Multiracial Festival at JANM This Weekend

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Maya Soetoro-Ng

Multiracial Americans, the country’s largest growing community, will celebrate stories of the Mixed experience at the 3rd Annual Mixed Roots Film & Literary Festival, June 12-June 13, 2010, at the Japanese American National Museum (369 East First Street) in downtown Los Angeles.

Kip Fulbeck

In the Obama age, the free two-day Festival brings together film and book lovers, innovative and emerging artists, and multiracial families and individuals for workshops, readings, film screenings, and special family activities in collaboration with the Target Free Family Day at JANM. The Festival is also held in conjunction with the Museum’s interactive exhibit of Mixed: Portraits of Multiracial Children by celebrated Hapa artist, Kip Fulbeck.

The Festival hosts the largest West Coast Loving Day reception, a nationwide grassroots celebration of the anniversary of the Supreme Court decision that allowed people of different races to marry.

This year’s Loving Day celebration features the annual Loving Prize Presentation and Conversation with Kip Fulbeck and Maya Soetoro-Ng, writer, educator and sister of President Barack Obama discussing identity, family, and what it means to be multiracial in America. Well-known Hapa actress Amy Hill will moderate.

The Festival, a fiscally sponsored project of the New York Foundation for the Arts, a non-profit organization, is produced by the co-hosts of the award-winning weekly podcast Mixed Chicks Chat.

Today, 7 percent of all marriages are interracial, according to the Census. More than 6.8 million individuals identify as Mixed. New Census figures reveal that multiracial Americans are the fastest-growing demographic; and 1 in 5 mixed-race individuals lives in California.

The Festival highlights include:

* Target Free Family Day at JANM, Saturday, June 12, 11am-4:30pm, features storytelling by TV actress Kim Wayans and husband, Kevin Knotts, reading from their popular children’s book series, Amy Hodgepodge; educator and sister of President Obama, Maya Soetoro-Ng reading from her children’s book; and curly-hair expert Teri LaFlesh author of the newly released Curly Like Me, demonstrating hair tips and tricks. Families can also enjoy interactive craft activities all day, and a special dance performance by Culture Clash.

* The Festival hosts the largest West Coast Loving Day celebration, Saturday June 12, 2010, at 7:00pm. Tickets are $20 at the door, and $15 for pre-registered Festival attendees. The reception is held in conjunction with the 1000-person New York City Loving Day celebration hosted by Loving Day.

* Maya Soetoro-Ng and community activist Nancy Brown, founder of the Multiracial Americans of Southern California, will each receive a Loving Prize, the Festival’s annual award for inspirational storytelling of the Mixed experience during the Saturday night Loving Prize Presentation, June 12, 2010 at 7:00pm. National Football League star Hines Ward and award-winning screenwriter Jenny Lumet (Rachel Getting Married) will receive their prizes in absentia.

* KTLA’s Frank Buckley moderates a discussion among historians and scholars, “Exploring the Historical Context for Contemporary Stories of the Mixed Experience,” Sunday, June 13, 2010 11:30pm-12:30pm.

* Among the dozen films that the Festival will screen is HBO’s A Family is a Family is a Family: A Rosie O’Donnell Celebration about the touching, profound and funny insights of blended and non-traditional families, and Off and Running about a transracial adoptee’s journey. The Festival is also pleased to present several award-winning short films and a handful of feature films including a follow-up to last year’s hit debut Biracial Not Black Damn It: Part 2.

* The Festival includes author readings by best-selling novelist (and Festival co-founder) Heidi W. Durrow (The Girl Who Fell From the Sky), novelists Carleen Brice (Orange Mint and Honey, Children of the Water), and Marie Mockett (Picking Bones From Ash), and poets Neil Aitken (Winner of the Philip Levine Prize, The Lost Country of Sight), and Tara Betts (Arc and Hue).

Events are free and open to the public. Tickets, are required for the Loving Prize Presentation and Conversation June 12, 2010, at 7:00pm. Tickets are $20 at the door, and $15 for pre-registered Festival attendees.

Pre-registration is strongly encouraged. On-line registration is now open. Waiting list only; please contact.

The complete Festival schedule can be found on-line at mxroots.org.

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2 Comments

  1. We can’t deny that intermarriage is one of the greatest threats to our community. Intermarriage with other races weakens our identity and therefore against our interests. The politically correct agenda propagates intermarriage so we will lose our identities and become easier to control/manipulate.

  2. “We can’t deny that intermarriage is one of the greatest threats to our community. Intermarriage with other races weakens our identity and therefore against our interests.”

    Sounds like someone is promoting racial purity. If intermarriage occurs because that is what couples choose, so be it. If intermarriage does not occur because that is what couples choose, then so be it too. But the idea that people of Japanese blood should be restricted to marrying only others of Japanese blood sounds a little, hmmmm….anti-American.

    Does intermarriage weaken identity? That’s hard to say. It’s plausible. But it’s also plausible that, given the demographics in the JA community, intermarriage may be the key to saving our identity.

    “The politically correct agenda propagates intermarriage so we will lose our identities and become easier to control/manipulate.”

    Intermarriage occurs because people fall in love with others outside their own race. People fall in love with others outside their own race because they work, live, and socialize with people of other races, i.e. they are color-blind. Who would marry someone from another race because it’s politically correct? That’s silly.

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