Westbeth welcomes musician Mai Khoi
via NYC Safe Haven Residency Program

Westbeth welcomes Vietnamese musician, Mai Khoi, who arrived via here via the New York City Artist Safe Haven Residency Program

A music-driven workshop performance about the life of Vietnamese musician, Mai Khoi

Saturday Feb 29 at 7PM in Westbeth Community Room. FREE

The evening is sponsored by Westbeth Artists Residents Council,
and the Westbeth Beautification Committee.

Mai Khoi is a Vietnamese artist and activist. At the age of 12 she wrote her first song and joined her father’s wedding band the same year. She rose to stardom in 2010 after winning the Vietnam Television song and album of the year awards. Several years later she became increasingly uncomfortable having to submit her work to government censors and, thinking she could reform the system from within, nominated herself to run in the National Assembly elections on a pro-democracy platform. Her campaign sparked a nationwide debate about political participation and culminated in a meeting with Barack Obama in May 2016.

She is currently producing an autobiographical work while in residence at Westbeth, The “Mai Khoi Song Cycle”, a music-driven performance about her life. The narrative follows Mai Khoi’s extraordinary trajectory, from Vietnamese pop star to dissident musician. The “Mai Khoi Song Cycle” is a stylized and impressionistic performance piece, combining elements of modern opera with state-of-the-art music performance, simultaneously exploring both the actual historic events of the artist’s life, as well as the subconscious dream worlds that have fueled her work.

I feel so happy when I have a chance to stay in Westbeth. I have been meeting with many nice people here, all of the people I have met here are so friendly and kind. I wish I can stay here longer than 3 months residency which I am having now.

For more info on Mai Khoi, visit her website which features music, photos, videos, and a documentary.

The Artist Safe Haven Residency Program provides a temporary residency at Westbeth and is designed to house and nurture international artists who have experienced persecution, censorship, or some other restriction on their free expression.

This initiative is led by a coalition of organizations working to safeguard free expression, and includes Artistic Freedom Initiative. Residency Unlimited, Westbeth and others.

Westbeth provides artists of all disciplines affordable live and work space.

Matthew Rutenberg of the Westbeth Board of Directors spearheaded Westbeth’s involvement in the coalition. Learn about Westbeth here.

The coalition behind the New York City Safe Haven Residency Program includes ArtistSafety.net, Artistic Freedom Initiative, Residency Unlimited, PEN America with Artists at Risk Connection, and Fordham University, in addition to Westbeth. These organizations aim to create a safe haven for artists at risk, providing housing, legal services, and artistic development opportunities in the form of residencies. The coalition model was developed with the understanding that no single organization can adequately serve the needs of threatened artists. Each member institution plays a unique role in supporting resident artists. As part of the program, Westbeth provides several safe haven residency apartments and welcomes these artists into the Westbeth community of creators.

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