We began as a small group of families and teachers who were interested in supporting and promoting Asian arts and cultures by providing cultural learning activities for our children in the areas of language and arts.
For the past several years, we had been meeting for Mandarin lessons, social events, and group activities like attending the play “The King and I” produced by the Community Asian Theater of the Sierra (CATS.)
It was during the 2011 production of “The King and I” that several parents whose children were either involved in the play or who had come to see the play began to discuss what a great thing it would be if CATS had an enrichment program for kids and teens. We envisioned a program that would focus on Asian arts and crafts, music, foods, dance, theater, history, and language. A program that would not only bring children and teens interested in Asian cultures together but would also help strengthen each child’s sense of self, build lasting friendships with their peers and teachers, and encourage respect and understanding for the individuality and cultural diversity of each person.
In February of 2012, our small committee met with the CATS board and proposed our idea. That was when the Xiao Mao (Little CATS) Culture Club was born.