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Kollaboration’s EMPOWER & STAR Events Celebrate, Promote and Inspire Asian American Diversity in Arts and Entertainment.

Kollaboration Announces a Major Event: EMPOWER/STAR, Advancing Asian American Diversity in Arts and Entertainment

Conference And Showcase Event Hosted Over Two-Days Across Multiple Locations Throughout Downtown Los Angeles
Press Contacts

Marvin Yueh | Associate Director | | (626) 272-1685
Sung Choe | Media Associate |

LOS ANGELES –  This fall Kollaboration will be hosting its biggest and most ambitious event aimed to inspire, promote and celebrate the Asian American and Pacific Islander (API) community in arts, entertainment, and new media. Taking place from Friday, November 11 to Saturday November 12, 2016, over multiple locations around the Little Tokyo neighborhood, the two-day event consists of EMPOWER, Kollaboration’s second annual creative leadership conference, and STAR, Kollaboration’s end-of-year showcase of API artists, talents, and community.

Speakers and mentors for 2016 include Ally Maki (actress, Wrecked), Tess Paras (actress, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend), Jon Kern, (writer, The Simpsons, The Son of Zorn), Carla Ching (writer, Fear the Walking Dead), Dia Frampton (musician, The Voice finalist), David Choi (musician), Jeniffer Kim (TBS executive), Jeff Yang (writer, journalist, WSJ, VIBE), Harry Shum Jr (actor, Glee, Shadowhunters, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon 2, Single by 30), Teddy Zee (producer), Andrew Ahn (director, Sundance FilmTwo fellow), Jason Lee (founder of Jubilee Project), Phil Wang (founder of Wong Fu Productions, Single By 30), Nina Yang Bongiovi (producer, Fruitvale Station, Dope),  Chris Dinh (actor, writer and producer, Crush the Skull, Single By 30), Naomi Ko (actress, Dear White People), Clarissa Wei (journalist, Vice, Los Angeles Times, CNN, USA Today), James J. Yi (producer, Twinsters, Gook, MOOZ-lum), Paul Dateh (musician), and more.

EMPOWER will take place over multiple venues including the Japanese American National Museum (JANM), the David Henry Hwang Theater, and the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center (JACCC).

“Over the past 17 years, Kollaboration has produced over 110 showcases and featured over 1000 incredible artists across North America on our stages, in our digital content, and now our conference to make sure our Asian-American voices are being heard. Our community has made great strides by building momentum and making authentic, game-changing art in music, dance, acting, filmmaking, writing, and new media.” says Kollaboration Executive Director, Christine Minji Chang.

EMPOWER is a conference featuring keynotes, panels, mentorship sessions, and workshops from a variety of creative careers and industries to educate and inspire aspiring creators and young professionals. Attendees will be able to learn about career paths, industries and practices to turn their dreams into reality while networking with peers and future collaborators. Last year’s speakers included Tamlyn Tomita (actress); Bing Chen (co-founder of Victorious, featured in Forbes “2014 30 under 30”); Eric Kim (vice president of current programs at CBS); and many more.

This year will be the first time Kollaboration will combine its two flagship programs into one event to celebrate and inspire the API community.

Long before diversity became a hot-button issue for Hollywood, Kollaboration was there, building a grassroots movement to find and nurture the best Asian American talent and artists all across the country that we all knew existed,” says Eric Kim, VP of current programs at CBS and Kollaboration EMPOWER 2015 panelist. “Now with the EMPOWER Conference, they have taken it to the next level by truly bringing the community together so that we can share our stories, but most importantly, learn from each other’s experiences.”

STAR is a talent showcase and competition that closes out the weekend with live music, dance, and comedy performances. Kollaboration’s flagship program centers around promoting API performing artists, and the STAR showcase is the grand finale of Kollaboration’s annual talent discovery program. The showcase features six emerging artists from across the United States who perform for the chance to win $10,000 in cash and prizes. This year’s guest performers include Jane Lui, Paul Dateh, JR Aquino, and Tim DeLaGhetto. Previous participants have included Run River North, Far East Movement, David So, and Dia Frampton. STAR will take place the evening of Saturday, November 12 at the JACCC’s Aratani Theater.

Find out information about speakers, mentors, and guest performers, please visit:

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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