Since 1996, our Fashion Talent Show (FTS) has been a showcase of Asian American and Pacific Islander contributions to our society’s diversity. By enhancing cultural awareness and by generating positive attention to the SDSU campus, the event has transformed and is now known for its huge success by entertaining the student population. By including a wide-range of talents—from dancers, to musicians, to fashion designers—in our show, APSA features some of the most popular up-and-coming icons in the nation. Some of our biggest performers that have hit our FTS stage have included Far East Movement, Us the Duo, and Dumbfoundead. Each year, the show grows in popularity and increases in size. In the new Montezuma Hall on the SDSU campus, FTS last year had its highest record in attendance of 1000+ people. We try to reach out to more than just SDSU students. We maintain our goal of improving the greater San Diego community’s understanding and awareness of API issues and lack of representation, while also developing and celebrating our own individuality.
More than ever, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) are making their imprint into today’s mainstream pop culture, and are continuing to pave pathways for many to follow. By digging deep into finding what drives them in becoming who they are, Asian American and Pacific Islanders are breaking through the norms and are creating their own destiny. By showing others how it is okay to be your own person, these individuals are encouraging others to express their identity. We hope to inspire the community as a whole as well as empower the individuals in it to continue to rise above their challenges, despite any obstacles that stand in their path.
This year's theme, "Light the Way," acknowledges how cultural identity is a difficult thing to figure out, especially when living in the "mixing pot" of America—setting yourself on the path to discovering it may be tricky, as if setting yourself on a path in the dark. The fear of the unknown and confusion from intermingling cultures forces our eyes shut. But, with a bit of courage from within, we can open our eyes to find that our paths are lit. Our family, friends, and other AAPI individuals exist as lights on our paths, helping us discover our cultural identities. Although at a certain point, we no longer need a helping hand. Our confidence in ourselves as AAPI individuals grows enough that we can serve as our own lights and eventually, serve as lights to others.