Kollaboration’s EMPOWER & STAR Events Celebrate, Promote and Inspire Asian American Diversity in Arts and Entertainment.
LOS ANGELES– More than 600 Asian American creatives attended and participated in Kollaboration’s most ambitious joint event, the EMPOWER Conference and STAR Showcase, on Nov. 11-12 in the Little Tokyo neighborhood.
“The conversations and the energy that resulted from our EMPOWER and STAR weekend were uplifting and unprecedented,” says Kollaboration Executive Director, Minji Chang.
“We couldn’t have asked for more robust and insightful conversations about the state of Asian America, our storytellers, and the opportunities to make strides in creating diverse and game-changing art. The future feels very bright for Asian and Pacific Islander American (APIA) creatives.”
The EMPOWER Conference gathered over 60 speakers to educate and inspire upcoming Asian American creative professionals. Attendees participated in various keynote sessions, panels, mentorships and workshops focused on different areas of entertainment and media. Speakers included Jeff Yang, Dante Basco, Philip Wang, Wesley Chan, Wenda Fong, Dia Frampton, Teddy Zee and many more.
“While Kollaboration Star provides a stage to our emerging talent, Empower leverages our creative talent to amplify the voice of our community. ‘Empowerment through entertainment’ is alive and real in Asian America!” says Hollywood Producer Teddy Zee, EMPOWER speaker and STAR judge.
The conference ended with the STAR Showcase that included six finalists from around the nation and guest performances by Timothy DeLaGhetto, JR Aquino, Brian Puspos, Jane Lui, Paul Dateh, GRV, UCB’s A+ Improv. and Atsuko Okatsuka. At the end of the night, Kollaboration Los Angeles finalist Timothy John Band took home the winning trophy along with a $5,000 prize, development opportunities including management consultation with ReMixNoise and Urban Authentic and a feature segment on MYXtv
“Before Kollaboration, I really didn’t know that there was a community of Asian Americans in the entertainment industry hustling, working, and empowering each other at the same time. It’s been a whirlwind since winning Kollab LA to winning KollabStar, I’m so grateful and feel very optimistic about my future and the future of Asian American creators.” says Kollaboration STAR 2016 winner, Timothy John.
Through the efforts of forty volunteer staff, attendees were able to celebrate the progress of Asian American artists and entertainers. Guests enjoyed refreshments provided by beverage sponsor HiteJinro at the lively VIP reception in the JACC Garden Room.
“Minji Chang and the Kollaboration team never cease to amaze me, the amount of work that goes into a finale event like this takes months of planning and is always a seamless production of the best emerging APIA talent across the country and established performers for inspiration.” says Rosslyn Cobarrublas, Kollaboration STAR judge and founder of Mydiveo.
“This year was a tough year to choose a winner as all the artists had extraordinary, unique talent but definitely feel that another Kollaboration superstar was awarded to the carry torch. If you haven’t heard of Timothy John, after this event and what’s to come you definitely will soon.”
About Kollaboration: Kollaboration is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and movement founded in 2000 by Paul “PK” Kim to support the endeavors of Asian and Pacific Islander Americans in the arts. Kollaboration’s mission is to build bridges, out-create negative stereotypes and promote diversity by providing platforms to discover, empower and connect the next generation of API artists and leaders. Kollaboration programs seek to highlight and bring awareness of API talent to the mainstream media and drive change in popular culture.
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