First Asian American Collaboration Showcase in History of CPS!


WY Girls Fan and Ribbon

Ariel Guan

On February 1, 2020, the very first Asian American Collaboration Showcase occurred in our theater, making history for a few of the Asian American Clubs(AAC) across CPS.  Although the AACs of CPS have created an unspoken friendly competition over whose annual spring show is better, this showcase was the first to incorporate performances from different schools including Payton, Jones, Kelly, Lincoln Park, Westinghouse, Northside, and our very own Whitney Young.  

Bryan Wong ‘20 said, “I went to the AAC show last year, and I loved it.  I wish I could’ve gone to this collaboration showcase, just to see what the other schools had to offer.  This was a new and fun idea, and I’m sure all the performances were amazing!” 

This was a way to unite the programs and students with the same interests of different CPS schools; this time, all of the schools worked together to create an outstanding show rather than competing against each other.  As word of this showcase went around, many students were ecstatic and interested in this new concept. Students were excited to both perform and watch this showcase. As this show was only a one time thing, everyone was eager to purchase tickets before it was sold out.  

“It was definitely fascinating getting to see how different schools interpreted various styles of dances, and how they executed the performances.  It’s always nice being able to share our ideas and what we’ve been working on,” noted Jonathan Napoles ‘21.  

In this showcase, there were traditional dances such as Fan and Ribbon and Soran Bushi.  There were also other performances including both Boys’ and Girls’ KPOP, Modern (fusion between Asian and Western culture), Glowsticks, and even musicians.  The dances can definitely be interpreted in multiple ways, so seeing the different movements and motions in the performances was interesting. This collaboration showcase was a good and fun way for everyone to share what they can do, as well as possibly pick up inspiration and new ideas.

The president of Whitney Young’s AAC, Kelly Liu ‘20, stated, “The AAC Collaboration Show was a great way to showcase all of the different talents Asian American students across CPS high schools have to offer, as well as a beautiful way to connect with people that we normally would not interact with.  Celebrating Asian culture and bringing pride to our shared identity is what each school that participated aims to do so, so it was amazing to be able to do that all together. It was 100% worth the late nights planning and hours of practice!”

All in all, this event is hopefully the first of many CPS AAC collaboration shows.  The concept of a combined showcase promotes the unity of CPS schools as well as students who share the same interests from those different schools.  It is a good way for students to expand their social community to include students from other local schools. This is also an amazing opportunity for performers to gain inspiration because at the end, everyone is working towards having fun while preparing to put on great shows in the springtime!  By the way- Whitney Young’s AAC show is on May 22 and 23!!!

Also check out the other AACs’ shows:

  • Northside CP: March 27 and 28
  • Jones CP: May 15
  • Payton CP: May 29
  • Kelly HS: May 29
  • Lincoln Park HS: June 4

*Special thanks to the Asian Pacific Islander Teen Alliance of Chicago for hosting this event and working towards making it happen!