp counselor for both the Midwest and East Coast camps. Double the fun. Double the excitement. Double the amounts of lost sleep. All the while, it was very much worth every minute, because each Vietnamese adoptee I meet is a reminder of why I love doing what I do for ATG — providing ways to help raise funds for the orphans still in Vietnam so that they can hopefully one day have the same opportunities as the children I meet at Catalyst.

Day one of Minnesota camp is always a joy, as it gives the opportunity for many of the campers and parents to meet and get to know the counselors on a more one-to-one level. They also have their chance to dunk their favorite counselors during the Catalyst Carnival.

This year also reunited myself, Jack Nguyen and our incredible improv emcee skills for the counselor talent show. I was very impressed to see such an array of skills in acting, dancing, fiddle-playing and most impressively — song writing. Catalyst Culture Camp finally got its theme song, thanks to the counselors from Group 4 who re-wrote the lyrics to Katy Perry’s “California Girls” for culture camp. To see/hear a real treat, visit the Catalyst Foundation Fan Page.

The addition of Circle Painting and Vovinam also brought different cultural learning lessons to camp. The kids learned how to build onto each other’s creativity with painting, as well as the great art of martial arts and self-defense with Vovinam.

With more activities that filled the day than I could imagine, the best of all of them was getting to bond with the kids. Each one with their own story, their own history, their own personalities and ability to adapt. Every year I return, I grow more impressed and attached, not only with the kids, but the parents who have given a piece of themselves to share their lives and love. To the parents and kids, I thank you again for another great summer.

To see more of Aivy’s camp adventures, be sure to visit our ATG Fan Page and check out our photo albums!

Asian American Designers Showcase Collections at Fashion for a Passion

Proceeds from charity fashion show to benefit international orphanages


DALLAS, TX – Dallas nonprofit ATG Against The Grain Productions presents the 2nd Annual Fashion For A Passion from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, September 25 at LandCo/7 Senses located at 1202 N. Riverfront (formerly Industrial) in Dallas, Texas. The event will showcase collections from emerging Asian American designers Khanh Nguyen for Nhã Khanh, Nikki Duong Koenig for Cykochik, Lyly Thanh Koenig for Lyly Thanh, Prashi Shah for Prashe and Judy Yang. This year’s event will also feature the collection of Chloe Dao, Season 2 winner of Project Runway, with the designer in attendance. In addition to the fashion showcase, there will be musical acts, as well as an exhibition of work by local Asian American artists.  The event also features a live auction of pieces from each fashion designer’s collection, with the proceeds to benefit orphanages in Vietnam and ATG’s community outreach initiatives.

FFAP Presenting Designer Chloe Dao

In 2009, ATG showcased the designs of budding designers Kim Phuong Pham, Lizzi London, Aiden Vo and Khanh Nguyen, all of who have now gone on to start successful careers in the industry.  ATG also raised more than $5,000 to aid needy orphanages in Vietnam.

Returning designer Khanh Nguyen, a graduate from UNT, said, “Participating in Fashion for a Passion in 2009 was definitely a turning point in my career.  The event was also where and when I learned the meaning of receiving and giving back.” After Fashion for a Passion, she became a Woman That Soar Honoree, recipient of the Brilliant You Award and her work was featured in La Mode and D Magazine. Added Nguyen, “Against The Grain Productions not only allowed me to connect with my native country, but it also helped me to realize the importance of charity work. I loved the experience, the effort and the energy that everyone put in to make the show happen. I am very honored and thrilled to be back to showcase my new collection this year!”

FFAP Presenting Designer Khanh Nguyen

ATG President/Founder Tammy Nguyen Lee, a graduate of SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts, said, “I’m so proud to hear and see lives changed like this as a result of our organization’s efforts.  We founded Against The Grain with the mission to provide that essential support to Asian American artists and promote and share our community’s young talents, and we hope that our hard work continues to result in success stories like Khanh Nguyen’s. Compounded with the nationwide praise for our first documentary Operation Babylift: The Lost Children of Vietnam, it has been a tremendous year.”

FFAP event tickets range from $40-$50, and sales for the event start in mid August online at www.AgainstTheGrainProductions.com. VIP/Sponsorships are still available. ATG Against The Grain Productions, a Dallas-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, promotes Asian-American cultural awareness through compelling media projects and raises funds for international orphanages. Operation Babylift: The Lost Children of Vietnam has received the Audience Choice Award for Best Feature Film at the Vietnamese International Film Festival and the Documentary Audience Choice Award from the Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival. For more information, visit www.AgainstTheGrainProductions.com or www.TheBabylift.com.

Last Chance to Bid for a Cause

If you missed out on bidding for a piece of work at Cocktails For A Cause, here’s an opportunity for you to do so! There are a few “Hope” themed pieces that are still up for auction. You still have a chance to own a beautiful piece of work.

