Here are some things to think about:

Who is in your own gallery of valued cultural treasures?

From who have you learned? (And what?)

What do you value and want to pass on?

Where have you taken a stand?

Questions to ask:

  • Can you tell us about where and how you grew up?
  • How did you became an artist or activist?
  • What are the most important things you have learned in your life?
  • What were some of the challenges you have faced?
  • What words of wisdom, or important lessons, do you want to pass on?
  • Who were your most important teachers or influences?
  • When did you take a stand?
  • Tell us the story of a song, story, dance or event/time that you will never forget, or that is important to you.







Artists, Activists, & Elders

photo of Ellen Somekawa

Born: Minnesota

Known for: Being the Executive Director of Asian Americans United and running youth leadership programs at AAU; being one of eleven founders of the Folk Arts-Cultural Treasures Charter School; being an activist in the Asian American student movement, the anti-apartheid movement, the anti-nuclear movement, and the movement for indigenous land rights in the Black Hills.

Favorite culture tool: Activism