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Culture & Arts Annual Report 2022

2022 was a year of growth and new ideas for the Culture & Arts Programs department at the Filipino Community of Seattle. We gained a new, part-time Culture & Arts Programs Coordinator, an administrative role that helps keep the FCS CAP programs run smoothly. Bennyroyce Royon, this year’s CAP Coordinator, helped research, plan, develop, manage, and implement community-wide programs and events including the FCS Kalahi Dance Group, the first-ever Palengke at FCS, the Annual Community Christmas Party, and the Annual Tree Lighting Event in conjunction with the first-ever Holiday Palengke at FCS.

Additionally, through the Hope Corps Grant from the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, Bennyroyce Royon also became FCS’ inaugural Artist in Residence. Through dance performances, classes, workshops, and community events, Royon will provide members, residents, and visitors of the Filipino Community of Seattle access to high-caliber, deeply inspiring, and transformative dance experiences.

In keeping with the spirit of growth and expansion, Royon plans to help develop policies and procedures that shape a more effective, robust, and dynamic culture and arts programming at the Filipino Community of Seattle.

FCS Kalahi Dance Group

FCS Kalahi Dance Group, a Filipino American folk dance troupe for children and adults, is our cultural ambassador to the Filipinx community and beyond. This group has gone through different iterations throughout the years, and membership has decreased most recently due to the global pandemic.

On September 8th, FCS Kalahi hosted a meet and greet event attended by approximately 20 children, teens, and adults. Since the start of the program (September), the group grew from 2 families to 14 families. FCS Kalahi performed at various venues throughout King County including Othello Park and Fairwinds-Brittany Park (a retirement community).

FCS Kalahi Snapshot:

  • This tuition-free program runs from September through June

  • Rehearsals happen on Thursdays (5:30pm-7:30pm) and every other Saturday (10:00am-12:00pm) at the Filipino Community Center

  • FCS Kalahi currently has two part-time staff members; a teacher/choreographer and an administrator/coordinator.

  • To date, FCS Kalahi includes 26 children and teens and 4 adult performers.

  • The group has performed at 5 events:

    • August 14 – Othello Park International Festival

    • September 1 – Fairwinds-Brittany Park (Woodinville)

    • September 30 – The Palengke at FCS

    • December 6 – Fairwinds-Brittany Park (Woodinville)

    • December 10 – FCS Annual Community Christmas Party

  • From September through December, FCS Kalahi engaged approximately 1, 050 audience members.

Palengke at FCS

In collaboration between the FCS Small Business Resiliency Network (SBRN) and The Palengke National, FCS hosted its first-ever "palengke” to support small business owners and to kick-off Filipino American History Month. This two-day cultural event brought together 30+ food and retail vendors from throughout the Puget Sound, employed approximately 15 performing artists, and served a multigenerational audience of roughly 2,500 people.

The opening night consisted of an arts and entertainment program curated by Filipino-American director and choreographer Bennyroyce Royon, along with a night market with select vendors. Emceed by Lou Vargas, founder of Fil-Am Fashion Week, the program featured guest artists and performers including Nikita Ares, Maricres Castro, Juliet Cheatle, Bennyroyce Dance, FCS Kalahi Dance Group, Atasha Manila, Drea Marilyn, Kyle Sangil, and many more.

The Filipino Community Center was transformed into a vibrant and colorful space filled with music, food, arts & crafts, dance, and entertainment. Organizers Francis Franco (FCS Board member), Jennifer Johnson (Co-Founder of The Palengke National), Bennyroyce Royon (FCS Staff), and Gracie Santos (Co-Founder of The Palengke National) plan to make this an annual community event at FCS.

