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Check out Project Blank: The non-profit shining a light on diverse talent in San Diego

ABC 10News is celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.
Posted at 6:08 PM, May 02, 2023

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — There’s a local non-profit shining a spotlight on diverse talent here at home.

ABC 10News sat down with Brendan Nguyen, the Executive Director of Project Blank.

“Project Blank is a place for amazing artists to get together and dream up the craziest ideas then somehow make it a reality,” said Nguyen.

Project Blank puts on performances probably unlike anything you’ve ever seen.

“I guess one way to describe them…pretty extravagant,” said Nguyen.

From opera to chamber music, to electronic performances with visual effects – Nguyen says it’s unique, immersive, and interactive.

“We want to promise to our audiences and public that they will never know what to expect,” he said.

The only thing you can expect, is an affordable ticket price.

“These are the kind of things that people would pay quite a bit of money to see…but it’s really important to us that what we do is accessible to as many people as possible,” he said.

Nguyen says their work is geared towards supporting underserved communities and highlighting artists and art forms from all different backgrounds. It’s a cause close to his heart.

“I’m a first-generation Vietnamese-American…I was born to two immigrants,” he said.

Nguyen’s mother came to the United States as a refugee.

“If you ask my mom…she would tell you that her vision of America was that the streets were paved with gold. So she would do anything to raise her family here,” he said.

His parents met in Seattle one night as his mother was singing at a local venue. He says his parents taught him the value of hard work and perseverance.

“I was able to say at a young age I was going to dedicate my life to music and art-making,” he said.

And that dream became a reality. Nguyen got his musical training, both a master's and doctorate, at UC San Diego. It’s there that he began working alongside Leslie Leytham, who is now the artistic director of Project Blank.

“With each concert…each event…each theatrical production…it is a fill in the blank,” Leytham explained. “Each event is its own world.”

The two say they’re aiming to help artists grow creatively while leaving the audience with a new perspective.

“Really great art has this really important function in society which is that it raises a mirror to our world. And in a time where we really need to look at ourselves, it doesn’t matter how much money you have. You have to have access to a time and place to reflect on these things so you can become a better citizen,” said Nguyen.

Project Blank’s next show is on May 13th. You can get more information about tickets and upcoming shows here.