East West Players 54th Anniversary Honors Three
East West Players (EWP), the nation’s longest-running professional theater of color and the largest producing organization of Asian American artistic work, celebrates WE ARE THE ONES WE ARE WAITING FOR, its 54th Anniversary season with the Annual Visionary Awards Dinner & Silent Auction. Recognizing the achievements of individuals who have raised the visibility of the Asian Pacific American (APA) community through their craft, the gala fundraiser takes place on Monday, April 27, 2020 at the Hilton Universal City. Proceeds benefit East West Players’ educational and artistic programs. This year EWP will honor:
Daniel Mayeda is the longest serving Member of the EWP Board, having joined the Board in 1994. He has served as either Chair or pro bono Legal Counsel during most of the past quarter-century. Dan practiced communications law and entertainment/media industry litigation for 37 years, recently as a partner in the law firm of Leopold, Petrich and Smith and currently works for the national law firm Ballard Spahr. In January 2018, Dan was appointed Associate Director of the Documentary Film Legal Clinic at his alma mater, the UCLA School of Law, where he trains and supervises law students to provide pro bono legal services to independent and underrepresented filmmakers. The DocFilmLegalClinic has helped bring a number of vital and award-winning documentaries to the public, addressing topics such as a new mental health approach to police response, how Medicare helped desegregate hospitals in the South, the impact of President Trump’s immigration policies on DACA recipients or on Muslims, environmental justice issues, and the legacy of Norman Mineta, the dean of Asian American politicians. He currently serves as Chair of the Asian Pacific American Media Coalition, and recently on the national Diversity Advisory Council for Comcast Corporation. In 2015, working with EWP’s then-Artistic Director Tim Dang, Dan helped draft and promote a groundbreaking initiative called the “51% Preparedness Plan for the American Theatre” to jump start the conversation around the fact that most theaters are not ready to serve an American population in which People of Color will comprise the majority by 2042.
Dan has written and spoken extensively on media, intellectual property and Asian American community issues. He has been an Adjunct Professor at USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, and has taught media courses at California State University, Los Angeles and California State University, Northridge. Early in his career, Dan worked in Washington, D.C. on the staff of the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications, Consumer Protection and Finance. He has been named numerous times in Los Angeles magazine as a “Southern California Super Lawyer.”
Adele Lim is a screenwriter for TV drama series and film. Most recently she penned the screenplay adaptation of Crazy Rich Asians (Warner Bros.) A Malaysian native of Chinese descent, she came to the States at 19 and graduated from Emerson College, Boston. She has written and produced multiple primetime TV dramas, including One Tree Hill, Private Practice and Lethal Weapon. She also mentors writers through CAPE’s New Writers Fellowship and is a judge for the WGA’s Writers Access Project. Adele has been named amongst Elle’s Women in Hollywood Power List and Variety’s Women’s Impact Report. Currently she is developing and writing an original screenplay for Disney Feature Animation: Raya and the Last Dragon (scheduled for release November 2020).
The Aratani Foundation, a private foundation, was incorporated on June 5, 1992, created by George and Sakaye Aratani. The late George Aratani made this statement prior to creating the Aratani Foundation:
“When I think of Community, I think of people banding together, working together and sharing together. I think of people concerned about the welfare of others and helping those less fortunate. I first learned about the meaning of ‘Community’ from my parents. I remember the many meetings that were held in the living room of our home. Concerned people discussing mutual problems and working together to solve them. I can still remember my father driving from Guadalupe to Los Angeles so many times to attend meetings that involved the larger Southern California community. Growing up in this environment, with parents dedicated to the welfare of others, I learned how important it was to help others in need of assistance. I learned that this was the true spirit and meaning of Community.”
Donations and grants are made to qualified organizations in Educational, Medical, Cultural, Religious and other charitable fields. Sakaye Aratani is President of the Aratani Foundation following the passing of George Aratani. Linda Aratani is Vice President/Treasurer and Betty Teves, Secretary.
“East West Players is thrilled to recognize the incredible work of each of our honorees” says EWP Producing Artistic Director Snehal Desai. “Each has amassed professional accomplishments and contributions that have been pivotal in raising the visibility of Asian Americans. They also have deep, personal connections to East West Players and been instrumental in supporting our work and growth. It’s an honor to name them as honorees of our 2020 Visionary Awards.”
Leading EWP’s Gala Committee is Chair Peter Shimamoto. An additional honoree, performances, and more information will be released shortly.
East West Players 54th Anniversary Visionary Awards Dinner & Silent Auction will be held on Monday, April 27, 2020 at the Hilton Universal City, 555 Universal Hollywood Drive, Universal City, CA 91608. Sponsor Reception, silent auction, and cocktail hour starts at 5:30pm. The dinner and awards show begins at 7pm.
Individual tickets are $250- $1,500. Full table sponsorship packages are also available from $2,500 – $50,000. For more information please visit eastwestplayers.org, or contact East West Players at (213) 625-7000 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
East West Players (EWP), the nation’s longest-running professional theater of color in the country and the largest producing organization of Asian American artistic work, was founded in 1965, at a time when Asian Pacific Islanders (APIs) faced limited or no opportunities to see their experiences reflected outside of stereotypical and demeaning caricatures in the American landscape. EWP not only ensures that API stories are told, but works to increase access, inclusion, and representation across the performing arts.
For more information about East West Players, please visit eastwestplayers.org