Palengke at FCS Snapshot:

  • Event occurred on Friday, September 30th and Saturday, October 1st

  • 56 food and retail applied; 33 accepted

  • Funded by 15 sponsors

  • Employed approximately 15 performing artists/groups

  • Served 2,500 audience members/attendees/participants

Annual Community Christmas Party

Every year, our Annual Community Christmas Party marks the beginning of the holiday season for most of our community members. It is a time when we gather together at the Filipino Community Center to celebrate and express our gratitude to the many people that help make FCS a vibrant and united community.

This year’s party took place on December 10th and was attended by more than 250 families, children, and seniors. Our “Children & Seniors Celebration” program included a parol making contest, dancing, games, a children’s book reading, gifts for everyone, and delicious food. The “Board, Staff, and Volunteer Appreciation” program occurred at the Innovative Learning Center (ILC) as a new idea this year.

FCS organizes this event year after year to provide a culturally relevant experience that is free, accessible, and brings joy to families, children, and seniors.

Christmas Party Snapshot:

  • Children and Seniors Celebration at FCC attended by 250+

  • Board, Staff, and Volunteer Appreciation at ILC attended by 40+

  • This year’s toy drive received 10 donations

Tree Lighting Event & Holiday Palengke

In collaboration with The Palengke National, This year’s 2nd Annual Tree Lighting Event took place on December 10th in conjunction with the first-ever “Holiday Palengke at FCS” in the effort to invite more people to kick-off and celebrate the holidays at the Filipino Community of Seattle. Vendors included Jennifer Johnson of BLACK PINAY (co-founder of The Palengke NationalThe Palengke National), Gracie Santos of grayseas pies (co-founder of The Palenke National), Licia's Lumpia, Ma Arté Co., Sari Sari Store Puyallup, Bora by Irene Lim, and many more small business owners.

This event brought together over 20 food and retail vendors from throughout the Puget Sound and served a multigenerational audience of 300 and more. The Holiday Palengke opened at 5pm. The Salvation Army NW Division Brass Band volunteered to provide live music and led attendees to the Kern-Veloria Plaza for the tree lighting ceremony at 6pm. Children, adults, and seniors helped decorate our 20-foot Christmas tree as we sang Christmas carols.

FCS plans to make these concurrent events happen annually to uplift and empower small business owners, and to energize the residents and visitors of the Beacon Hill community and its surroundings.

Tree Lighting Event Snapshot:

  • 20+ food and retail vendors

  • The Salvation Army NW Division Brass Band provided live music

  • 20-foot Christmas tree decorated by children, adults, and seniors

Achievements & Milestones

This year’s achievements and milestones:

  • FCS gained a new staff member

  • Approximately 4,140 people served

  • “The Palengke at FCS” was featured in multiple media outlets including KING5 News, UndiscoveredSF, and South Seattle Emerald.

Outlook for Upcoming Year

Inaugural Artist in Residence

Juilliard-trained and former Broadway performer Bennyroyce Royon will bring high-caliber, deeply inspiring, and transformative dance experiences to members, residents, and visitors of the Filipino Community of Seattle through performances, classes, workshops, and community events. He plans to premiere his new work titled “Begin Again” at the Filipino Community Center with a series of performances, May 26-28.

FCS Kalahi Dance Group

New systems and operations will be implemented to help run FCS Kalahi Dance Group more effectively including the creation of a Student & Parent Handbook and seeking volunteer help to fulfill the roles of Production & Wardrobe Coordinator.

Palengke at FCS

Projection of 3,000+ attendees and participants.

Annual Community Christmas Party

Increase capacity to serve 300 families, children, and seniors. Cultivate dedicated sponsorships to fund expenses such as food, gifts, and materials. Streamline programming and volunteer operations to alleviate workload of FCS staff members.

Tree Lighting Event & Holiday Palengke

Projection of 500 attendees and participants. Cultivate dedicated sponsorships to fund expenses such as food, entertainment, and materials. Seek and engage community partnerships. Get media coverage to highlight the good work we do at FCS during the holiday season.

Please send comments and questions to FCS Culture & Arts Programs Coordinator Bennyroyce Royon at Thank you for your time!

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