Check out this New York Times piece about the representation of interracial families on television. “Television is still both a barometer of social change and an evolutionary force that can help change cultural attitudes. So it’s hard not to wonder whether the simple lack of depictions of normal, mixed-race families and well-adjusted biracial offspring in popular culture is in part responsible for the reaction to the Cheerios commercials,” writes Jenna Wortham. I count Parenthood as a good example of a dynamic interracial family. And even though Modern Family is a comedy, the heart of the show about an interracial family is good! What do you think? —Heidi Durrow, Festival Founder
We are proud to report that the Mixed Remixed Festival is supported by Poets & Writers, Inc. through a grant it has received from The James Irvine Foundation. Poets & Writers, Inc., is the primary source of information, support, and guidance for creative writers. Founded in 1970, it is the nation’s largest nonprofit literary organization serving poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers. The national office is located in New York City. The California branch office is based in Los Angeles. Poets & Writers has been invaluable to me personally as an emerging writer and festival producer. Thank you Poets & Writers. Now if you haven’t heard about this resource, it’s time you checked it out www.pw.org!–Heidi Durrow
We are so excited that Skylight Books is the official bookseller at the 2014 Mixed Remixed Festival! This is one of the best and funkiest bookstores in Los Angeles. I enjoyed my book launch there in 2010 and have been a fan ever since. If you’re buying our favorite writers’ books beforehand, buy the books from Skylight. They deliver too! —Heidi Durrow
. . . we can’t count enough ways! If you were a fan before or a new-to-Bruno-Mars kind of person, you have to admit that Bruno Mars rocked the house! Mars, who is a “hodgepodge” of ethnicities, was the face of America and the heart of great music and entertainment during the Super Bowl! And then on top of that — the wonderful Cheerios commercial with our favorite make-believe interracial family and the smooth puppy shakedown! We were in Mixed Remixed Festival heaven. If you missed all the fun, then you have to come to the Festival. That’s the kind of wonderful and joyous affirmation you will find for your experience, stories and families! SAVE THE DATE: June 14, 2014 at the Japanese American National Museum in LA.–Heidi Durrow
January 22, 2014 (Los Angeles)–Mixed Remixed Festival Storyteller’s Prize Honors Comedy Central’s Hit Comedic Duo Key & Peele and National Book Award Finalist Susan Straight. [pdf].
The Mixed Remixed Festival will present the annual Storyteller’s Prizes to Comedy Central’s hit comedic duo Key & Peele and National Book Award Finalist Susan Straight on June 14, 2014 at 6:30pm at the Japanese American National Museum in downtown Los Angeles, 100 N. Central Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90012. The event is free and open to the public. A hosted dessert reception will immediately follow the awards presentation and live performance. The Storyteller’s Prizes will be presented as part of the Festival’s dynamic live performance which features some of the best comedians, musicians and spoken word poets. Reservations—which will open Feb. 14, 2014—are strongly encouraged.
The Storyteller’s Prizes are awarded each year to artists, scholars and activists who have shown a dedication to celebrating and illuminating the Mixed experience.
The 2014 Storyteller’s Prize recipients are:
Comedy Central’s hit comedic duo Key & Peele
Originally hailing from New York, Jordan Peele moved to Chicago, where he performed at both Second City Chicago and ImprovOlympic. Peele then crossed the pond to Amsterdam to work with Boom Chicago Theater, but was lured back to the States by a starring (and Emmy-nominated) role on five seasons of MADtv. Currently, he plays Dr. Brian on Adult Swim’s Children’s Hospital, and has also appeared on TVs RENO 911! and Love Bites. Peele has appeared in such movies as Little Fockers and the upcoming Wanderlust.
Keegan-Michael Key got his start in comedy at Second City Detroit, and later moved on to their Chicago company where he received awards for his writing and performance. While still in Chicago, Key made the jump to TV, starring in Fox’s MADtv for six seasons, and scoring recurring roles on shows like RENO 911! and Gary Unmarried. Key can also be seen on the big screen in movies including Role Models, Due Date, and Just Go With It.
Susan Straight was born in Riverside and still lives there with her family. She has published seven novels and one middle-grade reader. Highwire Moon was a finalist for the National Book Award in 2001; A Million Nightingales was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in 2006. Her short stories have appeared in Zoetrope, The Ontario Review, The Oxford American, The Sun, Black Clock, and other magazines. “The Golden Gopher,” from Los Angeles Noir, won the Edgar Award in 2007; “El Ojo de Agua,” from Zoetrope, won an O. Henry Award in 2007. Her essays have appeared in the New York Times, Reader’s Digest, Family Circle, Salon, The Los Angeles Times, Harpers, The Nation, and other magazines. She was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship to work on Highwire Moon, and a Lannan Prize was an immense help when working on Take One Candle Light a Room.
We’re so excited that Crystal Chan’s wonderful YA Book, Bird, about the Mixed experience is out NOW! Check out what Crystal has to say about the writing of the book in this great video. And then start counting down the days to the Festival because Crystal will be reading at the Mixed Remixed Festival on June 14, 2014. We can’t wait!
We were so jazzed to learn about this Swiffer ad featuring a real interracial family! We hope you’ll check it out! Go Swiffer!
— Heidi Durrow
We’d like to thank Pitfire Artisan Pizza, 108 W 2nd St, Los Angeles, CA 90012, for the generous donation! Pitfire Artisan Pizza is conveniently located downtown close to the Mixed Remixed Festival headquarters at the Japanese American National Museum. It’s a great place to grab a delicious meal when you’re downtown and an easy walk from the festival site! Find out where there is Pitfire Artisan Pizza location near you!–Heidi Durrow