East West Players announces that its 54th Annual Visionary Awards Dinner & Silent Auction will be celebrated virtually May 31st, 2020. The Visionary Awards laud the achievements of individuals who have raised the visibility of the Asian Pacific American (APA) community through their craft. Proceeds from the gala will benefit East West Players’ educational and artistic programs.

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

Gala Sponsors 


Disney ABC Television

ViacomCBS Entertainment Diversity & Inclusion

Comcast NBC Universal


Julia & Ken Gouw


Mari & Randy Tamura


Peter & Jane Shimamoto

Carmen Smith

Adele Lim

Royal Property Management Group

The Asian Pacific American Friends of the Theatre


Union Bank

Ballard Spahr

Edward Lew & Friends

Al Aubin & Friends

Ellen A. Deng

The Loui Family

The Walt Disney Company/Disney Channels Worldwide

Dan Mayeda & Friends

May Lee

Sally Unruh & Friends

Kiyomi Emi

Christine Chang

Nayan Shah & Ken Foster and Friends

Susan Toy Stern

David and Carrie Lee

Tim Dang & Darrel Cummings

Mary Ellen Kwoh & Jack Shu

Cold Tofu & Artists At Play

Pasadena Friends of EWP

David Monroe

Paramount Pictures

Keith and Cecilia Terasaki

Alex Giza

Derrick Que

Impact24 PR

Alex de Ocampo & Todd Sargent

Johnson Global Accountancy & Jason Blackwell

Japanese American Cultural & Community Center

Sidney Kanazawa & Millicent Sanchez


Tamlyn Tomita & Daniel Blinkoff

Wendy Chang and David Solin Lee

Marilynn Fong

Jonathan Kung

Japanese American National Museum

Pia Palomo

Caroline Tsaw and SK Leong

Alvina and Marsha Wakasa

Sally Lew

Natalie and Kim Bergman

Rodriguez Horii Choi & Cafferata LLP

L.A. County Supervisor Kathryn Barger

Dom & Sachiko Magwili

Marilyn Tokuda

Little Tokyo Service Center

SAG-AFTRA National Asian Pacific American Media Committee

Annenberg Foundation

Sylvia Hori

Cynthia Dunn

Debra Nakatomi

Dorinne Kondo

Reggie Lee

Ken Katsumoto


Dee Hayashi

June Berk

Kyle Maetani

Bradley and Grace Ellis

Diane Fukami

Grace Mayeda-Cecil & Paul Cecil

Linda Puchalski

Monica Lee

Liz Diaz

Ann Lee

Hon. Ernest Hiroshige

Helen Lee

Hoang To

Brad Lee

Jake Jeong

Erina Kwon

Alison De La Cruz

Kathy McConkey

Sharon Lee

David Yoo

Our 2020 Honorees are Daniel Mayeda, Adele Lim, and The Aratani Foundation.

Daniel Mayeda is the longest serving Member of the EWP Board, having joined the Board in 1994. He has served as either Chair or pro bono Legal Counsel during most of the past quarter-century. Dan 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, Dan 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. He currently serves as Chair of the Asian Pacific American Media Coalition, and recently on the national Diversity Advisory Council for Comcast Corporation. In 2015, working with EWP’s then-Artistic Director Tim Dang, Dan 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.

Dan 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 California State University, Northridge. Early in his career, Dan 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 States at 19 and graduated from Emerson College, Boston. She has written and produced multiple primetime TV dramas, including One Tree Hill, Private Practice and Lethal Weapon. She also mentors writers through CAPE’s New Writers Fellowship and is a judge for the WGA’s Writers Access Project. Adele 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 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 the passing of George Aratani. Linda Aratani is Vice President/Treasurer and Betty Teves, Secretary.


Bank of America
California Community Foundation
Edison International

Pixar Animation Studios
Ralph M. Parsons Foundation
S. Mark Taper Foundation
The Annenberg Foundation

Sony Pictures Entertainment
The Ahmanson Foundation
The James Irvine Foundation
The Walt Disney Company

Prince Gomolvilas
Velina Hasu Houston
Hiroshi Kashiwagi
Paul Kikuchi

Cherylene Lee
Perry Miyake
Edward Sakamoto
Jon Shirota

Nathan Wang
Wakako Yamauchi
Chay Yew

Rae Creevey
Tom Donaldson
Irma Escamilla
Michael Hagiwara
G. Shizuko Herrera

Rodney Kageyama
Alberto Isaac and Emily Kuroda
Mark Jue
Saachiko and Dom Magwili
Nelson Mashita

Nobu McCarthy
Scott Nagatani
Ken Takemoto
Andrew K. Wong, D.D.S.