8$ is a series which occasionally highlights interesting crowdfunding projects. Every day, the 8Asians team is inundated by many worthy pitches. We are unable to highlight every one that comes our way, or even the ones we might individually support. The projects selected for 8$ are not endorsements by 8Asians. (To be considered for 8$, we highly suggest you not harass the writers or the editors of 8Asians.)
WHO: The one and only George Takei
Widely known as “Mr. Sulu” from “Star Trek,” a “cultural ambassador” & “equality activist”
Takei has served on the CA Civil Liberties Public Education Program, Council of Governors of East West Players, Board of Directors of the US-Japan Bridging Foundation, the Japan-United States Friendship Commission under Pres. Clinton, cultural affairs chair of the Japanese American Citizens League & is Chairman Emeritus of the JANM. In 2004, he received the Order of the Rising Sun; 2007, the HRC’s Equality Award. Takei is a member of AEA, SAG-AFTRA, the Academy (Motion Pictures and Television).
WHAT: Indiegogo project: Allegiance on Broadway and the Japanese American National Museum Legacy Project
As an actor and an activist, it has been my life’s mission to tell the incredible story of the thousands of families who endured the Japanese American Internment during World War II. The upcoming Broadway musical Allegiance and the Japanese American National Museum (JANM) are the intersection of my art and activism. Inspired by my life experiences and those of internees like me, the show celebrates the triumph of the human spirit in the face of adversity. I consider it my Legacy Project, and I’ve come up with a way for the JANM to be a part of it. But I need your help.
The Story of Allegiance
Allegiance tells an epic, multi-generational tale about the Kimura family, in particular a brother and sister, Sammy (Glee’s Telly Leung) and Kei (TONY-Award winner for Miss Saigon, Lea Salonga), whose bond is tested after they choose opposing paths to save their family. Their journeys take them from the rich California heartland, to the wind swept wastelands of Wyoming, to the battlefields of war-torn Europe.
Framed by an American war hero (played by me) recounting his family’s experience, Allegiance offers a rare and personal look into a time in our history when everyday citizens became heroes.
Allegiance is the reason I first took to the Internet, knowing that I’d need to build an audience for this untold story. Today, I am grateful to connect daily with millions of inspiring, funny, passionate individuals who prove what I have long known to be true – that our world is a better place when we all participate. I invite you to join me on a special endeavor to ensure that our vital work continues for generations to come.
WHEN: Deadline to contribute is Tuesday, May 19, 2015 (11:59pm PT).
The Dynamic Dollar
Typically, a show gets to Broadway with funding by a group of producers and investors. Allegiance’s producers have accepted my call to action for crowdfunding, with a minimum goal of $250,000, but with the potential for much more. The contributions here will act as if they had been invested by the JANM. The show will assign a proportional percentage of its profits to the museum, creating a source of funding for it in perpetuity.