Celebrating the Creative Community of Venice.
The Venice Japanese American Memorial Marker Committee will host a benefit screening with co-sponsor Beyond Baroque in Venice on Saturday, October 29, 2011. Reception with performances at 1PM, Films at 2PM.
Three outstanding directors of Japanese American internment-themed films have generously donated their work for the benefit screening, which begins at 2:00 p.m. Filmmaker Brian Maeda, who was born in the War Relocation Authority concentration camp at Manzanar, will emcee the screenings, which begins with his "Music Man of Manzanar." This thirty-minute film incorporates re-enactments to tell the story of actor Lou Frizzell, who taught music and drama to teenagers interned at Manzanar, and features Brian's brother, Arnold Maeda, today an inspirational member of the VJAMM committee. Director John Esaki's Visual Communications production, "Stand Up for Justice," dramatizes the decision of Mexican-Irish American Ralph Lazo to accompany his Japanese American high school friends to Manzanar, Academy-award winning director Steven Okazaki's documentary, "Days of Waiting," tells of artist Estelle Peck, who married Arthur Ishigo in Mexico when such intermarriage was illegal in California, and found acceptance among her husband's Japanese American friends and family while incarcerated in the American concentration camp at Heart Mountain, Wyoming.
A VIP Sushi and Sake Reception will precede the screening, beginning at 1:00 p.m., featuring Mary Kageyama Nomura, known as "the Song Bird of Manzanar." Mary and the Modernaires sang at club dances for the youth imprisoned in Manzanar, and Mary has graciously agreed to sing again on Saturday, October 29. She will share the stage with the Song Bird of Venice, Suzy Williams, and a performance by the Shoo Flies. Feast from the East's Suzanne Toji has also generously donated her famous chicken salad for the VIPs.
General admission will be $25 in advance, or $30 at the door, and includes a DVD of one of the films screened. The VIP Sushi and Sake Reception should be ordered in advance for $100, and includes reserved seating and a DVD. Co-sponsorship packages of $500 include two VIP Reception reservations, a full-page ad in the commemorative program, and an ad in the Free Venice Beachhead. Co-sponsorship packages of $250 include one VIP Reception reservation, a half-page ad in the commemorative program, and an ad in the Free Venice Beachhead. Tax-deductible checks may be made payable to the VCHC/VAC (the non-profit Venice Community Housing Corporation is the fiscal sponsor of the Venice Arts Council) with VJAMM in the memo, and mailed to VAC/VJAMM, P. O. Box 993, Venice, CA 90204. For more information, please visit www.venicejamm.org, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Venice Japanese American Memorial Marker committee has raised over $10,000 towards its $25,000 goal since September 2010. Los Angeles City Councilmember Bill Rosendahl, an early supporter of the campaign initiated by the Free Venice Beachhead, the Venice Peace and Freedom Party, and the Venice Arts Council, has contributed $5000 towards this project, while the Venice Neighborhood Council has pledged $1,300. Expressions of support for the VJAMM have also come from the Venice Community Housing Corporation, Venice Hongwanji Buddhist Temple, the Venice Japanese Community Center, the Culver-Venice Chapter and the West Los Angeles Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League, Nikkei Student Union at UCLA, Venice High School New Media Academy students, Venice High School Alumni Association, Beyond Baroque, Social and Public Art Resource Center, the Venice Community Coalition, Venice Historical Society, Venice Heritage Foundation, Venice Town Council, California Assemblymember Betsy Butler, California State Senator Ted Lieu, the California Coastal Commission, Redondo Beach Mayor Mike Gin, and the Manzanar Pilgrimage Committee. For a complete list of donors, please visit www.venicejamm.org.