Throughout May, to celebrate Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, the Emerson Alumni Association will hand over the keys to their Instagram account (@emersonalumni) to three alumnae working in diverse and dynamic fields, who will talk about their work, their lives, and their perspectives as AAPI women.
First up, on Thursday, May 13, is Lien Ta ’03, co-owner of All Day Baby, a hip comfort-food diner in Los Angeles’ Silver Lake neighborhood.
Ta, a Writing, Literature and Publishing major at Emerson, left a career as a lifestyle writer and entertainment editor to live out her dream of becoming a restaurateur. All Day Baby is the second restaurant from Ta and chef/owner Jonathan Whitener; their previous eatery, Here’s Looking At You, was profiled as a case study in Becoming a Restaurateur by Patrick Kuh, part of Simon & Schuster’s Masters at Work series.
Recipient of the James Beard Foundation’s inaugural class of the Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Program in 2017, Ta went on to co-found RE:Her, a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of women restaurateurs.
The following week, YA author Maurene Goo, MA ’07 will take over.
Goo , who earned a graduate degree in Publishing and Writing from Emerson, is the author of several acclaimed books for young adults, all centered around Korean-American protagonists.
Her latest novel, Somewhere Only We Know, follows the burgeoning romance between a K-Pop star and a teenage tabloid journalist.
The book was singled out as a Junior Library Guild selection and a BuzzFeed pick; was named a Best Young Adult Book of 2019 by Cosmopolitan; and is a 2022 nominee for an Evergreen Teen Book Award. The San Francisco Chronicle wrote that the book “offers readers a sense of place and culture that further proves the need for diverse voices, storytellers and characters in the world of young-adult fiction and beyond.”
Other books include The Way You Make Me Feel, named a Best Book of 2018 by NPR, the New York Public Library and the Boston Globe; and I Believe in a Thing Called Love, called a Best Book of 2017 by NPR, the New York Public Library, Publisher’s Weekly, and Seventeen.com. Goo also writes for Marvel’s Silk series.
Finally, theatre director, dramaturg, and creative producer Alison (Yueming) Qu ’20 will take over the week of May 24.
A Theatre major at Emerson and a native of China, Qu was the inaugural Cutler Creative Producing and Engagement Fellow at ArtsEmerson, as well as the co-founder and executive producer of CHUANG Stage, a Boston-based theatre collective centered around AAPI narratives.
She’s directed Miss November by Ethan Williams for Emerson Stage, Earthquake by Tatyana Emery for Reground Theater Collective, and Vivian Liu-Somers’ Waiting for Kim Lee for Asian American Theater Artists of Boston. Her dramaturgy work for Anne Washburn’s 10 out of 12 (Emerson Stage) received the 2020 LMDA/KCACTF Region 1 Student Dramaturgy Award.
Currently, Qu is the associate producer of Pao Fellowship at CompanyONE Theater, and working as the international producer of an immersive audio production, Imaginarium (Out of the Blue Theatre), premiering in the UK at Applecart Arts and soon in China. She recently took on a digital internship at Davis Shakespeare Festival, and is collaborating with Ping Pong Arts for Season II of the Artists Connectivity Series, an open dialogue series between art and community makers of the world.
She is a member of TC Squared Theater Company’s Director Lab, a graduate of the National Theater Institute, and an associate member of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society.
If you don’t already follow @emersonalumni, now would be a great time.