April 19 — East West Players (EWP), the nation’s premier Asian American theatre, celebrates its 44th anniversary with its Visionary Awards dinner and silent auction, and salutes those who have raised the visibility of the Asian Pacific American community through their artistic excellence and support of the Asian Pacific American performing arts. The acclaimed fundraising event will take place at the Hilton Universal City on Monday, April 19. Proceeds from the gala will benefit East West Players’ educational and artistic programs.
“Following the theme of our 44th anniversary season, the season’s theme will be ART IS….” explains Producing Artistic Director Tim Dang. “EWP and the APA performing arts community have established a larger presence on the national landscape. We recognize these individuals who have utilized performance through music, dance, acting, voice, design and literature and have showed us the value of art and what it means to our community as a source of entertainment, education, civic pride, celebration and social consciousness.”
Award-winning composer Nathan Wang (Beijing Olympics/Shaolin Monks, Steven Spielberg’s The Last Days) will lead the orchestra for the 8th year as the evening’s Musical Director. The orchestra will be a combination of professional studio musicians and teenage students of the Olympia Youth Orchestra in San Gabriel Valley.
Visionary Award honorees include: Wenda Fong, a well-respected producer and director of television and live events with a remarkable track record as an executive and community force. Fong can claim credit on over 200 television programs ranging from all-star variety specials, award shows, live spectaculars, sitcoms, talk shows to documentaries. Fong is co-founder and Chairperson of the Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment and has served as President of East West Players. She is a member of the Directors Guild of America and is founding co-chairperson emeritus of the DGA Asian-American Committee. She joined FOX as its first Vice President of Creative Diversity Development Department in 2001 where she created and launched its successful diversity initiatives. In 2003, she was promoted to Vice President of Alternative Entertainment and presently oversees American Idol, So You Think You Can Dance, Hell’s Kitchen and the NAACP Image Awards.
Michael Kenji Shinoda, a musician, record producer and artist from Agoura Hills, is best known for his vocal and musical endeavors with two-time Grammy-winning, multi-platinum rock band Linkin Park. He has a hand in most artistic facets of Linkin Park’s imagery, including album artwork, band merchandise, web design and on-stage production art. Shinoda is also involved in other projects including Fort Minor, non-profit organization Music For Relief, and Projekt Revolution. Shinoda was the youngest of his graduating class from Art Center College of Design in 1998 with a B.A. in Illustration, where he has created a fund in his name to benefit promising illustration and graphic design students with financial need. His museum shows Glorious Excess (Born) and Glorious Excess (Dies) opened at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles in 2008 and 2009, and this year he’ll curate a collaborative group show in New York City. For more information, please visit mikeshinoda.com.
Additional honorees and performances will be announced.
The no-host reception and silent auction will start at 6 p.m. The dinner and awards program will start at 7 p.m. Tickets are $175 – $1,250. Full table sponsorship packages are also available. For more information, visit www.EastWestPlayers.org.