Photo by David Ayala
Photo by David Ayala
Photo by Alex Lim
Photo by Alex Lim
Photo by Budi Tjoenawan
Photo by Budi Tjoenawan

All proceeds go to benefit ATG and the orphanages we help overseas.

Send us your best bid to info@againstthegrainproductions.com by Saturday, Oct 10th to own one of these three photos.  We’ll email winners before the month is over! Good luck, and happy bidding!

Operation Babylift in Pegasus News!

Operation Babylift: The Lost Children of Vietnam and ATG  graces the pages of yet another article in Pegasus News in Dalllas. You check out the original article here! Thank you Pegasus!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Operation Babylift: The Lost Children of Vietnam celebrates its Dallas premiere on Sept. 25

BY JOHN P. MEYER

Having already taken the Audience Choice Award from the 2009 Vietnamese International Film Festival (and been selected for a range of other festivals around the globe), Operation Babylift: The Lost Children of Vietnam will be making its first appearance before North Texas audiences on Friday, Sept. 25 at the Horchow Auditorium in the Dallas Museum of Art.

Dallas Premiere: “Operation Babylift: The Lost Children of Vietnam”

  • When: Friday, Sept. 25, 2009, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Where: Dallas Museum of Art (DMA), 1717 North Harwood Street, Dallas
  • Cost: $7 – $10
  • Age limit: Not available

Filmmaker Tammy Nguyen Lee, founder of Against the Grain Productions and advisory committee member for Women In Film.Dallas, will be on hand after the screening to host a question/answer session for attendees.

In 1975, Ross Meador was a long-haired hippie volunteer for Friends of Children of Vietnam; here's what he looks like today with his family.

In 1975, Ross Meador was a long-haired hippie volunteer for Friends of Children of Vietnam; here’s what he looks like today with his family.

During the closing days of the Vietnam War, then-President Gerald Ford approved an initiative to airlift 2,500 Vietnamese orphans out of the country in advance of the communist takeover. Nguyen Lee’s 72-minute documentary deals with the lives of some of the volunteers, parents, and organizations directly involved in this operation, and gets up close and personal with some of the “lost children” 35 years after the fact.

The music used in the film is contributed by Asian American artists such as Jared Rehberg and Thomas’ Apartment.

The film screening is hosted by filmAsiafest and presented by the Dallas Film Society. Tickets are $7 for members and students, and $10 for non-members.Click here to register for this reservations-only event, or call 214-979-6438.

Only Two More Weeks!

One of the most anticipated events the ATG team has coming up is in exactly TWO WEEKS! The Dallas premiere of “Operation Babylift: The Lost Children of Vietnam” and our 2nd Annual Cocktails for a Cause charity reception are all happening on the same evening of Friday, September 25th!

Cocktails_09_Flier-1

Don’t miss the film that won the Audience Choice Award at this year’s Vietnamese International Film Festival and what Bolksavik.com calls “an amazing documentary…hard-hitting and compelling.”
Hosted by filmAsiafest &
presented by The Dallas Film Society
7:00 pm
Friday, September 25th
Dallas Museum of Art – Horchow Auditorium
1717 N. Harwood St.
Dallas, TX 75201
A Q&A with filmmaker Tammy Nguyen Lee will follow, with several of the cast/crew in attendance.
Tickets are $7 for members/students and $10 for non-members. Hurry and get your tickets here or call (214) 979-6438.

Don’t miss the film that won the Audience Choice Award at this year’s Vietnamese International Film Festival and what Bolksavik.com calls “an amazing documentary…hard-hitting and compelling.”

Hosted by filmAsiafest and presented by The Dallas Film Society

7:00 pm

Friday, September 25th

Dallas Museum of Art – Horchow Auditorium

1717 N. Harwood St.

Dallas, TX 75201

A Q&A with filmmaker Tammy Nguyen Lee will follow, with several of the cast/crew in attendance.

Tickets are $7 for members/students and $10 for non-members. Hurry and get your tickets here or call (214) 979-6438.

Continue the festivities from 9:30-11:30 pm just across the highway at the Dallas Center for Architecture for the 2nd annual Cocktails for a Cause, a charity fundraiser benefiting ATG’s community outreach, education initiatives and needy orphanages in Vietnam.

