Ben Mercer's photographs and drawings are on display at UMKC's African American History and Culture House.
Kansas City, MO – When Ben Mercer eats at a Vietnamese restaurant, the owners often don't let him pay. That's because Mercer has become known in the Vietnamese community in Kansas City and Carthage, Missouri. He first got to know many Vietnamese Americans as director of Garrison Community Center on Troost and 5th. But now his artistic curiosity has taken him to markets, churches and inside homes to produce a photographic essay and series of drawings about the Vietnamese experience in and around Kansas City. KC Currents', Delores Jones talks to Ben Mercer about "The Vietnamese Among Us," his new show at UMKC.