FIL.I.AM Showcases Asian-American Performers

The FIL.I.AM benefit showcase drew more than 300 members of the Claremont community to the Pitzer Mounds for an evening of charitable entertainment on Oct. 29.Organized by the Center for Asian Pacific American Students (CAPAS), in collaboration with the Filipino Club and the Asian Pacific American Coalition (APAC), the event hosted locally and nationally renowned acts, including Quest Crew, winners of MTV’s “America’s Best Dance Crew,” Paul Dateh, the Claremont Colleges Dance Team, Legacy Martial Arts Studio, and the UCLA Samahang Modern Dance team.“Last year was such a success that we were approached by APAC to do it again,” said CAPAS Director Stephanie Velasco Poserio.Attendees were encouraged to make a five dollar donation to the Philippine Red Cross to fund Balikbayans, a grassroots effort to collect toiletries, canned goods, and other vital necessities for Filipino residents displaced by typhoons last month.“FIL.I.AM began in light of the recent emergence of Asian Americans in mainstream media and partly in honor of Filipino American History Month,” said Poserio. “As global citizens, we also felt a responsibility to socially engage in the world and do something for a region in great need [of] assistance.”Through the help of 20 organizations, many volunteers, and multiple fundraisers, coordinators were able to raise $2,000.The showcase also drew attention from the LA Asian American community at large. Not only was the event featured on KSCI, a prominent LA-based TV station targeted at Asian Americans, it also helped Pitzer College win a nomination by the Asian Pacific Americans for Progress and Angry Asian Man (a popular blog) as one of the top 10 colleges in the nation for Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) students.“We are honored that the community would recognize us based on the events we’ve done that go above the call of social responsibility,” said Poserio.Poserio attributes some of the success to an improvement in location. Set on the Pitzer Mounds, the event was staged to create a “family-friendly atmosphere.”Next year, the groups hope to widen their audience base and draw additional support by enlisting the help of more organizations and inviting community vendors.“We’re already thinking of possibly planning another one for Spring semester,” said volunteer Evelyn Chung PI ’13. “There’s a lot of ideas that have been pitched but nothing is concrete. For next year, though, we are definitely thinking of inviting JabbaWockeez or Far East Movement.”

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