Mackenzie Scott Gives Transformative Gift to East West

Mackenzie Scott Gift part of larger fund to ensure the viable work of 286 non-profits across the country

Mackenzie ScottJune 15, 2021, Los Angeles, CA – East West Players (EWP), the largest producer of Asian American theatrical works, is honored to announce that it is the recipient of a multi-million dollar gift from billionaire philanthropist Mackenzie Scott. The amount is part of a round of giving by Scott benefitting equity-oriented organizations. In response to the announcement, Snehal Desai, Producing Artistic Director has released the following statement:

“East West Players is incredibly honored to be a recipient of Mackenzie Scott’s extraordinary philanthropy.  In her announcement today, Scott’s sentiment that, ‘people struggling against inequities deserve center stage in stories about change they are creating,’ encapsulates the core purpose of East West Players’ work.

In a time when hate crimes against Asian and Asian Americans continue to increase exponentially, this investment will ensure that the work of East West Players will continue to speak up and speak out against systemic injustice. We are particularly honored to have received this gift along with our Little Tokyo neighbors the Japanese American National Museum as well as Self Help Graphics, Pasadena City College and Homeboy Industries, amongst many others.

This past year we have seen in stark contrast how inequitable wealth distribution is in this country and globally.  Let us hope that Mackenzie Scott’s committed disruption of this system with the sharing of power, platforms and resources is followed by others.  As she states at the end of her statement, ‘Generosity is generative. Sharing makes more’”.

Mackenzie Scott has set herself apart as giving to underrepresented organizations in philanthropy. In this round of giving Scott aims to support 286 high-impact organizations in categories and communities that have been historically underfunded and overlooked. For East West Players, the multi-million dollar gift will immensely benefit infrastructural growth, increased funding and support for its vast network of theater artists affected by the pandemic, and ensure that EWP continues to lead as a platform for transformative Asian American stories, both in the theater and the digital space.

Additional API organizations getting grants include

APIA Scholars
Artis Adimnistrators of Color Network
Asian American Federation
Asian American LEAD
Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy
Asian Pacific Community Fund
Asian Pacific Fund
Center for Asian American Media
Chinatown Community Development Center
Chinese for Affirmative Action
Japanese American National Museum
Museum of Chinese in America
Wing Luke Museum

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East West Players, one of the longest-running professional theaters of color in the country and the largest producing organization of Asian American artistic work, was founded in 1965, at a time when Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) faced limited or no opportunities to see their experiences reflected outside of stereotypical and demeaning caricatures in the American landscape. East West Players not only ensures that authentic AAPI stories are told, but works to increase access, inclusion, and representation across the performing arts and the entertainment industry.

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