Cara Van Le


Who loves free things? Cara does. Here’s why she thinks you should keep TN free:

Two years ago, post-college, unemployed, and freshly home from living abroad, I had an identity crisis. I was just beginning to explore my identity as an Asian American woman. Finding the words for the frustrations I felt was excruciating at first, not to mention I was dealing with a sometimes paralyzing crowd anxiety. I often felt alone. Through my friend Duyen, I discovered the open mic series common ground (“It’s free,” she said, and I was sold), and through common ground, I found Tuesday Night Project. All the confusion I’d been navigating, all the self-remedies I was applying to the wound of feeling Othered, the nagging sensation to run to a corner and stay there forever– all of that melted away the second I saw art+community intersecting, unfolding, and radiating right before my eyes. Through the amazing artists and supportive community collectively sharing their stories on and off the stage, I’ve learned that healing doesn’t have to involve pain. I’ve learned that identity, and how we choose to identify, can be the most beautiful thing. Two years later, I ended up reading– in front of PEOPLE! Without panicking!– at this season’s first Tuesday Night Cafe. It was my second time featuring anywhere.

All this is made possible by folks who listen to our stories, and who are dedicated to creating inclusive and free healing spaces. I couldn’t imagine where I would be without this community of lovely people with beautiful sounds, words, and just plain multitudes to share. I’m forever grateful to these spaces and dedicated to keeping Tuesday Night Project going, so that someone else out there may find the spark they’re looking for, too. So, hell yes, you should donate!

Cara is an LA-based disorganized organizer of multiple community spaces, an Angry Asian Intern ™, and a food eater/lover/bff. She finished a chapbook not too long ago, with another one or two in the works. She spends her free time writing her ass off and thinks that both black coffee and your stories are amazing.