Your admission includes tasty sips and sweets, musical entertainment by Jared Rehberg, Mina Chang and DJ Prada G, plus a one-night-only exhibit and auction of work by up-and-coming Asian American photographers.  For all you art collectors, this is your chance to bring home a gorgeous, original piece of art and support the following artists:

* David Ayala
* Andrew Chan
* Van Ditthavong
* Leon Le
* Alex Lim
* David Loi & Chi Tran
* Tem Juarez
* Budi Tjoenawan
* Jin-Ya Huang
* Susan Sponsler

As a bonus, all paid guests will receive a chance to win the following fantastic  door prizes:

* Shopping party with hors d’oeuvres and wine (valued at $250) from The Blues Jean Bar  and $50 gift cards for 10 guests

* $50 gift certificate to Dallas Affaires Bakery

* Gift cards and dresses from Freedom Parc

* Consultation with HGTV Design Star Finalist Jany Lee

* One-hour session from Opulens Photography

* $300 in gift certificates from Saigon Block restaurant

* Earrings from West 10 Jewelry


Entrance is $10 for screening guests, (half off discount), $20 regular (through midnight September 24th) and $25 at the door (as available, cash/check accepted only). Make sure to also remember to buy your tickets for Cocktails here before space runs out!

See you all there!

Up Close and Personal with OPERATION BABYLIFT: THE LOST CHILDREN OF VIETNAM

Kristine Sa of the “Kristine Sa Show” got up close and personal with our very own film-maker Tammy Nguyen Lee, alongside Bert & Sarah Ballard, Tiffany Goodson, and DC Wolfe of award-winning documentary film Operation Babylift : The Lost Children Of Vietnam and Against the Grain Productions. Check out this first-time, intimate interview with Tammy and the cast of Operation Babylift!

Pt 1 of 4

Pt 2 of 4

Pt 3 of 4

Pt 4 of 4

Thank you, Kristine Sa and VHN-TV, for sitting down with us!

Fashion For A Passion–SUCCESS!

Thank you so much to our sponsors, volunteers, models, designers, Board and guests for supporting us and making Fashion For A Passion an enormous success!

Emceed by the lovely Tina Craig (of BagSnob.com) and David Ninh (Fashion reporter for Dallas Morning News F! D Luxe) we had a great turnout of over 270 people and exceeded our fundraising goal! The night featured beautiful designs by Freedom Parc, Aiden Vo, Kim Phuong Pham, Khanh Nguyen and Lizzi London. Thank you to the designers for donating your time in efforts. Without you, the show could not have been possible, and congratulations to Aiden for his recent acceptance into the elite Parsons School of Design in New York City!

Thank you to everyone again! No amount of words could express how grateful we are for your endless help and support. Please visit our Flickr page to see photos from the event. Special thanks to our photographers David Loi, Jacob Fakheri, Daniel Song, and Hubert Duong for capturing our event with your wonderful photography talents and to Ryan Youngblood and Alex Hughes of Trench Films for your videography and compelling PSA.

Design by Kim Phuong Pham. Photo courtesy of Hubert Duong.
Design by Kim Phuong Pham. Photo courtesy of Hubert Duong.
Design by Khanh Nguyen. Photo courtesy of David Loi.
Design by Khanh Nguyen. Photo courtesy of David Loi.
Design by Aiden Vo. Photo courtesy of Hubert Duong.
Design by Aiden Vo. Photo courtesy of Hubert Duong.
Design by Lizzi London, Photo courtesy of Daniel Song
Design by Lizzi London. Photo courtesy of Daniel Song.

Fashion For A Passion

ATG is currently gearing up for our spring charity event — Fashion For A Passion!

 

Fashion for a Passion

 

The event will showcase collections by local emerging and established Asian American designers Aidan Vo, Kim Phuong Pham, Khanh Nguyen, Lizzi London and will include the latest trends from women’s retailer Freedom Parc. Proceeds will go to benefit needy orphanages in cities across Vietnam.

The night brings together leaders in the Asian American community, including co-emcees Tina Craig (fashion blogger of Bagsnob.com) and David Ninh (fashion reporter for Dallas Morning News F!D Luxe),with appearances by Miss Asian American Texas Allyn Hoang and Miss Vietnam Dallas/Ft. Worth Alex Tran.  Says Craig, “Fashion for a Passion is a cause that really touches my heart because my role as a mother surpasses all of my fashion endeavors. This is the perfect opportunity for me to give back and touch the lives of Vietnamese children through fashion.” Ninh adds, “Asian designers are making their mark in American fashion and I am particularly proud to be a part of this event. It’s wonderful to see emerging local talent grow and blossom during such an exciting time.”

 

ATG President Tammy Nguyen Lee believes Fashion for a Passion will be an innovative showcase to educate and entertain the community about Asian American culture. “Fashion is an extension of our individuality and style, no matter our age, gender, status or ethnicity. Each of our designers has a unique background and perspective to share, and this venue will provide an exciting means to highlight local design talents, while raising money for a worthy cause.” 

 

 

 

The event features models from Kim Dawson, Campbell Wagner and Page Parkes agencies strutting the runway in a mix of signature women’s casualwear, party-wear and couture gowns. In addition to the fashion show, guests will be treated to food,drinks, music and also have the opportunity to bid on select designs for charity.

The event lasts from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm at LandCo/7 Senses in the trendy Dallas Design District.  Tickets are $40 by March 14th  and $45 by the week of or at the door. Get your tickets today!