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SBTHP Presents Asian American Neighborhood Festival

September 30, 2015

(Santa Barbara, CA) – The Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation (SBTHP) presents the Asian American Neighborhood Festival, an outdoor event celebrating Asian American heritage at El Presidio de Santa Bárbara State Historic Park Sunday, October 11, 2015 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  This free, family-friendly event celebrates the history and culture of the Asian communities that once thrived in and around the Santa Barbara Presidio. Learn about a number of Asian cultures through performances, food, and hand’s on activities.


Performances and artistic displays will celebrate the rich and vibrant traditions of our Asian American community.  Traditional cultural performances feature dance, drumming, music, and other performing arts. Free Parking is available in the lot behind Panino.


Sponsored by Perry Mazda of Santa Barbara, Griffiths Foundation,

and The Towbes Foundation.


Performance Schedule

11:30    Chinese Lion Dance,

            by Camarillo Mi Zong Lo Han Kung Fu and Lion Dance Association

12:00   Tai Chi Demonstration by Santa Barbara Wu-Hao Tai Ji Association

12:15    Break Dancing Performance, by UCSBreakin’

12:30    Shakuhachi (Japanese Bamboo Flute)

            and Taisho Koto (Japanese Harp), 

            by Bob Nyosui Sedivy and Tomi Ito Levin

1:00    Togen Daiko, Taiko drum group from Oxnard Buddhist Temple

1:30     Japanese Folk Dance, by Roberta Cook

2:00    Jason Paras

2:30     Hula Dance, by Hula Anyone

3:00    Sino West Performing Arts

3:30     Featured Performance by musician Florante Aguilar


Chinese Lion Dance

by Camarillo Mi Zong Lo Han Kung Fu and Lion Dance Association

Enjoy a lion dance performance, a form of traditional dance in Chinese culture and other Asian countries, in which performers mimic a lion's movements in a lion costume. The lion dance is usually performed during the Chinese New Year and other Chinese traditional, cultural and religious festivals.


Tai Chi Demonstration by Santa Barbara Wu-Hao Tai Ji Association

The Santa Barbara Wu-Hao Tai Ji Association is lead by Chao Pang, who offers classes at the Santa Barbara City College Center for Lifelong Learning and in other venues here in Santa Barbara.  His Tai Ji group will be performing the “Wu-Hao 49 Forms.” Wu-Hao Tai Ji is the least well known of the five major families of Tai Ji that are popular today.  It is characterized by smaller, more compact movements and an emphasis on the development of Chi (energy).  Each form flows smoothly into the next while the body remains centered and connected with a sense of spaciousness that is relaxed, full and energetic.

Break Dancing Performance, by UCSBreakin’

Founded in 2010, this break dancing group started with a small mat on concrete and boom box. From these humble beginnings, the ranks of UCSBreakin’ have grown to more than 20 members and a course offered to students and the community through GauchoRec.


Shakuhachi (Japanese Bamboo Flute) and Taisho Koto (Japanese Harp), 

by Bob Nyosui Sedivy and Tomi Ito Levin

Bob Nyosui Sedivy is a komuso monk who lives in Carpinteria and plays the ancient Japanese vertical bamboo flute called the shakuhachi, which means, "one shaku eight sun" (almost 55 centimeters), the standard length of this style of flute. Tomi Ito Levin is an artist, gallery owner, teacher, and advocate for the Japanese artistic tradition and philosophy. Today, she shares a Japanese harp performance.


Taiko Drumming performed by Togen Daiko of Oxnard Buddhist Temple

Togen Daiko, a Buddhist taiko group based out of the Oxnard Buddhist Temple, will be giving a heart-pounding performance of the taiko. This group embodies a "Buddhist Taiko" style.


Japanese Folk Dance, Tanko Bushi, directed by Roberta Cook

Learn the steps to a traditional Japanese folk dance, Tanko Bushi with community members and friends.  Often referred to as the "Coal Miner's Dance," this dance is popular at the Obon festivals held during the summer months. Come join the fun!


Jason Paras

Although only 18 years-old, Jason Paras has performed for sold-out crowds, worked with music industry legends, and recorded an EP with an award-winning composer. At this event, this local music phenom and Dos Pueblos High School alum will perform original songs from his recently released debut EP, Steele Jungle.


Hula Anyone?

Angelita Eller and the dancers of Hula Anyone are dedicated to the perpetuation of Hawaiian hula and Tahitian dance traditions in Santa Barbara. This captivating performance culminates with an audience participation segment.


Sino West Performing Arts

Sino West Performing Arts is a dance and kung fu studio, specializing in both Chinese and western styles of dance and martial arts. Enjoy a dance performance by owners Vicki Wang and Dragon Sun.


Featured Performance by Florante Aguilar

Florante Aguilar is one the leading figures championing Philippine music art forms in the US and international markets today. He advances and popularizes Philippine music through the medium of film, recordings and live performances. His arrangements and compositions successfully craft the right balance between respect and redefinition of a tradition.

Born in Manila, Aguilar grew up in Cavite province where he learned to play the octavina in a rondalla group. By 16 he was enrolled at the University of the Philippines College of Music where he was trained as a classical musician. He later moved to New York under scholarship to study at the Manhattan School of Music.  He received his Bachelor of Music Degree at the San Francisco Conservatory for Music.

His constant search for a tradition-based contemporary Filipino sound led him to champion harana music – songs used in the now-vanished Filipino courtship ritual of serenading, and the subject of the award-winning 2012 documentary, Harana: The Search for the Lost Art of Serenade, which he wrote and produced with his wife and partner, Fides Enriquez. Aguilar has released several CD albums under the private label New Art Media.

As a composer, Aguilar uses strong Philippine motifs in a modern context, and has been granted numerous composition awards from prestigious institutions including the theater works “Lalawigan – A Tagalog Song Cycle” in 2009 and “Aswang – Tales of Lore” in 2013.


Tour Schedule

Free Public Tour – Time: TBD – Join a SBTHP docent on a walking tour of the area that was once known as Chinatown. Interested parties should gather at the museum entrance at El Presidio de Santa Bárbara.

Free Public Tour – 2:00pm – Join Dr. Anne Petersen and Kay Van Horn on a tour of the exhibit, Nihonmachi Revisited:  Santa Barbara's Japanese American Community in Transition, 1900-1950. Interested parties should gather at the museum entrance at El Presidio de Santa Bárbara.



Chinese Calligraphy and Painting Demonstration, by Suemae Willhite.

Bonsai Club of Santa Barbara Display

Emmano Accessories, by Kanako Fukase

SuKiKu Crafts, by Kimi Cohn

Education First School

Used Book Sale, by the Presidio Research Center

Kids Craft Station


Food for Sale

Studio Nihon - to reserve a bento box,

please send a request to

Madam Lu Chinese Restaurant

Nimita’s Indian Cuisine

Kona Ice


Calendar Listing:

Asian American Neighborhood Festival

Sunday, October 11, 2015

11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

El Presidio de Santa Bárbara State Historic Park

123 East Canon Perdido Street, Santa Barbara, CA

FREE Admission and Parking

For more information: (805) 965-0093 or visit

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