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San Gabriel Valley Digest

The Region : Salute to Ethnic Harmony

August 31, 1989

David Ma had grown weary of the negative publicity about racial and ethnic tensions in Monterey Park and the San Gabriel Valley. So, the Monterey Park businessman and Arcadia resident decided to counter that by organizing what he is calling "a song and dance salute to America's cultural harmony."

On Sept. 9 at Pasadena City College's Sexson Auditorium, dancers and singers from a variety of backgrounds will perform for 2 1/2 hours in an evening show. Ma, a member of the Monterey Park Art and Culture Commission, persuaded the Monterey Park City Council, itself the subject of past negative publicity, to co-sponsor the event along with Kiwanis International. The council's vote on Monday was unanimous.

The show is scheduled to include gospel singers, a barbershop quartet, a mariachi band and cloggers, as well as performers of American Indian, Korean, Chinese, Burmese, Japanese and Mexican dances.

"We always hear negative things about the different ethnic groups. People talk about the old residents and the new immigrants. I feel we don't talk enough about good things," said Ma, a native of Shanghai who migrated to America in the 1950s.

Ma, a regional leader of Kiwanis, has enlisted a host of other sponsors: the Asian Pacific Family Center, the National Conference of Christians and Jews, Southern California Edison, Pasadena City College, the San Gabriel Valley chapter of the League of United Latin American Citizens, and the Overseas Chinese Cultural and Educational Assn. of Southern California, among others.

The event will start at 7:30 p.m. at 1570 E. Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena. Tickets for $10 may be obtained from Ma's office, Asiamerica Group, 108 Ynez Ave., Suite 200, Monterey Park; from Victor Tseng at General Bank, 1420 E. Valley Blvd., Alhambra, and at the door. For more information, call (818) 307-0822.

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