EWP’s Vision Awards will honor Kristina Wong and Randall Tamura
East West Players (EWP), the nation’s oldest Asian American theater and largest Asian American artistic production organization, celebrates “Here, Us, Now!”, its 56th anniversary season, with the annual Visionary Awards Dinner and Silent Auction.
Recognizing the accomplishments of individuals who have increased the visibility of the Asia-Pacific American (APA) community through their art, the fundraising gala takes place on Saturday, April 23 at the City Market Social House. Proceeds benefit EWP’s educational and arts programs. This year, EWP will honor multifaceted artist Kristina Wong and EWP Chairman Emeritus Randall Tamura.
Kristina Wang is a performance artist, comedian, writer, and elected representative from Koreatown Los Angeles who has been featured internationally in North America, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, and Africa. During the pandemic, she founded Auntie Sewing Squad, a national network of volunteers sewing masks for vulnerable communities. Their book “The Auntie Sewing Squad Guide to Mask Making, Radical Care and Racial Justice” is published by University of California Press.
The experience of building this isolated factory that became a national collective of mutual aid at the start of the pandemic is the subject of “Kristina Wong, Sweatshop Overlord” – a New York Times Critics’ Pick which premiered off Broadway at the New York Theater Workshop.
Wong also conceived and directed last season’s “From Number to Name” at EWP with members of API Rise, a support group for people who have been impacted by the criminal justice system.
Randall “Randy” Tamura is currently Chairman Emeritus of the Board of EWP and served as Chairman from 2015 to 2021. He is a retired software engineering executive and worked as Chairman of his own software consulting firm. Before becoming a consultant, he worked as senior vice president of engineering for several startups as well as general manager for IBM.
He has written and/or managed numerous applications for mainframe, PC, server and iOS devices. He created and taught the first iOS programming course for UCLA Extension and has taught several other programming courses for UCLA, community colleges, and for Girls Who Code. Tamura has written and edited seven books and owns two patents.
Previously, he was president of the Asia America Symphony Association and president of the Venice Japanese Community Center.
“East West Players is thrilled to recognize Randy and Kristina – two pillars of the EWP and the wider API community.” says Snehal Desai, EWP’s production art director. “Their leadership has been essential in raising the profile of Asian Americans and they have done so by generously donating their time and expertise. They also have deep personal ties to East West Players and have been instrumental in supporting our work and growth. Quite simply, Kristina and Randy are just two of the kindest, most selfless people I know. It’s an honor to name them as recipients of our 2022 Visionary Awards. »
The EWP Gala Committee is led by co-chairs Peter Shimamoto and Judith Sasaki.
City Market Social House is located at 1145 San Pedro St., Los Angeles. The Sponsors’ Reception, Silent Auction and Cocktail Hour begin at 5:30 p.m. Dinner and Awards Ceremony begin at 7:00 p.m.
Individual tickets cost between $250 and $1,500. Full table sponsorship packages are also available from $2,500 to $50,000. For more information, visit www.eastwestplayers.org, call (213) 625-7000 or email [email protected]
EWP was founded in 1965, at a time when Asian Pacific Islanders (APIs) had little or no opportunity to have their experiences reflected outside of the stereotypical and demeaning caricatures of the American landscape. EWP not only ensures that API stories are told, but strives to increase access, inclusion and representation in performing arts and entertainment media.