East West Players will present its first Virtual Visionary Awards & Gala on Sunday, May 31, at 5 p.m. PDT, streaming live from EWP’s Facebook and YouTube.

Join a joyous celebration of all things East West Players from the comfort of your home. Raise money for the nation’s longest-running Asian American theater while enjoying special performances and appearances from EWP friends and favorites.

Daniel Mayeda and Adele Lim

Now in their 54th year, the Visionary Awards laud the achievements of individuals who have raised the visibility of the Asian Pacific American community through their craft. Proceeds from the gala will benefit EWP’s educational and artistic programs.

This year’s honorees:

• Daniel Mayeda is the longest-serving member of the EWP Board, having joined the in 1994. He has served as either chair or pro bono legal counsel during most of the past quarter-century. He practiced communications law and entertainment/media industry litigation for 37 years, recently as a partner in the law firm of Leopold, Petrich and Smith, and currently works for the national law firm Ballard Spahr.

In January 2018, Mayeda was appointed associate director of the Documentary Film Legal Clinic at his alma mater, the UCLA School of Law, where he trains and supervises law students to provide pro bono legal services to independent and underrepresented filmmakers. The DocFilmLegalClinic has helped bring a number of vital and award-winning documentaries to the public, addressing topics such as a new mental health approach to police response, how Medicare helped desegregate hospitals in the South, the impact of President Trump’s immigration policies on DACA recipients or on Muslims, environmental justice issues, and the legacy of Norman Mineta, the dean of Asian American politicians.

Mayeda currently serves as chair of the Asian Pacific American Media Coalition, and was recently on the national Diversity Advisory Council for Comcast Corporation. In 2015, working with EWP’s then-Artistic Director Tim Dang, he helped draft and promote a groundbreaking initiative called the “51% Preparedness Plan for the American Theatre” to jump-start the conversation around the fact that most theaters are not ready to serve an American population in which people of color will comprise the majority by 2042.

Mayeda has written and spoken extensively on media, intellectual property and Asian American community issues. He has been an adjunct professor at USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, and has taught media courses at California State University, Los Angeles and CSU Northridge. Early in his career, Mayeda worked in Washington, D.C. on the staff of the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications, Consumer Protection and Finance. He has been named numerous times in **Los Angeles** magazine as a “Southern California Super Lawyer.”

Adele Lim is a screenwriter for TV drama series and film. Most recently she penned the screenplay adaptation of “Crazy Rich Asians” (Warner Bros.). A Malaysian native of Chinese descent, she came to the U.S. at 19 and graduated from Emerson College in Boston. She has written and produced multiple prime-time TV dramas, including “One Tree Hill,” “Private Practice” and “Lethal Weapon.”

She also mentors writers through CAPE’s (Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment) New Writers Fellowship and is a judge for the Writers Guild of America’s Writers Access Project. Lim has been named amongst **Elle’s** Women in Hollywood Power List and **Variety’s** Women’s Impact Report. Currently she is developing and writing an original screenplay for Disney Feature Animation, “Raya and the Last Dragon,” scheduled for release in November 2020.

The Aratani Foundation, a private foundation, was incorporated on June 5, 1992, created by George and Sakaye Aratani. The late George Aratani made this statement prior to creating the Aratani Foundation:

“When I think of community, I think of people banding together, working together and sharing together. I think of people concerned about the welfare of others and helping those less fortunate. I first learned about the meaning of ‘community’ from my parents. I remember the many meetings that were held in the living room of our home. Concerned people discussing mutual problems and working together to solve them.

“I can still remember my father driving from Guadalupe to Los Angeles so many times to attend meetings that involved the larger Southern California community. Growing up in this environment, with parents dedicated to the welfare of others, I learned how important it was to help others in need of assistance. I learned that this was the true spirit and meaning of community.”

Donations and grants are made to qualified organizations in educational, medical, cultural, religious and other charitable fields. Sakaye Aratani is president of the Aratani Foundation following her husband’s passing. Linda Aratani is vice president/treasurer and Betty Teves is secretary.

Gala Committee: Peter Shimamoto (chair), Vicki Ariyasu, Al Aubin, Christine Chang, Betty Chung, Ellen Deng, Kiyomi Emi, Jay Kim, May Lee, Ed Lew, Rose Chan Loui, Randy Tamura, Mari Tamura, Susan Toy Stern, Sally Pai Unruh.

For information on sponsorships and tickets, call (213) 625-7000 or email galaguests@eastwestplayers.org.


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