As a graduate of the UCLA Asian American Studies Department, I am usually pretty interested in events that are sponsored by my former department at my alma mater. The upcoming “Imagined Futures” conference definitely piques my interest not just because of my UCLA ties, but also because they are bringing some very interesting speakers together for this free(!) event.
Presented by the Aratani Endowed Chair, UCLA, and the Japanese American National Museum, “Imagined Futures” is a one day conference for up and coming Asian Pacific American artists on May 2, 2009 from 1pm – 5pm. (Pre-register online). To tackle questions like, “What does the future hold of Japanese American and Asian Pacific American communities?” and “What is the role of the young artist in defining our community’s future?” the organizers have brought together a distinguished panel of speakers and workshop facilitators.
And I’ll just say it: George Takei is going to be there! I love George Takei! And a few of my friends are actually presenting workshops (Which one to attend?! Such a dilemma! Okay, let me get a hold of myself.)
The one day conference takes place at the Japanese American National Museumin Little Tokyo from 1-5pm. After a keynote address, participants will learn from established artists in two hour workshops. The workshops will be followed by closing remarks and a reception.
- Special Opening Performance by UCLA’s NSU Modern
- Opening Remarks by Prof. Lane Hirabayashi, Koji Sakai, and Emily Morishima
- Eric Nakamura of Giant Robot
- George Takei, Actor
- Filmmaking with director/writer/producer Quentin Lee
- Anime/Comics with the author of the biweekly column “Asian Pop” for the San Francisco Chronicle, Jeff Yang
- Blogs/New Media with Phil Yu of Angry Asian Man
- Spoken Word/Hip Hop with LA hip-hop sensation Shin-B
- Fiction with award winning writer, Naomi Hirahara
- The Art and Business of Clothes with Ryan Suda of Blacklava
4-5pm: Closing Light Reception
Anyway, I already pre-registered online… will you be there?
(Some Workshop Descriptions below)
Film Making The Asian American Independent Feature Filmmaker Quentin Lee will conduct a workshop focusing on issues around making an Asian American independent feature film. Quentin will have workshop participants talk about their ideas for an Asian American feature and discuss issues of story, development, production, marketability, festivals, and all aspects that will help the participants to make the movies they want to make, to maximize marketability and avoid beginners’ pitfalls.
Do Japanese Americans or Asian Americans have shared values, traditions, stories, or experiences that impact how and what we write? We will explore this question through a concrete exercise, a contemporary rift on a Japanese folktale. Through both text and music, we will be introduced or reintroduced to the story and create a contemporary reinterpretation, which will be used to open discussion of the decisions we make as writers. (This workshop will be lead by Naomi Hirahara, author of Mas Arai detective series and the YA book 1001 Cranes, as well as several non-fiction books on Japanese Americans.)