For over 3 decades (and counting!) Kularts has been a home base, launching pad, and artistic-cultural hub for all sorts of artists, activists, administrators, entrepreneurs, educators, non-profit leaders, cultural bearers and creative thinkers. 

How has Kularts impacted you? From your craft, to your day-to-day work, to you on a personal level. Be featured in our community section! Write up a brief entry and email – program@kularts.org // Subject Line “Community – Your Name” and don’t forget to tell us your relation to Kularts like – POMO Artist, Collaborator, or even Longtime Kularts Supporter! We can’t wait to hear from you!

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storycorps_irenealleluiaIrene Faye Duller
Educator, Artist, OG Kularts Engagement Manager and now Board Member

Most of those who know me, know that I’ve worked at Kularts from 2003 to 2007. I’ve worked in nonprofit before I got there but this was my first position in a Filipino cultural arts organization. There was no more than 3 of us in that office at one time, and there was so much on our plate. We dreamt big there and worked hard. It’s unimaginable what this organization can conquer.  My tenure there was an experience that changed me forever. It was where I learned how to hustle on grants, design transgressive arts curriculum, produce / stage manage / and present mind-blowing artwork by Filipino artists in the diaspora. In my time there, whether it was through POMO stage, Tribal Tour, Master classes, Alleluia Panis Dance Theater, SONS, Pinay Stories, Make Your Own Revolution, Kodakan, or our in-school residencies– I’ve seen the countless artists who have been raised professionally by Kularts go onto great heights artistically and personally – myself included. Not only did I make some best friends here, I gained a Ninang/ Mentor for life, and the swiss army knife of know-how that I bring with me everywhere. 

In addition to being this sort of professional development incubator for stalwarts of the arts, Kularts programming and presentations resoundingly elevate in artistic form and narrative content. Performances that continue to inform a standard, distinguishing art that keeps us comfortable vs. the art that liberates. 

The mission of the organization has extended into the recent tireless work in defining SOMA Pilipinas as our cultural heritage district and putting in stone what it could and will be beyond this designation — a place of our own, to be in our cultural element. A place where we can preserve native wisdom yet produce all things new. It is where we will to forge new rituals and to exchange our own stories, both lived and remembered. SOMA Pilipinas is a place where we we are who we are. We couldn’t have done it without the steadfast working group and neighborhood coalition, under leadership of Bayanihan Community Center and Kularts. 

I am fortunate to sit on the board now where our vantage is forward facing. Because at the end of the day, it is not just art. It is the ways Filipino identity can be experienced, collective memory can be performed, and for the hope in our future to be fortified. The work Kularts has done in over three decades is immeasurable and to imagine now what this organization is capable of doing yet is a riveting vision. What’s next? Something lit, for sure. 

I foresee the next chapters will include deepening our presence in the South of Market (hopefully the ribbon cutting of the first San Francisco Filipino Performing Art Center!). I imagine exploring cross-sectional partnerships and experimenting how art is made. I continue to see Kularts commanding the emergence of brilliant artists in all disciplines. I hope for the viability of our Tribal Arts Tour, and upholding that program as our umbilical cord to the indigenous.  And of course, I hope to present more of Alleluia Panis Dance Theater, much much more of that. =) 

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