Sakaye Aratani

The JACCC announced that the 32nd Anniversary Celebration and Awards Dinner will be held on Saturday, June 30, at The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills.

The theme of this year’s dinner is “Honoring Women of Distinction,” and will celebrate the accomplishments of outstanding individuals who have enriched the vibrancy and cultural life of the community through their leadership, and their civic and philanthropic work.

Receiving the JACCC 2012 Chairman’s Award is Sakaye Aratani, founding board member of the JACCC.  She has actively supported activities throughout the Japanese American community through The Aratani Foundation. The JACCC’s 880-seat Japan America Theatre was renamed the George and Sakaye Aratani Japan America Theatre in recognition of their lead gift to the center’s capital campaign in 2001.  Mrs. Aratani is also being honored for her support of music and the performing arts.

Mucci Taylor

Receiving the JACCC 2012 Pacific Pioneer Award is Mucci Taylor, a pioneering role model for her innovative work in developing the next generation of donors and patrons in the community. Through her Senior Foundation Charitable Corporation, she has brought together Japanese-speaking and English-speaking members of the community to join in her important work.  Her passion and tireless devotion to philanthropy is driven by her desire to improve the quality of life of seniors and others in the community.

Receiving the JACCC 2012 Ambassador’s Award is Irene Hirano Inouye,  a dynamic and forward-thinking leader who has made significant contributions to a variety of nonprofit endeavors, including women’s health, the preservation of the Japanese American experience both past and present, and bilateral relationships between Japanese Americans and the peoples of Japan.  She is currently the president of the U.S.-Japan Council, where she leads in the development of people to people relationships to strengthen the ties between the United States and Japan.

Irene Hirano Inouye

Serving as the master of ceremonies of the event will be Frank Buckley, co-anchor of KTLA Morning News.

“These distinguished women have had a tremendous impact on the community,” said Dinner Committee Co-Chairs Nancy Matsui and George Tanaka.  “We are honored to pay tribute to them on the center’s biggest night. We’re also excited to announce that at this year’s dinner, we will be presenting the JACCC’s inaugural Community Spirit Award.”

The Community Spirit Award was created to recognize the unsung heroes of the community; the individuals whose unwavering dedication and commitment have had an immeasurable impact on the people and organizations around them.  To shine a light on the contributions of these individuals, the JACCC launched a campaign for nominations from the community.

After receiving a great number of nominations, an eight-member selection committee of board, staff and Dinner Committee members met to review the candidates.  Selecting only three awardees for this inaugural award was a difficult task as all of the nominees were deserving. The recipients of the first annual award are June Aochi Berk, Rumiko Nakatani and Amy Phillips.

The Anniversary Celebration and Awards Dinner is the JACCC’s largest single fundraiser. Proceeds support the center’s vision of presenting creative new works, supporting new artists and providing innovative cross-cultural programs that educate younger generations about the rich Japanese American heritage and culture.

For more information on the dinner, visit or contact Jessie Kikuchi at or (213) 628-2725.

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