Crazy Talented Asians

By ELLEN ENDO, Rafu Shimpo

Nothing is normal right now, and there’s not much we can do to change that. Or is there?

As it happens, community organizations are especially inventive when it comes to sheltering in place. Here are few of their ideas:

East West Players, America’s premier Asian American theater company, invites everyone to watch Crazy Talented Asians online. The title speaks for itself and is a compilation of performances presented in 2019 during a live event. If you saw the performances last, the online version will bring back memories. If you missed last year’s presentation, get ready for crazy good fun. Find it at:

Visual Communications, the venerable nonprofit that has encouraged and inspired filmmakers for 50 years, provides an opportunity to watch several of their community-centered films. Featured are a group of movies known as VC Classics as well as films made as part of the Digital Histories production program for older adults and project created under the Armed with a Camera fellowship for emerging artists.

Each week, VC rolls out a new batch of films featuring a diverse themes, topics, and styles. This week, streaming online for free is American Me, a selection of works from emerging artists, depicting “a full range of Americanness,” describes VC Executive Director Francis Cullado.

On Wednesday, April 15, 6 to 8 p.m., the Japanese American National Museum presents Online Tea & Letter Writing (to Our Elders), an opportunity to connect in the comfort of your home and share letter-writing ideas prompted by Traci Kato-Kiriyama, former Little Tokyo +LAB artist-in-residence. Hear letters from JANM’s permanent collection read aloud as inspiration to write your own letters. Make a cup of tea, get cozy, and join the get-together online at

JANM is also offering a genealogy workshop beginning Saturday, April 25, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. and continuing for the next two Saturdays, May 2 and May 9. Online Workshop: Discover Your Japanese American Roots** will be led by Chester Hashizume as he helps participants learn how to explore their ancestral hometown, access family documents, and determine the roots of their surname and family mon (crest). Email for fees and additional details. Participation is limited to 100 respondents.

This program is free. Zoom instructions will be emailed when you RSVP by contacting

Japanese American Cultural & Community Center invites everyone to consider taking part in their Spacious Solidarity Haiku Challenge. Get creative and submit your haiku poem. Submissions are due on Wednesdays by 5 p.m. Winning haiku will be posted online at, on social media, and in the JACCC newsletter.

Email or text/call (626) 789-5269.

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