Program Schedule

Current Program:

Date:Monday, February 22, 2016, 4:30 pm - 6:45 pm
Title:Voices from the Community
Location:La Peña Cultural Center
Cost:$15 for non-members; free for Cultural Connections members

Join us for a talk show style program at La Peña Cultural Center, and hear directly from community members who have been engaged with cultural institutions on how advisory councils collaborate in creating programs, exhibitions, and other practices. Hear the benefits, challenges, and best practices these partnerships have from the perspective of the cultural advisors.

This program builds upon the community engagement program Cultural Connections presented in December 2014 at the Lab in San Francisco, titled, “Activism, Relevancy, and Community Engagement.”

Host Indra Mungal (Community Engagement Officer, Asian Art Museum) will be in conversation with Chris Johnson (Professor of Photography, California College of the Arts), Vincent Medina (Language Activist, Blogger, Curator), and Hoang-Anh Nguyen (Community Advisor for the Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose).

Topics will include:

Managing to be the single voice or representative of a large diverse community
Language translation issues and ideas
Successes, challenges, and best practices from their experiences


4:30-5:00 p.m. Check-in and light refreshments

5:00-6:45 p.m. Program and Q & A

Following the program, keep the conversation going next door at The Starry Plough (3101 Shattuck, Berkeley, CA 94705) for drinks, food, and Irish dancing!


Indra Mungal is the Asian Art Museum’s Community Engagement Officer. Indra has served in a similar  capacity for both the Oakland Museum of California, and KQED’s education department. She has extensive experience facilitating meaningful collaborations with community organizations; producing  highly successful events and programs; as well as managing large-scale projects.

Indra’s role at the Asian Art Museum is to build relationships with community organizations and individuals; identify opportunities for Museum participation in community events and initiatives; develop new strategies and partnerships; and facilitate community participation on Museum projects and research, with the goal of building the Museum’s relevancy as cultural and community asset.

Chris Johnson is a photographic and video artist, curator, and published writer.

Chris studied photography with Ansel Adams, Imogen Cunningham, and Wynn Bullock and his work is in collections nationwide. He is currently a full Professor of Photography at the California College of the Arts.

As an active member of the art community in the San Francisco Bay Area, Chris served as President of San Francisco Camerawork Gallery from 1982 to 1987, and is a founding member and Vice-Chair of the City of Oakland Public Art Advisory Committee. From 1999–2005 he served as Chair of the City of Oakland’s Cultural Affairs Commission. As a member of the Public Art Management Team for the Port of Oakland, he was Project Manager and originated the concept for the 8’ x 20’ Media Wall installed in 2007 at the Oakland International Airport.

Chris’ photographic artwork and video projects have been exhibited in numerous museums and art institutions including the Smithsonian Museum, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Oakland Museum of California, Brooklyn Museum, the Corcoran Gallery of Art.

In 1994, Chris co-produced a large performance work in Oakland titled “The Roof is on Fire” bringing together inner-city high school students and adults. In 1996, he produced an innovative one-hour video piece titled “Question Bridge” that investigates class issues within the black community. The current version of this project: “Question Bridge: Black Males” was produced with Hank Willis Thomas and appeared simultaneously at the Brooklyn and Oakland Museums and also opened at the Sundance Film Festival in 2012. A version of it was also exhibited at the Exploratorium in San Francisco. It is the 2015 winner of the International Center of Photography’s Infinity Award.

On long-term display at the Exploratorium, he created the “Wisdom Arc Time Machine,” with technical collaborator, Eric Doversberger.

Chris was the Creative Leader for the major 2015 Oakland Museum of California installation, “Who is Oakland?”

He is the author of The Practical Zone System: for Film and Digital Photography, currently in its 5th edition. With Barbara Bullock-Wilson, he co-wrote Wynn Bullock 55, 2001, Phaidon Press. His photographic work appears in the book Emerging Bodies: Nudes from the Polaroid Collection, 2000, Edition Stemmle.

Vincent Medina

I was born in my ancestral Jalquin Ohlone homeland. Strongly aware and proud of my Ohlone identity, I work to educate others of a continuous Ohlone presence and to dispel negative stereotypes of my people.

While living in two worlds, both contemporary and traditional, I strive to bring Ohlone culture into the modern era in multiple ways, including working diligently to reawaken my native Chochenyo Ohlone language, and I am seeing meaningful success. In the last year, I have been a language teacher in my community as part of a multigenerational effort to bring our language back home.

I serve on the Board of Directors for the Advocates of Indigenous California Language Survival, a statewide organization that aims to foster the restoration and revitalization of California Indian languages, and I was recently brought on to Yocha Dehe’s Living Language Circle Board, which connects teachers of California Indian languages together.

I work at Mission Dolores in San Francisco, where I have developed a fair, honest portrayal of the effects of the Missions on Ohlone people and the cultural resistance that came with that, straying away from misconceptions and lies to focus on a truthful story of Indian experiences during the Mission period.

To reach out to the broader community, I work at Heyday Books, a publishing company that has produced several books by and about Ohlones, and other California Indians, such as The Ohlone Way, and the magazine News from Native California.

I host Bay Native Circle, a radio program on KPFA, that focuses on Indian culture in the San Francisco Bay Area.

In my spare time, I share my personal experiences through social media on my blog Being Ohlone in the 21st Century.


News from Native California:

Hoang-Anh Nguyen

Hoang-Anh is on the Vietnamese Advisory Committee for Children Discovery Museum in San Jose. She came to America in 1984 as a teenager, after several futile attempts to leave Vietnam by boat, and after being arrested and jailed for trying to escape, she and her brother were finally able to land in Indonesia, and from there were flown to New York. Every year on April 30th, she shares her journey’s memories with others, especially with the American-born generation of Vietnamese, so they will remember how Vietnamese settled in the United States after the communists took over southern Vietnam in 1975.

She volunteers with many organizations including, hospice, Project Cornerstone, MHFA (Mental Health First Aid), and MLAMs (Multiple Language Advocate Models) for Asian Women’s Shelter. She has extensive training in working with at-risk youth and families in trouble. She is a provider for IHSS (In Home Supportive Services) in Santa Clara County and a foreign language educator at Duc-Vien Pagoda in San Jose.  

Awards she has received include the “49er Quarter Back Award,” “Volunteer of the Year 2008 for Project Cornerstone,” and “Crystal Bowl Winners Award 2009” from the Junior League of San Jose.

Hoang-Anh worked for AACI as BAVY (Building Assets in Vietnamese Youth) Coordinator and at the YMCA-Project Cornerstone as a Vietnamese Outreach Specialist. She was also a business specialist at a law firm which helped business owners expand and protect their companies, and taught high school chemistry before her children were born. She volunteers because she believes, “Kindness is the greatest wisdom. Kindness is like a boomerang, it always returns.”